Labor Day weekend, August 31st and September 1st, brought the return of the Pacific Sporthorse Selection to Vacaville, CA. The 2 day event which was very well received last year managed to exceed expectations once again this year, drawing guests from as far as New Jersey and Canada! The much anticipated event had been marketed nationally since early in the year and for all those who attended, it did not disappoint! The event was structured and managed by Christiane Noelting, Christian Hartung - both trainers at the Christiane Noelting Dressage Center, and Ellie Johnson, an adult amateur dressage rider. “We wanted to make this an event that had something for everyone, education, fun and, of course, good horses.” said Ellie, and the PSS team definitely delivered on that promise!
The PSS kicked off their festivities on August 31st with a wonderful Gala featuring some fantastic wine and hors d’ouevres courtesy of Bourassa Vineyards, Berryessa Gap, Jess Jones Vineyards, Scaggs Vineyard, Scott Harvey Wines, Jana Vineyard and Sudwerk Brewery. It was “first class” all the way and guests enjoyed some really special exhibitions from the presentation of a Totilas foal, “Imax” (Totilas/Sandreo) to Young Rider Gold Medalist, Ariel Thomas on “Montfleury” riding an FEI musical freestyle.
There was even a very entertaining “soccer match” between several of the auction horses! Other highlights of the evening were the Internationally competitive Pacific Coast Vaulting Club and a very special musical freestyle by Ari Lopez on her Grand Prix horse, “Armani” accompanied by professional Latin dancer Christina Musser and Matthew Hansen from Spotlight Dance and Fitness. Also in attendance and new to the PSS this year was the collection of Hunter/Jumpers selected by Rudy Leone of Leone Equestrian, Inc.
Guests were treated to some delightful comic relief when “Totilas’s brother, Harold” entered the arena. Harold, “ridden” by PSS organizer Ellie Johnson and accompanied by Rhianna Moerkhe showed off his fancy footwork to freestyle music and had guests falling out of their seats laughing.
On Sunday, September 1st, the tent was again full of guests buzzing with auction excitement! The day started off with a presentation of 4 foals including 2 Totilas sons who had travelled all the way from Nova Scotia to attend the auction. Following the foals were the dressage horses and hunter/jumpers including several beautiful horses who had been imported from Germany especially for the auction.
A lecture series followed Sunday morning’s presentation. Lecturers included Sarah Le Jeune, Claudia Sonder, and Julie Dechant (3 equine veterinarians from UC Davis,) Clair Thunes (equine nutrition,) Megan Soske (pilates), and Kevin Reinig, president of the California Dressage Society. Sarah le Jeune, DVM, DACVS, CVA discussed Integrative Medicine for the Sporthorse and actually demonstrated acupuncture techniques on a live horse! The audience was appreciative of the mini lecture series and clearly this was one more aspect that made the PSS such a unique, well rounded event.
Next came the main feature of the weekend, the auction itself! Guests enjoyed a spectacular show and glass of champagne while the top quality collection of auction horses and foals were presented. The riders were excellent and the stunning horses represented some of today’s most popular bloodlines. Breeds in the auction included Hanoverian, Dutch Warmblood, Oldenburg, Trakehner, Holsteiner, Belgian Warmblood, and even a Connemara Pony.
It was both exciting and educational and of course it was especially exciting for the lucky winning bidders! Bidders came in person or phoned in from across the country and several horses will now be making the trip East to their new home.
• Number of Horses at auction: 25
• Highest Bid: $59,000 for Unique (2009 Hanoverian gelding by United/Worldly)
• Average Bid: $20,748
• Foal selection: Highest Bid: $16,000 for a 2013 colt by Totilas/Stravinsky xx
Other noteworthy contributions of the PSS were the charitable donations collected over the two days totaling in excess of $7500! The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and CDS Club 100 were this year’s two recipient charities. Paul Schockemoehle from Germany donated a breeding to the world famous stallion, Sir Donnerhall for auction on Saturday. Guests got a chance to practice their bidding skills on this breeding while giving to a worthy cause.
The PSS also used a raffle of several items and a live auction of a Schleese saddle donated by Schleese Saddlery of Canada, to collect scholarship money for CDS Club 100 young riders. All of the raffle winners were so excited to receive such nice gifts and be supporting a worthy cause at the same time.
At the post-auction celebration, all of the PSS management team was enthusiastic about the outcome. “We are so happy to be bringing such a worthy event to our community.” said Ellie. “The whole purpose of the auction was to bring buyers and sellers of top quality horses together. We did that and more! We also used the PSS to give back to the community in the form of education, entertainment, and charitable donations.”
“We wish to thank everyone who supported the Pacific Sporthorse Selection.” Christian continued, “We are so happy with the outcome and we hear that guests are already looking forward to next year.”
In fact, next year's date has already been set for the PSS to return on September 6 & 7, 2014.
If you didn’t get to attend in person, you can check out the Pacific Sporthorse Selection website at www.sporthorse-selection.com and the highlights of the event below!