All posts by Associate Editor

Isabelle Caccamise Garners 2010 EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals Gold Medal

Isabelle Caccamise and Better Than Good won Gold Medal at the 2010 EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals. Photo By: Rebecca Walton.

Lexington, KY – August 15, 2010 – The last day of the 2010 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championships was marked by a mix of sun and rain, but that did not slow down the exciting competition in the Covered Arena. The EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals was the last phase of the week, and after a two-horse hack-off it was Isabelle Caccamise and Better Than Good earning the Gold Medal and a $500 gift certificate from Oakcroft.

Over 180 ponies jumped the first course and the top 21 total ponies returned for the second round. The technical courses both consisted of short lines, bending lines, a hedge jump and an optional fence. Caccamise was at the top of the order for today’s second round and rode the tight turn to the stone line with ease and but chose the easier option to showcase her riding abilities. Victoria Colvin was ranked second and took the more difficult option. Both riders impressed the judges with their incredible skill and were invited back for the final test on the flat.

Continue reading Isabelle Caccamise Garners 2010 EquiSport Insurance/USEF Pony Medal Finals Gold Medal

California’s Wild Horses & Burros Need Your Help

Photos by Craig Downer

BLM conducting a bloody 2000+ mustang and burro roundup

California doesn’t have many wild horses and very few wild burros left but that, along with a public outcry, has not stopped the Bureau of Land Management from rounding up thousands more of California’s wild equids. The BLM, responsible for managing most of the remaining wild horses and burros in ten Western States, are now running horses ten miles or more over rough volcanic terrain with helicopters. Horses bleeding from their noses in the thick dust, very young foals separated from their mothers, a mare with a broken leg and a colicking mare have been observed by a dedicated team of advocates observing the Twin Peaks roundup.

California has lost 16 of the original 38 wild horse herds designated for protection in 1971 and over 2/3 of the public land tagged for wild horses and burros has been taken away from these celebrated icons of the West. Now BLM is working fast to remove 1855 mustangs and 210 wild burros from the Twin Peaks area, just north of Susanville, California. The roundup is scheduled to last 45-60 days and BLM aims to leave only 450 mustangs and 72 burros on this 1250-square mile range, larger than the state of Rhode Island.  Almost all the mares returned would be given infertility drugs and a mere 72 burros is not a genetically viable population in this beautiful area designated principally for their use.  Over 32,000 privately-owned cattle and sheep are permitted to graze annually on the Twin Peaks area. Revenues generated yearly from livestock grazing fees are estimated at $120,000 while the cost of rounding up/processing of 1,980 wild horses and burros would be 35 times the annual grazing revenues – over $4 million. Over 38,000 wild horses are in government holding while less than half that remain on the range and BLM plans to complete the removal of 12,000 wild horses and burros this fiscal year alone.

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Laura Kraut Wins Again in Valkenswaard

Laura Kraut. Photo by Lulu Kyriacou.

Laura on the Double!

14/08/10 – There was no stopping Laura Kraut at Valkenswaard today. Having already won the warm up speed class on Unique, she proceeded to cap a memorable day by jumping three clears for the second time in two weeks to clinch her second GCT Grand Prix victory in the same period! The American who prior to Chantilly had never won a Grand Prix on the series, now has a back to back double, something that has not happened in recent GCT history, if ever. Today’s show was also especially notable as His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Monaco was among the audience.

The first round was another Uliano Vezzani masterpiece. With nearly every fence falling at some point the bogey fences were probably the combination (vertical, two strides, oxer, one stride, vertical) and the early line which included the open water with five strides to a double. But the course still produced 12 clear rounds from 50 starters, including Laura, GCT rankings leader Marco Kutscher (Cash) and former GCT Champion Jessica Kurten (Castle Forbes Myrtille Paulois). With a share of the million Euro bonus at stake and only Rio left to score points towards winning it, there was a lot to play for as the second round started over a changed but slightly shorter course. Pressure was put on the leaders by the first of the four faulters from the first round, Judy Ann Melchior with Levisto Z. The grey made it all look easy although Kevin Staut matched the feat on another grey, Silvana, but it was looking for a while as if a double clear would never happen. The capacity crowd groaned as Patrick McEntee (Chivas Mury Marais), Penelope Leprevost (Topinambour), Jos Lansink (Valentina Van T’Heike), Beezie Madden (Coral Reef Via Volo), Alvaro de Miranda (AD Ashleigh Drossel Dan) and Jessica Kurten all lowered one rail each leaving all of them on a total of four over two rounds. Laura was the first to go double clear and then she was joined by Christian Alhmann and Taloubet Z, Denis Lynch with Latinus and almost inevitably, Marco Kutscher.

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=11805

Medium Pony Hunter Grand Championship Awarded to Meredith Darst and Highlands Make Believe at 2010 USEF Pony Finals

Meredith Darst and Highlands Make Believe earned the Medium Pony Hunter Grand Championship at the 2010 USEF Pony Finals. Photo By: Alyson Sanderford/PMG.

Lexington, KY – August 13, 2010 – It was another hot day at the Kentucky Horse Park but that did not slow down the exciting competition at the 2010 United States Equestrian Federation Pony Finals National Championships. The top ponies and riders gathered at the Walnut Ring to showcase their talent. The pony action began with the Large Pony Hunter model and under saddle phases, and was followed soon after by Medium Pony Hunter over fences phase to determine the grand championship and reserve grand championship titles. The day rounded out with the second phase of the Individual Jumping, which included the Team Competition.

