Neue Schule Ambassador Todd Minikus Rides to a Win in the $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI 2* Grand Prix

Neue Schule Ambassador Todd Minikus Rides to a Win in the $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI 2* Grand Prix

The Saturday Night Lights feature event, the first of the Winter Equestrian Festival, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, had a total of 45 entries of top riders from around the world. Todd Minikus and his successful mount, Quality Girl— owned by the Quality Group— made quick and easy work of the first round, making him the 12th and final horse and rider combination to qualify for the jump off. Minikus had to wait until the end of the $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI2* Grand Prix to jump two fast and clear rounds.

Quality Girl, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Quidams Rubin x Dobrock), has been ridden by Minikus to great success over the past four years. Known to be a fiery mare that has exceptional jumping ability and speed to match, Minikus knew that all he had to do was set her up to win and she would do the rest. “When I went to the first jump, she kind of took a hold of the bit and dragged me to it and it felt great,” said Minikus. The same steady hands that make Todd a perfect ambassador for Neue Schule bits, the Official Bit of the USEF, kept Quality Girl on track to win against a world-class group of 12 riders that returned in the jump off.

The Neue Schule Ambassador has big plans for 2016, with his main focus on accumulating enough wins to qualify for the United States Olympic Team that is headed to Rio de Janiro, Brazil for the summer Olympics. Minikus credits a well-planned training program along with his incredibly competent staff for making sure his horses are fit and have the equipment they need to do their jobs correctly. Neue Schule is proud to support Team Minikus in their show jumping efforts and encourages riders of all disciplines to experience the Neue Schule difference for themselves.

“We are extremely proud of Todd’s win this past weekend,” said Mette Larsen, President and CEO of Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, the U.S. and Canadian distributer of Neue Schule Bits. “We wish Todd all the luck in the upcoming weeks of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival and look forward to seeing more of him and Neue Schule Bits in the winner circle this season.”

With the Neue Schule Bits’ innovative designs that promote comfort, softness, and relaxation in the horse’s mouth to encourage top performance, it’s easy to see why professional and amateur riders alike love Neue Schule. Top riders of all disciplines including Steffen and Shannon Peters, Laura Graves, Karen Pavicic, Allison Springer, Candice King, Danielle Goldstein, and Buck Davidson all endorse Neue Schule Bits. 

To learn more about Neue Schule Bits and distributer Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, visit www.BitByBitUSA.com or call 631-252-5574.

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Photo: Neue Schule Ambassador ,Todd Minikus and Quality Girl win the $86,000 Marshall and Sterling CSI2* Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida (Photo courtesy of JRPR—no photo credit necessary).

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Girl Power: Neue Schule Ambassador Candice King Champions Equestrianism, Starts New Year Strong 

Girl Power: Neue Schule Ambassador Candice King Champions Equestrianism, Starts New Year Strong 

Those of us who didn’t grow up spending our weekends picking stalls and counting strides don’t necessarily understand the horse world – let alone the elaborate goings on of the famed Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Something equestrians and non-equestrians alike do understand, however, is the age-old rivalry between men and women, which is what inspired Neue Schule Ambassador Candice King to lead the women’s team to yet another victory during the 2016 Battle of the Sexes Grand Prix exhibition.

The accomplished rider, who has competed in the Battle of the Sexes since its inception in 2009, says that what keeps her coming back is not only the exciting start to the Winter Equestrian Festival, but also the chance to spark an interest in horses within the non-equestrian community.

King explained, “The other day I walked into the bank and a lady noticed me. She didn’t know my name or really know who I was, but she said, ‘You’re the one in the poster. We love Battle of the Sexes. We come every year!’”

The woman, of course, was alluding to the Star Wars-themed event poster, which prominently featured King—captain of the women’s Battle of the Sexes team— with her arms crossed beside the captain of the male team, Charlie Jayne, who looked equally serious about the January 16 face-off. The event, which drew a record number of fans to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, concluded with a win for the women’s team. Although the men put up a strong fight in the beginning, the women rallied together and won the event 30-25.

