All posts by Associate Editor

Keep Your Horse on the Bit during Transitions, by Jane Savoie

Your horse is perfectly justified in coming off the bit if all you do is give the aid for a transition. To do transitions on the bit, you need to give two sets of aids at once: the transition aid and the aid to tell him to stay on the bit — the connecting aids. When you give these two sets of aids at once, you’re telling your horse to do a transition on the bit.

Essentially, you’ll superimpose the connecting aids over the aids for a transition. That is, you’ll give the connecting aids before, during, and after the transition.

In this case, the connecting aids last several seconds. Apply them lightly before, during, and after the transition so that you “bridge” the transition with your connecting aids.

Continue reading Keep Your Horse on the Bit during Transitions, by Jane Savoie

Final Wrap-Up of 2010 Land Rover/USEA American Eventing Championships

Becky Holder and Courageous Comet on their way to the 2010 Advanced Championship. Leslie Threlkeld photo.

It was all about the upper levels today at the 2010 Land Rover/USEA American Eventing Championships. Five divisions including Advanced, Intermediate, and all three Preliminary divisions show jumped today in the beautiful arenas at Chattahoochee Hills.

Advanced

The Advanced show jumping was the first to go in the Grand Prix arena this morning. The WEG Short Listed riders who did not run cross-country yesterday show jumped both before and after the actual competition which created a different atmosphere in the arena. After the dust settled, overnight leader Becky Holder and Courageous Comet knocked only a single rail during the Marc Donovan designed course. However, they had a rail in hand over the two competitors nipping at their heels, Nate Chambers and Will Faudree, and the experienced pair remained gracefully atop the leaderboard.

“I’m so proud of him,” sighed Holder happily after her round. “The show jumping has always been rough for me. I always get rattled in there and get in a hurry… but we’ve both come a long way.”

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=12106

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Military Appreciation Day at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

September 14, 2010 – LEXINGTON, KY – 10 Days to Go – The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will honor men and women in the military with a Military Appreciation Day on October 7th and a special Grounds Pass ticket offering.

Active Duty personnel, Reserves, National Guard, and Military retirees can purchase Grounds Pass tickets for $15 instead of the full price of $25. Up to four Grounds Pass tickets can be purchased at the $15 rate.

Tickets can be purchased September 14th-24th at any Ticketmaster outlet and must be purchased in advance. This offer is not available online as military personnel must show their certified identification badge at the time of purchase.  This ticket offering will not be available at the gate box office on October 7th.

Continue reading Military Appreciation Day at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

FEI Photo Exhibition Showcases Inspirational Equestrian Figures

Alex Hua Tian & Mark Todd (CHN and NZL, Eventing)

9 September 2010 – The Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body of horse sport, is to unveil an innovative photographic celebration of equestrianism entitled Inspire at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.

Inspire brings together 16 images of inspirational equestrian legends and young talents who represent all the equestrian disciplines on the programme of the FEI’s four-yearly flagship event. Athletes from Jumping, Dressage, Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining are shown in surprising and eloquent contexts, many of which incorporate subtle or playful references to their disciplines. Most of the images unite two people in rural or urban backdrops and highlight the bond of admiration and inspiration between them.

The origins of the athletes are diverse and serve as a reminder of the geographical spread of the 133 National Federations affiliated to the FEI.

Continue reading FEI Photo Exhibition Showcases Inspirational Equestrian Figures

American Miniature Horse Drill Team, The Arizona Mini Mystique, Will Perform at the 2010 World Equestrian Games

The Arizona Mini Mystique, an American Miniature Horse precision driving drill team, will perform at the 2010 Alltech FEI WEG. (Photo courtesy of The Arizona Mini Mystique)

Phoenix, AZ (September 14, 2010) – The Arizona Mini Mystique, an American Miniature Horse precision driving drill team, will bring their team of small equines to the biggest equestrian event in the country when they perform at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. The Mini Mystique will perform daily, October 3-10, as part of the WEG Showcase Entertainment in the Equine Village at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“Appearing at the World Equestrian Games is a huge honor for The Arizona Mini Mystique and we are so proud to have them representing the American Miniature Horse Registry at the biggest horse event our country has ever seen,” said Johnny Robb, Director of Marketing for the American Miniature Horse Registry (AMHR). “The Arizona Mini Mystique have been wonderful ambassadors for the AMHR for many years. They have taken part in other big events including the 2007, 2008 and 2010 Rose Parades, the Stampede in July 2009, and the Del Mar National Horse Show.”

Continue reading American Miniature Horse Drill Team, The Arizona Mini Mystique, Will Perform at the 2010 World Equestrian Games

First Group of Horses Arrive at the Kentucky Horse Park for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

Late last week, the first group of eight horses for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games arrived at the Kentucky Horse Park. This first group of equine athletes will compete at the Games in the World Championship of Endurance presented by Meydan, representing Chile and Guatemala.

The horses have been quarantined in Miami since their flight to the United States and have traveled via trailer to Kentucky. While the athletes are not arriving with these horses, this first group of equine athletes arriving to the park signifies that the Games are getting underway!

The first of the horses from Europe will be arriving this week and will be in quarantine in Northern Kentucky.

