Animal Planet Trots Out New Stable of Horse Programming
RELEASE: June 9, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Melissa Berry
Animal Planet is releasing three new programs that showcase the guts, high stakes drama and competitive spirit of horses and riders at the top of equestrian sport. From the intense pressure leading up to the final U.S. Olympic equestrian team selection to the adrenaline-filled action of a sport where every hundredth of a second counts, Animal Planet’s world championship equestrian line-up gallops into homes beginning July 2008 with the Rolex Superstars of Show Jumping, Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping, FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix
and returning favorite the Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup
“With the addition of these thrilling world-class competitions to the Animal Planet roster, we are tapping into equestrian enthusiasts’ passion for horse sports,” said Victoria Lowell, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Animal Planet Media. “Expanding our commitment to horse programming enables us to celebrate the fantastic sport of show jumping and honor the immense skill and talent of both human and animal athletes, while reining in a new crop of horse fans as we ramp up the excitement for the upcoming original documentary series Jockeys
, debuting next year.”
This suite of horse programming is hosted by athlete and sports commentator Lewis Johnson; sports anchor and contributor for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Andrew Catalon; and top international show-jumping competitor and U.S. horse trainer, Kim Prince. This team of correspondents will give viewers the play-by play of each event and behind the scenes stories from each competition. Up first is Rolex Superstars of Show Jumping
(which premieres Saturday, July 26, at 3 p.m. ET/PT). In this special, the defending U.S. champion Beezie Madden travels to Germany to compete against the top horses and riders in the world in a one-of-kind ride-off.
In August, saddle-up with the Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping
(which premieres Saturday, August 2, at 3 p.m. ET/PT), which rounds up the top athletes and their horses from around the world for this prestigious event. This competition is the last chance for American athletes to qualify for the U.S. Olympic equestrian team.
In October, some of the key competitors just back from the Olympic Games will be featured in the FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix
(which premieres Saturday, October 4, at 3 p.m. ET/PT), one of America’s most fashionable and prestigious equine events. And wrapping up our equine line-up in January, experience the thrill and danger of Olympic-level show jumping when Animal Planet's Sporthorse Cup
(which premieres Saturday, January 10, at 3 p.m. ET/PT), invites seven of the world’s top riders to compete in a unique three-round test of rider and horse.
“These programs provide an inside look at some of the world’s top riders and the training and skill that go into becoming a champion,” said Executive Producer Mick Kaczorowski. “I’m pleased to be a part of this project and hope by exposing more people to the beauty and awe of this sport, that we inspire a new generation of equestrians.”
Animal Planet has let the following programs out of the barn:Rolex Superstars of Show Jumping
Premieres Saturday, July 26, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT)
(Event date; July 5, 2008) - This event takes place in Aachen, Germany, and is the only event of its kind in the world. It will feature the reigning Olympic, World, European and Aachen champions jumping against each other. In the four-round event, each rider first rides their own horse, and then in subsequent rounds rides each of their competitor’s horses. The defending U.S. champion Beezie Madden will be among the competitors. Also included will be a long feature on the Rolex World Cup in Sweden. Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping
Premieres Saturday, August 2, at 3 p.m. (ET/PT)
Also taking place in Aachen, Germany (Event date: July 6, 200