“We’re incredibly proud of Candice— both for her impeccable performance in the Battle of the Sexes and her dedication to the continued success of equestrian sports,” said Mette Larsen, president of Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, the U.S. and Canadian distributor of Neue Schule Bits. “It’s so rewarding to stand by someone who invests so deeply in everything she does— from engaging the public to selecting the best, most comfortable bit for each of her horses.”

As King prepares for the exciting season ahead, she hopes some of the Battle of the Sexes competition fans will stick around to see the 2016 winter circuit unfold at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida— where the fun is just beginning.

King looks forward to partnering with her four mounts to make 2016 a memorable one at the Winter Equestrian Festival. In particular, she’s eager to continue competing Kismet 50, a mare owned by Bellissimo LLC. “I’m always excited to work with Kismet 50,” King said. “She’s really my best friend and partner, so I’m very excited to be competing with her, especially at a couple of five stars.”

King is also bringing along two up-and-coming Grand Prix horses— Azizantos, owned by Group C, and Bugatti VDL, also owned by Bellissimo LLC. Additionally, she’ll be working with Chento, a stallion owned by River Farm Sporthorses, who she hopes to bring up to the Grand Prix this summer.

Along the way, she trains her horses in Neue Schule bits – which King considers key to her success and, more importantly, her horses’ comfort.

“My Neue Schule bits are my go-to bits, from the loose-ring snaffles to the pelhams and universals,” King said. “These bits are critical to my competitive success and wins in the ring. The bits are comfortable for my horses, which makes them accepting of the bit and comfortable with the horse-and-rider connection. And a happy horse means a more successful one.”

King encourages anyone wishing to experience this type of comfortable contact to try a Neue Schule bit of their own.

To learn more about these innovative, ergonomically designed bits, or to find a retailer near you, visit www.NeueSchuleBitsUS.com or call 631–252–5574.

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Photo: Neue Schule Ambassador, Candice King, lead the women to a win in the 2016 Battle of the Sexes at the Winter Equestrian Festival (photo courtesy of Candice King).

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Megan Lane’s Consistent Contact Wins Neue Schule Best Hands Award at Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s First CDI-W

Megan Lane’s Consistent Contact Wins Neue Schule Best Hands Award at Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s First CDI-W

Steady and supple hands are the mark of an accomplished rider. Megan Lane, who has represented her native country of Canada on both a World Equestrian Games and a Pan American Games team, is obviously accomplished. She can now add becoming the first rider to receive the Neue Schule Best Hands Award at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival to her long list of achievements.

Neue Schule chose Lane to win the award from a large field of 44 competitors in the first CDI Grand Prix of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival series in Wellington, Florida. The Neue Schule Best Hands Award is presented to riders who demonstrate effective, supple communication through the bit with their horses throughout the competitive winter show series.

Lane and her own Caravella, a 15-year-old KWPN mare, have a long history of excellent communication. Lane purchased Caravella seven years ago when the mare was in training to be a hunter prospect. “We moved up to the Grand Prix after going to the North American Junior Championships,” says Lane. “Since competing in the Grand Prix, we have been fortunate to be a part of the Canadian team at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, and the 2015 Pan American Games.”

Lane, who is based in Loretto, Ontario, Canada, rides and trains full time at Deer Ridge Equestrian Center. During the winter show season, Lane makes the long trek to Wellington, Florida, and uses the opportunity to ride against some of the most notable names in international level dressage.

Lane and Caravella faced a unique set of challenges on the first day of CDI competition. The usually sunny and peaceful setting in Wellington was transformed by unseasonably cold temperatures and higher than average winds. Lane remained calm and focused and piloted her mare with confidence and correctness— practicing what she preaches.

My strategy for having a good hand-to-bit connection with all of my horses is practicing good basics and correct rider position,” says Lane.

Neue Schule, the Official Bit of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), believes that using their state of the art, comfortable bits is only part of a winning combination—the rest is left to the rider’s hands. That’s why Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, the North American distributor of Neue Schule Bits, was pleased to reward Lane’s skills with the Neue Schule Best Hands Award during the first week of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Stephanie Brown-Beamer, Vice President of Business Development for Metlar, acknowledged the Canadian rider’s calm demeanor and consistent contact with a beautiful ribbon and Kathy Connelly Performance Products, which are also distributed by Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery.

