All posts by Associate Editor

Do Something Wild This Summer — Save the Wild Horses!

Dear Humanitarian:

One of the most successful components of any grassroots campaign is the involvement of our youth and that couldn’t be truer than with our current efforts to protect America’s wild horses.  Kids, with their passion and honesty, are welcome and critical additions to spreading the word.  Anyone working on this issue has probably heard how massive letter writing campaigns by children all over the U.S. helped Wild Horse Annie get Congress to pass the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act in 1971.  Many adults fighting for wild horses today got their start at that time.  We need to reignite that passion because if we don’t act soon, the children of today might not be able to enjoy wild horses for much longer.

To help get more young people involved, AWI has turned its recent “Home on the Range?” ad into a coloring page for kids.  Our goal is to get this to as many children as possible so they can color it in and mail it to the Senators and Representative of the Congressional district where they live and to President Obama.  If kids are particularly enthusiastic they can also send copies to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and to us at the Animal Welfare Institute.

Continue reading Do Something Wild This Summer — Save the Wild Horses!

Make-A-Wish Foundation Helps Seven-Year-Old’s Dream to Show at AMHR Miniature Horse Nationals Come True

Alexis shows her minis Mandy, Pretty and Pie in Canada. (Photos courtesy of Tammy Close)

Ontario, Canada (August 9, 2010) – Alexis Close may only be seven years old, but she has big dreams when it comes to her American Miniature Horses. Alexis, who was born with a heart defect and had a heart transplant when she was only 16 months old, asked the Make-A-Wish Foundation and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto for a trip to the 2010 annual American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR) National Championship Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“Her doctors and the transplant team keep asking her if she wanted to go to Disney World, but she doesn’t want to do that. Her dream is to go to the Nationals with her minis,” said Tammy Close, Alexis’s mom. “We have never been to the Nationals but I can see Alexis making it a yearly adventure with a trailer full of minis.”

Continue reading Make-A-Wish Foundation Helps Seven-Year-Old’s Dream to Show at AMHR Miniature Horse Nationals Come True

The Global Champions Tour 2010, Valkenswaard, Holland

The Global Champions Tour Comes Home

The emerald grass arenas of Stal Tops, home to Global Champions Tour (GCT) President and Founder Jan Tops, welcome the series he created home this weekend coming. The world’s best riders and horses will descend on Holland hoping to win the Grand Prix of Holland presented by the VDL Groep but there is also a full supporting programme in Valkenswaard to keep everyone entertained before and after that class. Horse Festival Valkenswaard will run the second week of their CSI** concurrently and there is also the exciting Derby to watch on Sunday afternoon so there will always be some top class jumping for visitors to enjoy. And with general admission and parking completely free, over 30’000 people made the most of the experience in 2009. This year the show is hoping all of the world’s top five will be attending, although Eric Lamaze is waiting for final clearance from his doctor at the beginning of the week. But Puis Schwizer, Kevin Staut, Marcus Ehning and Rolf Goran Bengsston are confirmed at time of writing. In addition, the three top ranked ladies, Jessica Kurten, Edwina Alexander, and Penelope Leprevost, are confirmed. And of course, the home fans will be waiting cheer the return of their winning Nations Cup team from Dublin, especially double clear round hero, Eric Van Der Vleuten.

This is the first year that the GCT is proud to welcome Jaeger Le Coultre to Stal Tops in their role as official time keeper after a successful start to the collaboration between the two companies in Turin and Cannes. Please visit the GCT website at for more details on Jaeger Le Coultre as well as the full show programme.

Lulu Kyriacou

GCT Press Agent

FEI Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2010, Kreuth (GER)

Laetizia Pegaz riding Kouleur du Parc (Arab) won the 2010 European individual title when finishing second behind the UAE's Ahmed Ali Al Sabri (Alizee de Majolaine) at the Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders at Kreuth, Germany last week.