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Meydan FEI Nations Cup Promotional League Final – Preview

ALL SET FOR FINAL SHOWDOWN IN BARCELONA

14 September 2010 – The 2010 Meydan FEI Nations Cup may be over, but there is one last piece of the jig-saw to be put in place ahead of the 2011 season.  At Barcelona in Spain this coming weekend, the last remaining qualifying spot for next year’s top level series will be decided when the Meydan FEI Nations Cup Promotional League Final takes place at the Real Club de Polo on Sunday, 19 September.

Belgium has already earned a place in next year’s elite tournament after a determined, year-long Promotional League campaign that began last October in Athens, Greece and continued through nine more qualifiers at Lummen (BEL), Linz-Ebelsberg (AUT), Lisbon (POR), Sopot (POL), Istanbul (TUR), Ypaja (FIN), Drammen (NOR), Bratislava (SVK) and finally at Gijon (ESP) earlier this month.  This netted a total of 68 points which clinched a clear victory in the series and earned re-entry to top-level nations cup jumping, but they were closely followed by Italy who lined out at 11 of the 12 Promotional League events, picking up 61 points and keeping the pressure on them all the way.

CHAMPIONS
As Promotional League champions the Belgians can now rest on their laurels, but the Italians join Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Finland and Canada in the fight for the last qualifying spot which will go to the winners of next Sunday’s event in Barcelona.  And the host nation of Spain will also compete, although their result does not count toward qualification for the top-level 2011 series.  The Spanish put in a tremendous performance on their Meydan FEI Nations Cup debut this year, but sadly lost out when four of the ten competing nations were relegated at the end of the season.  They must now spend the next 12 months in the 2010/2011 Promotional League attempting to re-qualify for the super-series in 2012.

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=12098

McLain Ward and Sapphire Win Richest Grand Prix in Show Jumping History as Fans from around the World Watch the Pfizer Million

© ESI Photography. McLain Ward and Sapphire jump an oxer created by course designer Steve Stephens and decorated by Flora Baptiston.

Canadian Silver Medalist Jill Henselwood calls Pfizer Course “Most beautiful course in North America”

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 14, 2010) — Two-time US Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, New York and his majestic, “million-dollar” mare, Sapphire, owned by McLain Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, won the inaugural Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix on Sunday, September 12 at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York.

The legendary duo of Ward and Sapphire proudly added their names to the show jumping history books once more when they bested a field of 43 High-Performance riders before an energetic and enthusiastic crowd of thousands that lined all four berms surrounding the Strongid Stadium. Sunday’s line-up featured some of the best and most promising athletes and horses in the sport, including some of America’s brightest up-and-coming stars and several American and International Olympians.

Continue reading McLain Ward and Sapphire Win Richest Grand Prix in Show Jumping History as Fans from around the World Watch the Pfizer Million

Interview with United States Para-Equestrian Trainer Kai Handt

Kai Handt at 2010 USEF Para-Equestrian Para-Dressage National Championships in Lamplight, IL © 2010 Lindsay McCall/PMG

Thousand Oaks, CA – September 13, 2010 – In every equestrian calendar as the summer starts to disappear many national championship competitions begin to occur.  This year included the 2010 USEF Pony Finals, the $100,000 2009-2010 The Chronicle of the Horse/USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals Presented by Dietrich Insurance, the Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships Presented by Gotham North, and each discipline’s national championship. Kai Handt owner and trainer of the North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) made his way around the country because of this year’s success.  In every discipline that Handt rides and teaches there was a NTEC rider and horse winning.  In Para-Dressage Handt led his rider Jonathan Wentz to qualify for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.  I had the opportunity to speak with Handt about his experience internationally and his accomplishments in and out of the show ring are astounding.

Lindsay McCall: Thank you Kai for taking the time to speak with me today. Let’s start from the beginning.  How did your equestrian career begin?

Continue reading Interview with United States Para-Equestrian Trainer Kai Handt

Aiken Fall Festival I

Roger Rabbit and Michael Tokaruk. All photos by Shawn McMillen.

Sunday, September 12th – Aiken, SC – The first week of the third annual Aiken Fall Festival Horse Show series wrapped up today.  The show, a USEF A rated event and Jumper 3, took place September 9-12 at Highfields in Aiken, SC.  Equus Event’s Inc. and JP Godard handled the managing duties for the event.

The show started on Thursday with the professional hunter divisions kicking off in the hunter rings.  Action in the jumper ring also began with classes taking place out on the grass field.  The day ended with the $5,000 Welcome Stake at 5 pm as well as an Exhibitors Welcome Party sponsored by DFG Stables and Daniel and Cathy Geitner under the tent.  Harold Chopping of Southern Pines, NC and Kendra Bullington’s Patent Pending were the first of 21 competitors to navigate the course and ended up being the best to take home the blue ribbon.  Daniel Geitner and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bostwick’s Sympa were second and Daniel also picked up third place honors on Ann Ritter’s Jumbo Jet.  Rounding out the top 4 was another local Aiken professional, Michael Tokaruk and his Roger Rabbit.

Continue reading Aiken Fall Festival I