Catching Up With Chris Pratt

first_img Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. SIGN UP Horse Sport Enews Email* When the Canadian Team takes the field at the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona, Sept. 28- Oct. 1, the squad will include veteran team member Chris Pratt and Concorde, his 10-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding.Pratt, 48, was originally a Toronto native who started his business Performance Horses Unlimited in Terra Cotta, ON, before riding full-time at Susan Grange’s Lothlorien Farm beginning in 2004. He was named to Nations’ Cup teams for the 2005 Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary, AB, and the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL, where he delivered two clear rounds aboard Mustique to clinch the win for Canada. Later that year, Pratt made his major games debut at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, riding Rivendell. In 2007, he pulled up stakes and moved to sunny California.Over the past few years, Pratt and the Dutch Warmblood gelding Cruise have been a familiar sight leading the grand prix victory gallops at the HITS Thermal tournaments and Del Mar shows on the west coast, where he is now based at Epic Stables in Cardiff, CA. The pair were also members of the fourth-place Nations Cup team at the Final in Barcelona in 2011.In 2016 alone, Pratt won four grand prix during the HITS Desert Circuit riding three different horses, including the $350,000 CSI5* Grand Prix. Riding Concorde, he took home the win in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar. This year, Pratt ‒ who has been campaigning a number of horses in Europe over the summer ‒ led the Canadian fourth-place team effort riding Concorde at the CSIO5*-NC in Gijon, ESP, on Sept. 2nd, tying for fifth overall.Horse Sport spoke with Pratt about his recent stint in Europe. “I have horses based with a long-time partner in the business, Jan Verellen, in the south of Holland. We own some horses together and work at supplying the North american market with nice horses for all the divisions.“The horses I’ve been competing are owned by different clients and breeders, both American and European. I’m finding the quality and structure of the European shows is really lending itself to the development and enjoyment of North American riders. We have a program where riders can come for training for several weeks or months, and attend some really nice shows for a fraction of the cost of the North American shows. They can bring their own trainers and horses and we can provide all the necessary travel planning and infrastructure. We even have provided horses to lease in the past.”Pratt’s long-time, reliable partner, Cruise, is now enjoying life away from the ring. “Cruise was second in a grand prix earlier this year. After that, I decided it was time for him to retire sound and happy at 16 years old,” Pratt said. “He still gets ridden every day, and is at the stable where his owner, Susan Geleibter, keeps her horses, so he’s quite spoiled!”Poised to fill his horseshoes is the promising young Concorde, for which Pratt has high hopes. “Concorde is an extremely talented horse, but still a little inexperienced at the top level,” he said. “There aren’t so many big competitions left in California, so thats why I sent him to Europe for the summer. He’s a very brave, careful horse that has always tried his hardest.”Pratt is looking forward to the Nations Cup Final, buoyed by good performances in team competition lately. “Personally, I have experience jumping in Barcelona, where I jumped clear and had four faults with Cruise several years ago. And coming off our clear and four-fault result in Gijon three weeks ago, I feel confident we’ll be an asset to the team.”He concluded, “I’m really proud to be a Canadian rider and look forward to representing the team.” He loves the SoCal lifestyle, however, adding, “California is an amazing place to live ‒ and surf!” Tags: Chris Pratt, Concorde, FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final, Barcelona, More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business.last_img read more

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‘One of the largest cases of its kind’: Feds indict 80 people in $6 million fraud, money laundering scheme

first_imgRawf8/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — U.S. federal prosecutors have announced a 252-count indictment charging 80 people, mostly Nigerian nationals, with being part of a widespread conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of scams and then launder the money.The federal grand jury indictment was unsealed Thursday after authorities arrested 14 defendants across the United States, including 11 in the Los Angeles area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Three other defendants were already in federal custody. Six defendants believed to be in the country are fugitives, while the dozens of remaining defendants live in other nations, mainly Nigeria.U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said the defendants allegedly used various “sophisticated” online fraud schemes to prey upon businesses, elderly individuals and people who may have been susceptible to a romance-related scam.“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history,” Hanna told reporters at a press conference Thursday. “We are taking a major step to disrupt these criminal networks.”Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said the defendants defrauded victims out of around $10 million and attempted to steal at least another $40 million.Billions of dollars are lost each year through these types of frauds, according to Delacourt. In the first seven months of 2019, more than 14,000 people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center alleging they were victims of business email compromise, or BEC, scams, reporting total losses of almost $1.1 billion“This crime is growing exponentially in terms of losses and victims,” Delacourt told reporters at Thursday’s press conference. “While we are happy to announce these charges today, we are not going to arrest our way out of this problem, and so we continue to educate potential victims.”The lead defendants named in the 145-page indictment are Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, both Nigerian citizens who live in California and were among those arrested Thursday morning. Prosecutors allege that the pair essentially operated as “brokers of fraudulent bank accounts.”Co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United States and other nations contacted Iro and Igbokwe for bank and money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims. Once co-conspirators convinced victims to send money under false pretenses, Iro and Igbokwe allegedly coordinated the receipt of funds and oversaw an extensive money-laundering network based out of Los Angeles, according to the indictment.Prosecutors allege Iro and Igbokwe did all this in exchange for a cut of the stolen money.The indictment stems from a yearslong investigation led by the FBI. Iro, Igbokwe and another Nigerian defendant named in the indictment, 39-year-old Chuks Eroha, face additional charges for attempting to destroy their cellphones when the FBI executed a search warrant in 2017 at Iro’s apartment in Carson, California. Iro allegedly broke his phone in half while Igbokwe and Eroha allegedly threw their phones out a window seconds after FBI agents knocked on the apartment door. Eroha is believed to have fled to Nigeria shortly after the search.“In the days ahead,” Delacourt said, “we will be working with our foreign counterparts in nine countries to apprehend 57 additional defendants.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Director of Career Connections