The small village of Kreuth is any horse person’s dream – a complete village based entirely around equestrian sport. The venue is well established and has hosted Endurance, Eventing, Reining and Dressage International competitions, but this is the first time an FEI Championship has been hosted in Kreuth. The site, comprised of various arenas, cross country courses, a hotel and large airy barn for stabling, is nestled in the Bavarian countryside approximately two hours south of Munich (GER) on the south east edge of the Taubenbach Forest. It is a perfect venue for Endurance, with extensive vet-gate space, a flat grass trot-up area and ample parking for crew vehicles. The route is principally made up of gravel forest tracks.

Sixteen nations were entered for the FEI Open European Junior and Young Rider Championships with a total of 51 horse/rider combinations. Unfortunately three horses failed the pre-ride vetting, one horse each from Italy, Portugal and Hungary. The biggest impact of these vet-outs was for Hungary who had only brought three horses.  The loss of their third horse would mean they would no longer be able to challenge for a team position and would now only field two individual riders. The usual European nations were out in force, although some with fewer riders than normal. Teams were entered from Belgium, the Czech Republic, Spain, Germany, Italy and Portugal. As this was an Open Championships there were some entries from further afield, namely Argentina, the United Arab Emirates and the USA, although none of these nations sent a team.

Continue reading FEI Open European Endurance Championships for Juniors and Young Riders 2010, Kreuth (GER)

Crelido and Michael Morrissey Dash to Victory in $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Morrissey and Crelido won the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Kentucky Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Kenneth Kraus

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – An incredible crowd turned out tonight at the Kentucky Horse Park to watch the nation’s best riders compete for the top prize during the $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at the Kentucky Summer Classic. The first round featured a long and demanding track that only five riders were able to complete without fault. The jump-off proved to be even more exciting when Michael Morrissey and Crelido beat Margie Engle aboard Indigo by just two-tenths of a second for the hard fought win.

Thirty-one riders competed over Dave Ballard’s first round course tonight in the new Indoor Ring at the Horse Park in Lexington. There were sixteen jumping efforts which included a liverpool fence, a double combination and a triple combination. The technical aspects of the course and tight time allowed proved difficult for many riders. Five riders were able to complete clear rounds, but only two riders had four-fault efforts while numerous other incurred faults from rails and time.

Continue reading Crelido and Michael Morrissey Dash to Victory in $50,000 Rood & Riddle Grand Prix at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Murphy and Corrado Take Top Prize in Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and ASPCA Maclay at Kentucky Summer Classic

Michael Murphy and Corrado won the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Section B and the ASPCA Maclay at the Kentucky Summer Classic. Photo By: Whitney Campbell/PMG.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – Another beautiful day greeted riders at the Kentucky Summer Classic, presently held at the Kentucky Horse Park.  It was a very victorious day for rider Michael Murphy and mount Corrado, earning two back-to-back blue ribbons during both of today’s highlight events in the equitation ring. The Covered Arena featured the competitive Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal that attracted over 50 riders. Due to such a large entry figure the class was split into two sections (A and B). After a round over fences, the top four riders in each section were invited back into the ring to ride to complete a final test.

The top four riders eligible for the first section were Lillie Keenan on Sanderson, Maggie Boylan aboard Barcelona, Laura Baginski on Say No More, and Samantha Schaefer on her mount Pioneer. The test round instructed the four riders to canter three verticals from the line and counter-canter a combination of two fences.  Next, riders had to trot the sixth fence before halting in front of the judges.  Finally, they would return to the line at a sitting trot.

Continue reading Michael Murphy and Corrado Take Top Prize in Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal and ASPCA Maclay at Kentucky Summer Classic

2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Continues to Be Led by Pablo Barrios

Pablo Barrios continues to retain his lead in the 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Standings. Photo By: Rebecca Walton/PMG.

Lexington, KY – August 7, 2010 – The lead in the 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series is still being held by Pablo Barrios of Venezuela. He completed a one-two finish in the first $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic and earned a second place ribbon in the second $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic held during the 2010 Kentucky Spring Horse Shows.

Reed Kessler continues to move up in the standings as she retains the second place position, and now just 50 points now separate her from Barrios. Kessler won last Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show. The young rider finish fourth during this Thursday’s grand prix event and has also finished fourth in both of the previous events held during the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows to earn points towards her current standing.