Throughout the twelve weeks of world-class dressage competition at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Metlar will award several riders with the Neue Schule Best Hands awards in recognition of their superior communication with their horses. The festival will continue through April 2, 2016, and will include seven CDIs, the only non-championship CDIO Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and weekly U.S. National events. 

With the Neue Schule Bits’ innovative designs that promote comfort, softness, and relaxation in the horse’s mouth, it’s easy to see why professional dressage riders love Neue Schule. Top dressage riders including Steffen and Shannon Peters, Laura Graves, David Marcus, Karen Pavicic, and Mikala Munter Gundersen all endorse Neue Schule Bits. 

To learn more about Neue Schule Bits and distributer Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, visit www.BitByBitUSA.com or call 631-252-5574.

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Photo: Stephanie Brown-Beamer presents the Neue Schule Best Hands Award to Canadian Dressage professional Megan Lane at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Fl.

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Neue Schule, Official Bit of the USEF, Presents Best Hands Award at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival

Neue Schule, Official Bit of the USEF, Presents Best Hands Award at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival

From January to April 2016, leading bit manufacturer Neue Schule is coming together with the world’s most talented dressage riders and finest horses at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, the North American distributor of the internationally renowned Neue Schule bits, is demonstrating its dedication to the sport of dressage by once again sponsoring the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and presenting its Neue Schule Best Hands Award throughout the show series.  

“We are excited to once again bring the Neue Schule Best Hands Award to the Adequan Global Dressage Festival,” says Mette Larsen, founder and president of Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery. The company will watch competitors in the show ring to determine which riders use their hands most effectively and softly when communicating with their horses. “The Best Hands Award recognizes riders who demonstrate a perfect connection between their hands and the bit,” Larsen explains. “The Global Dressage Festival provides a great opportunity for Metlar through Neue Schule to support the dressage community and applaud riders who have exceptional ‘hands,’ because even a superbly crafted bit is only as good as the hands that guide it.” Competitors who win the Neue Schule Best Hands Award will receive a bridle product from Kathy Connelly Performance Products, another quality brand distributed by Metlar, to complete the ideal formula for excellent contact and horse comfort.

The 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival will feature 12 weeks of world-class dressage competition in Wellington, Florida. The festival is scheduled to run from January 13, 2016 to April 3, 2016, and will include eight CDIs (including CDI-Ws, a 4*, and a 5*), the only non-championship CDIO Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere, and weekly U.S. National events.

Neue Schule seems to be just as excited about the upcoming 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival as the competitors are. “It’s a privilege to be among such wonderful horses and riders, and to be part of this vibrant international community,” Larsen explains. “This is exactly where Metlar and Neue Schule bits belong.” Many of the world’s top riders agree, and are sure to have Neue Schule bits at the end of their reins when entering the show ring. Laura Graves, Steffen Peters, Mikala Gundersen, Karen Pavicic, Kathy Connelly, Heather Blitz, Nicholas Fyffe, David Marcus, JJ Tate, and Katherine Bateson-Chandler are only a few of the many dressage champions that ride in Neue Schule bits.

Honoring excellent equestrians with the Neue Schule Best Hands Award is important to Metlar, as the company knows that success in the arena stems from talented riders and horses working with quality tack. “We make the bits and leave the rest to the rider’s hands,” Larsen says. “The better designed the bit is, the easier it is for the rider and the horse.” With the bits’ innovative designs that promote comfort, softness, and relaxation in the horse’s mouth, it’s easy to see why professional dressage riders love Neue Schule.  

To learn more about Neue Schule bits—the Official Bit of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)— and distributer Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery, visit www.NeueSchuleBitsUS.com or call 631-252-5574.

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Photo: Lars Petersen (left), with Melissa Taylor (right), is presented with the Neue Schule Best Hands Award at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (Photo courtesy of JRPR- no photo credit necessary) 

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