Catherine Haddad-Staller Parts Ways With Sponsor Rowan O’Riley, Gives Up Ride on Semper Fidelis

3 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on Catherine Haddad-Staller Parts Ways With Sponsor Rowan O’Riley, Gives Up Ride on Semper Fidelis
Catherine Haddad-Staller and Semper Fidelis competing in Europe in 2017. Photo courtesy Catherine Haddad-Staller

May 7, 2018

Catherine Haddad-Staller reported Monday she parted ways with sponsor Rowan O’Riley and given up the ride on Semper Fidelis, the “horse of a lifetime” that was on the United States pre-Elite list. Semper Fidelis is now with Heather Blitz.

Catherine, based in Califon, New Jersey and who wintered in Loxahatchee, Florida at stables owned by Rowan O’Riley said the break came about because of disagreement over the training of the 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Sir Donnerhall x Welt Hit II) .

“Semper Fidelis was the horse of a lifetime,” said Catherine, 54, who had competed the mare three time in Europe last fall but an injury kept the horse out of the competition arena during the winter.

“She was just getting started in her Grand Prix career and was showing tremendous potential with my training and my team. With the support and encouragement of the USEF Pre Elite program, we all had very high aspirations for this incredible mare. Unfortunately, Rowan disagreed with the program we had outlined to further Semper’s career.

“Our inability to come to an agreement for the future led to a parting of ways. I wish her all the best in the future.”

The sponsorship agreement between Catherine and Rowan began about three years ago after the rider returned to the United States following two decades based in Germany.

Catherine was reserve on different horses for American teams at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany in 2006 and the 2010 WEG in Kentucky. She also competed at the 2007 World Cup Finals in Las Vegas and at Leipzig, Germany in 2011. She competed Maximus JSS, Sir Sherlock JSS, Cadillac, Winyamaro, Mane Stream Hotmai and Semper Fidelis.

She competed Semper Fidelis at three shows in Europe in 2017, scoring above 70 per cent in all six starts in the Grand Prix and the Special and winning at Le Mans, France in October.

“Rowan O’Riley sponsored me during a new phase in my career as I transitioned from a training facility based in Europe to a new life in New Jersey and Florida,” Catherine said. “I will always appreciate Rowan’s support at that time. I’m proud to say I brought my A Game to our partnership and enjoyed considerable success. My team and I gave her our very best in riding skill, horsemanship, stable design, training, and instruction. We are all very proud of our work.”

In addition to training and competing Semper Fidelis, she coached Rowan halfway to her U.S. Dressage Federation gold medal on Sini Santos last winter.

Rowan O’Riley is actively involved in the U.S. para equestrian program.

Semper Fidelis is with Heather Blitz in Loxahatchee.

Heather on Paragon was reserve for the U.S. team at the 2012 London Olympics and most recently has been successful on Quatero, a nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding she competed for 10 victories in 12 starts at CDI small tour in Wellington, Florida and Tryon, North Carolina in the past year. She has also been successful with the American-bred Ripline and coaches Angela Peavy, the 21-year-old rider who competed for the United States at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and the 2014 World Equestrian Games para dressage in Normandy.