first_imgBridgewater CollegeDirector ofCareer ConnectionsThe Center for Career Development at Bridgewater College seeksan engaged professional to oversee career education programs andmanage career-oriented relations with external stakeholders,including alumni, local employers, disciplinary professionalorganizations and corporate/graduate school recruiters. The new director will lead the re-imagining of the Center forCareer Development, including implementing a new career educationcurriculum envisioned by the latest strategic plan, outlined by acampus-wide study group, authorized by the College Board ofTrustees, and supported by generous donations.The director will be responsible for developing and cultivatingrelationships with off-campus partners and alumni in order tofacilitate educational, internship, job-shadowing, and communityengagement opportunities for students. As a member of the Academic Affairs team, the director willwork with faculty advisors and other staff to promote theintegration of career education into general education and majorcurricula.The director will work closely with the Office of AlumniRelations and the Office of Student Life to coordinatecareer-oriented programming on a college-widelevel.  The director will emphasize facilitating social mobilitythrough equitable access to connections and experiences for allstudents regardless of background or social capital. The director will ensure a positive, supportive anddevelopment-oriented work environment for the center’sprofessional, support, and student workers. The director will manage the Center for Career Developmentbudget.QUALIFICATIONSMaster’s degree and a minimum of five years of career-servicesor related experience, with demonstrated success in careerdevelopment, career counseling, or human resources in a highereducation environment. Experience in program development and assessment.Experience supervising and mentoring professional staffA clear commitment to serving and engaging students fromdiverse and under-represented groups. Excellent interpersonal skills and experience working with andpresenting to diverse audiences. Commitment to and experience fostering mutually beneficial andlong lasting relationships with external campus partners.GENERAL INFORMATION: Bridgewater Collegewas founded in 1880 as the first coeducational college in Virginia.Bridgewater offers bachelor’s degrees in approximately 60 majorsand minors, along with four graduate programs, pre-professionalprograms such as medicine and law, and teacher licensure. TheCollege is a member of NCAA Division III and the Old DominionAthletic Conference, with 23 intercollegiate athletic teams. Thevibrant residential campus is located in the town of Bridgewater,Virginia, near the city of Harrisonburg in the center of theShenandoah Valley. An excellent school system, healthy businessenvironment, numerous arts and cultural events, one of the state’slowest crime rates, and a variety of outdoor opportunities andhistoric attractions draw many to the region.FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT: [email protected]: Please completethe online application http://www.bridgewater.edu/careers andattach a cover letter, resume and three letters of reference.DEADLINE: Review of applications willbegin immediately, and the position is open until filled.Bridgewater College is an equal opportunity provider,committed to employing a diverse faculty and staff, and activelyseeks applications from women, minorities, and other persons fromtraditionally under-represented groups.Bridgewater College does not discriminate on the basis ofrace, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, marital status, genderidentity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, religion,age, veteran status, or political affiliation in the administrationof its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship andloan programs, athletic programs, or other college programs andactivities, or with regard to employment.ANNUAL SECURITY REPORT AND ANNUAL FIRE SAFETYREPORT: The Bridgewater College Annual Security Report and Annual FireSafety Report summarizes policies on campus security and personalsafety, crime prevention, fire safety, and crime reporting, andincludes crime and fire statistics for the past three years.The reports are available at https://bridgewater.box.com/s/4ma6tlh30y8cat9un192ugo3dm6n29y9To request a printed copy, please call 540-828-5761last_img read more

