February 25: The PonyWorld Weekly

February 25: The PonyWorld Weekly

Danielle Goldstein shakes her hair feathers all the way to a consecutive WEF win; Henrik von Eckermann pops the question to Janika Sprunger; skewbald, former carriage horse Life Is Beautiful will jump at World Cup Finals (and steal our hearts in the process) and more—all this week in the #PonyWorld!

Nina Fedrizzi


Quote of the Week

“Taken together, these findings indicate that, up close, striped surfaces prevented flies from making a controlled landing… few stayed a long time, or probed for blood.”

—The authors of a new study that compares horse fly behavior with zebras to that of domesticated horses. Advantage goes to the zebras. And maybe your grey horse too.  

(c) Alamy Stock Photo/Horse & Hound

Two Years, Two WEF Wins for Danielle Goldstein & Lizziemary


The Story

A victory this weekend in the ‘Saturday Night Lights’ Grand Prix at Wellington makes two consecutive, five-star wins in the class for Israel’s Danielle Goldstein and her wondermare, Lizziemary. For the second year in a row, the pair rode to the top of the leaderboard in the $391,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix CSI5* during Week 7 at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

Girl on Fire: Danielle Goldstein & Lizziemary (c) Sportfot/ World of Show Jumping

Tell Me More

A daring inside turn to the “WEF wall” proved enough to separate the lady from the men on February 23, with Goldstein stopping the jump-off clock at 37.76 seconds. The stacked, second round lineup included U.S. rider and recent Palm Beach Masters World Cup Qualifier winner Alex Granato & Carlchen (who finished second), Egypt’s Nayel Nasser & Lucifer V (who took third), and notorious speed demons Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Kent Farrington (USA) bringing up the rear.

“It felt like a long time coming,” Goldstein said after the class. “I jumped the last couple of big grands prix [classes] clear, and I would have one down in the jump-off, or I’d have one unlucky fault, and it felt like I was at the edge and we were really close. 

“It’s a hard feat to win one year, let alone two years in a row, so I’m shocked and amazed and happy. I was really thrilled.”

PonyApp Take

Maybe it’s Maybelline. Maybe it’s those, famed feathered locks. Either way, Danielle Goldstein and Lizziemary have proven they can compete on the world’s biggest stages—and beat all the boys—when the situation calls for it. The pair first made their mark with a ninth place individual finish at the 2017 European Championships in Gothenburg, and they haven’t slowed down since, earning consistent top placings at Longines Global Champions League (LGCT) stops around the globe. They also made a strong showing at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, where they placed third in the second round competition and finished 20th overall.

Last weekend, Danielle & Lizziemary’s second round clear helped #TeamIsrael ride to a silver medal finish in the $290,000 Longines FEI Jumping™ Nations Cup of the United States of America, and you can bet Goldstein has her eyes fixed on a strong team and individual run at Tokyo in 2020. Keep your own eyes peeled for our behind the scenes, PonyApp Pro interview with Danielle, arriving in inboxes (sign up here!) later this week.

If You Can Only Watch One Round…

Watch Out for Germany’s Miriam Schneider & Fidelius G

Sometimes the only way to find out what your young horse is really made of is to throw him in at the deep end, and that’s just what happened to Germany’s Miriam Schneider and the 9-year-old Hanoverian gelding Fidelius G this weekend during the Longines FEI Jumping™ Nations Cup of Abu Dhabi. The pair overcame a tricky first round as the drop score to finish clear under pressure for Germany, earning their team a shiny gold medal in the process.

**Watch This Space**

Skewbald, Former Carriage Horse Is Headed to World Cup Jumping Finals

Shino Hirota & Life Is Beautiful (c) Horse & Hound

Say that five times fast. The aptly named, 16-year-old former carriage horse Life Is Beautiful has written the end to his own Lifetime movie special, having qualified for the FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden—the very city of his birth—this April with Japanese rider Shino Hirota. Though initially underestimated due to his economical jump, Life Is Beautiful became a different horse with Shino in the irons. “The higher the fences were raised, the higher Life is Beautiful would go,” said an FEI spokesman, adding that the pair are also under consideration for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Roll the credits, we can’t wait to watch.

This Just In...

Shaking Things Up On the Global Champions League

This week, the teams were announced for the 2019 Global Champions League and the temperature is already heating up. Among the surprise swaps: the Prague Lions’s star striker, Peder Fredricson (SWE), will join top talents Daniel Deusser (GER) and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) on the Shanghai Swans; Harrie Smolders (NED) will assist his student, team owner Jennifer Gates (USA) on the Paris Panthers; Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) and Eric Lamaze (CAN) will bring their extensive international experience to the Cannes Stars; and Cian O’Connor (IRL), formerly of the New York Empire, will head to 2018 runners-up Valkenswaard United. Holding steady: 2018 champions the London Knights, who will keep their wunderkind Ben Maher (GBR) and X2 powerhouses Olivier Philippaerts and Nicola Philippaerts, now adding Austrian talent and 2018 WEG star Max Kühner to the string. You can read the full breakdown here.

Pony Social

The couple that skis (and showjumps) together, stays together.

Just one week after announcing the sale of her top horse Bacardi VDL to Jan Tops & Edwina Tops-Alexander, Janika Sprunger has some good news to share. The Swiss rider will marry fellow show jumper Henrik von Eckermann of Sweden, as announced via the #gotmyselfafinacée hashtag this week following a romantic Austrian ski trip. We’ll raise a glass to that!



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