Last year’s $50,000 Leading Rider Margie Engle has now taken over the third place position after placing third with Lord Spezi and sixth aboard Indigo during this Thursday’s $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

Continue reading 2010 Hagyard Challenge Series Continues to Be Led by Pablo Barrios

Meydan FEI Nations Cup 2010 – Competition Report, Round 8, Dublin

(L to R - Front) FEI Director of Jumping John Roche, Dutch Chef d'Equipe Rob Ehrens, The President of Ireland Mrs Mary MCAleese, President of the Royal Dublin Society Dr Tony Scott and Mr Paul McAuley, General Manager Emirate Equestrian Centre for Meydan. (Back) team members Eric Van der Vleuten, Harrie Smolders, Jur Vrieling and Marc Houtzager. Photo Credit: Tony Parkes.

FEI TV – For all the action from the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup series and much more go to


Dublin (IRL), 6 August 2010 – In a thrilling conclusion to the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup, the team from The Netherlands put up a tremendous fight to win the last round in Dublin today where the French were crowned series champions for the second successive year.  The Dutch came to the Irish fixture knowing that only victory would guarantee them a place amongst the elite nations in 2011 and, inspired by their Chef d’Equipe Rob Ehrens, and ably assisted by the only two double-clear rounds of the competition from Eric Van der Vleuten and Marc Houtzager, they succeeded in their mission in the finest of style when finishing on a four-fault total.

The French arrived knowing they already had the series title in their grasp, but that didn’t take any of the fight out of them.  Chef d’Equipe Laurent Elias said yesterday, “We come to Dublin to win, just like everywhere else.  We had a great start to the season with three victories and we know we are the champions again, but we have a great team here and we want to win this Aga Khan Cup and finish off our great season in the best way,” he added.

Read more>

Meydan FEI Nations Cup 2010 – Draw Report, Round 8, Dublin

At the Draw for the last leg of the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup in Dublin today were (L to R) : John Roche, FEI Director Jumping; Paul McAuley, General Manager Emirates Equesrian Centre for Meydan: Pat Hanly, Show Director Dublin Horse Show. Photo Credit: Tony Parkes.


Dublin (IRL), 5 August 2010 – The French, who cannot be beaten for the 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup title, will be first into the ring for the final leg of the series at the Royal Dublin Society Showgrounds in Dublin, Ireland tomorrow.

The draw took place this morning, and the order-of-go for the competition which begins at 2.55 pm local time is as follows:

1, France; 2, Great Britain; 3, Sweden; 4, USA; 5, Ireland; 6, Germany; 7, Netherlands; 8, Switzerland; 9, Spain.

With their last-to-go draw, the Spanish are in with a chance of holding on to their place in the series for 2011.  Lying sixth on the leaderboard going into this final clash, the country which only joined the top-league series for the first time this year is in danger of being overtaken by The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland who are all currently situation in the bottom-four relegation zone in the 10-nation series.  A bad day for Spain tomorrow could prove very expensive, but team manager Marco Fuste is thinking positive.  “We have our best team possible here – it’s tough, and we are going to have to fight hard tomorrow, but we are expecting a good result and I am very happy with our place in the draw,” he pointed out.

Continue reading Meydan FEI Nations Cup 2010 – Draw Report, Round 8, Dublin

Lincoln High Student Named Florida Horseman of the Year

Morgan Burns, a Lincoln High School Senior and student athlete, was recognized as the State of Florida’s 2010 4-H Horseman of the Year at the State Horse Show held in Tampa in July.

Criteria for consideration of the prestigious title and award include more than just showing horses. It is to recognize and promote the total involvement and development of the 4-H member in all aspects of the Florida 4-H program. There are over 2600 youth involved in the Florida 4-H Horse program. Competitors have to be involved with community service, leadership projects, and be well rounded individuals. Besides submitting project books and an intensive application detailing all individual accomplishments, there is a personal interview at the University of Florida. Only 6 students from around the state made it to the interview stage.  As winner of the Horseman of the Year award, Morgan received a plaque, cash and a college scholarship.

Morgan has been the 4-H Area A Horse Show High Point All-Around Champion for the past five years and won National and Championship titles with the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), and the Palomino Horse Breeders Association (PHBA).

Read more>