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Greece to Sell Two Largest Ports under Identical Terms

first_imgGreek ruling party Syriza has proposed a change in the terms of the sale of the country’s second largest port – the Port of Thessaloniki – to mirror those of the Piraeus Port, according to local media.Back in May, the government of Greece invited China’s Cosco Group, Maersk Group’s APM Terminals, and Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) to present their bids for a 51% stake in the Piraeus port.The companies are to present their bids by September, with an option for the stake to increase up to 67% if the chosen company invests EUR 300 million in the port over a period of five years.This Thursday, Greece plans to float the same scenario to potential bidders for the Thessaloniki Port Authority (OLTH), which is expected to get a new owner by June 2016, according to the latest plan.Greece recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its international lenders which stipulated that the binding bid dates for the ports of Piraeus and Thessaloniki must be announced by October.The proceeds from the sales and privatization of national assets are expected to reach EUR 6.4 billion by 2017, Reuters reports. The MOU is a prerequisite for Greece if it wants to gain access to around EUR 85 billion offered through a new bailout program.World Maritime News Staff; Image: OLTHlast_img read more

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Date says coaching not part future plans

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES When life resumes its normal course, the 46-year-old knows she would like to act as a sports ambassador and help tennis occupy a predominant place in the country, but she is not sure whether she will ever choose a career in coaching.“Am I going to be coaching? This topic has come up a numerous times, even before I decided to retire. Being an athlete, I’ve experienced firsthand and know what a tough job being a coach is,” Date said.“Depending on the age of the player, your coaching strategy is different. If I were to coach, I would have to learn a lot because playing is different from describing how to play in words to other people. At this point, coaching is not part of my future plans.”Though she might not see coaching as a calling, Date has done her share of mentoring to younger female tennis players, including Kurumi Nara, Risa Ozaki and Nao Hibino, who have all been ranked inside the WTA’s top 100.It is no wonder fans are hoping to see her return to the court as coach after a first career that ended when she was 26 and seemingly at her peak, and a second that lasted nine and a half years, through which Date proved she is well qualified for a post-athletic career in coaching.But in her mind, all signs are pointing in different directions.“So if not coaching, what do I want to do? When I look at Japan, the environment for the sport of tennis is not perfect. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics are coming up so I believe the world of sports will change going forward, but it’s not just about the Olympics,” Date said.“We have Kei Nishikori who is one of the iconic men’s players and he is one pillar in tennis right now, but I want the sport of tennis to be much more deeply rooted in Japan, so that tennis isn’t just a tentative thing but a long-term established sport in Japan.”In order for that to happen, Date says improvements in facilities and software are needed, and these are areas she feels she can contribute by sharing her insight and experience.Date, who underwent knee surgery in April last year, said she got used to playing through pain after 41, when she felt like she suddenly hit the age barrier and needed more than a good night’s rest to recover from pain and fatigue.She feels like if she had the medicine, science and technology available to players today when she started her career — with a wooden racket — her first career would have lasted longer.But when she looks back at what she was able to accomplish, even without modern-day conveniences, she is proud to know she was able to age gracefully as a player, standing on the court until the very end and playing her game until the last minutes.Knowing how demanding a tennis player’s life can be with a very short offseason and hardly any break between tournaments, Date had to make a point about the tremendous pressure fans put on athletes like former world No. 4 Nishikori, which can be both a privilege and a burden.“I think it’s an extraordinary achievement for him to be in the top five considering his height and build. I know that some people think that his goal should be to become a Grand Slam champion, but I think he deserves credit for what he has already accomplished,” Date said.“I’m not saying he’s satisfied with his current situation, but please be reminded that he now has a wrist injury. All athletes, no matter how young, struggle with injury and even (world No. 1 Rafael) Nadal had to leave the tour with a knee injury. So I want everyone to understand how difficult it is to maintain one’s position.”When asked how she was able to become one of the few Japanese survivors in top-level tennis, Date said for her, like with every player she has seen at the top, hating to lose is a bigger factor than loving to win.“When I was 18 my coach told me to quit if I’m not able to participate in the Grand Slam within a year. I had just started my career and I didn’t understand anything about professional tennis then, but I believed I had to get there,” Date said.“It’s really that strong will that brought me there. It’s about having a goal. And to continue to win, I believe you have to have a strong hatred of losing. That’s the secret. People think I was born a champion but that’s not true. I placed third in the very first tournament I competed in when I was eight. I would always lose and cry as a child. But I’ve always hated to lose,” she said. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 Kimiko Date KEYWORDScenter_img RELATED PHOTOS Former world No. 4 Kimiko Date said Wednesday she has yet to give life after sport a serious thought, as she is still going back and forth between strange emptiness and ecstatic relief now that she has retired from competitive tennis.“There’s a sentiment of sadness but at the same time, I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about my condition every morning when I wake up. I do feel reassured and liberated,” said Date, who ended her career with a straight-sets loss at the recent Japan Women’s Open. Kimiko Date speaks during a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan on Wednesday. | KYODOlast_img read more

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