Meredith Darst and Highlands Make Believe, owned by Elizabeth Wenner of Garden City, NY, had an incredible round during the Medium Pony Hunter over fences phase that earned them a total of 259 points. Their excellent score helped them win the over fences phase and also moved them from 14th in the overall standings to first place overall. Their advancement in the standings with a 1006.25 total score garnered them the Medium Pony Hunter Grand Championship.

Continue reading Medium Pony Hunter Grand Championship Awarded to Meredith Darst and Highlands Make Believe at 2010 USEF Pony Finals

GCT Valkenswaard Day One – Ben and Simon Just Quickest

Ben Maher. Photo credit: Lulu Kyriacou

Ben Maher Best in 14 Horse Jump Off

13/08/11 – Ben Maher flew to Valkenswaard from a short holiday break and showed he had made the best of the rest when he snatch victory in the 1.50m class this afternoon in Valkenswaard by only three tenths of a second. Riding Oscar who belongs to Ben’s holiday hosts, Mr and Mrs Cook, he rode a superlative jump off despite losing a stirrup over the second last fence. The win was all the more outstanding because Ben has only been jumping the horse competitively for a few weeks; GCT Chantilly was one of their first international outings together. “He just gets better and better,” said a smiling rider afterwards. Fourteen horses had been presented for the jump off over Uliano Vezzani’s course so the winner was bound to be the one who was the bravest, particularly as there was a long gallop to the last. Bernardo Alves, who was the first one to really attack the jump off course on his Monaco winner Bridgit and his time of 43.67 took nearly three seconds off the previous leaders, Gerco Schroder and Eurocommerce Pennsylvania, who ended up fifth. Emilio Bicocci and Olea brought the crowd to their feet but they could only managed 41.15. Michel Robert tried the same audacious gallop to the last that had worked so well in Chantilly with Kellemoi de Pepita but failed by over a second although 45.62 did earn him 1600 Euro for fourth spot.

Continue reading GCT Valkenswaard Day One – Ben and Simon Just Quickest

Chester Weber Awards Silent Auction Winner with a Charles Owen Helmet at Iron Horse CDE

Combined Driver Chester Weber presents Mary Sheerin with a certificate for a new Charles Owen helmet. (Photo courtesy of Laurie Excell)

Caledonia, IL (August 13, 2010) – USEF National Four-In-Hand Champion Chester Weber is a strong proponent of wearing helmets, and during the recent Iron Horse CDE he and his team not only wore their Charles Owen helmets, but Weber stepped into the spotlight as a presenter during the silent auction. Weber presented Mary Sheerin, of Lexington, Kentucky, with a certificate for a Charles Owen helmet after Sheerin won the bid for the helmet during a silent auction to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

During the Iron Horse CDE, in which Weber won the Four-In-Hand division, Weber joined forces with two of his sponsors, Charles Owen and SUCCEED, to auction off a Charles Owen helmet certificate during the competitor’s party silent auction. Weber is encouraging all drivers to wear helmets in a Drivers4Helmets campaign, a spin on SUCCEED’s Riders4Helmets campaign.

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TailRx Featured on NBC’s Today Show during Kathie Lee and Hoda’s “Favorite Things” Segment

Mary Brunetti, founder of TailRx, said the product works equally well on horses and humans. (Photo courtesy of Mary Brunetti)

New York, NY (August 13, 2010) – Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb added a little horse sense to NBC’s Today show recently, when Kotb announced that her newest favorite thing is the horse product TailRx. Developed by hairstylist and dressage rider Mary Brunetti, TailRx is a mane and tail restoration system for horses that can also be used on humans.

During the show’s “Favorite Things” segment, Kotb explained that she has always had hair issues but thanks to TailRx she now has a smooth and flowing mane. Kotb pulled out a bottle of the magic mane serum and demonstrated to the audience that it only takes a drop to produce a head of hair as sleek as a filly’s.

“I did Hoda’s hair out in the Hamptons over the weekend and used TailRx on it and Hoda loved it. When her show aired on Monday she was very excited about it and gave TailRx a big shout out,” Brunetti said. “Hoda knew that I developed the product for horses but that it works great on humans also, and she mentioned that on the air.”

Brunetti has since heard from staff at NBC who said Kotb is still raving about TailRx. “Hoda has talked about your product non-stop! It must be a miracle potion. Congrats, her hair looks amazing,” one staff member wrote to Brunetti.

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=11749

Oppose Massive Roundup of Nearly 1,600 Wild Horses in Wyoming’s Red Desert

Last week, at least 54 members of Congress wrote to the Interior Department demanding a halt to the wild horse roundups. This important action would not have happened without your voice opposing each of these unnecessary roundups. While the BLM is moving forward with its wild horse roundup schedule, despite overwhelming public and Congressional opposition, we must keep up the pressure.

In October, the BLM plans to remove nearly 1,600 wild horses – 80 percent of the estimated mustang population living in the Adobe Town and Salt Wells Creek Herd Management Areas in the pristine Red Desert region of Wyoming. This is another unnecessary roundup to cater to the private livestock industry, which uses the same lands for cheap grazing. Click here to take action to oppose this roundup.

In Defense of Animals
3010 Kerner, San Rafael, CA 94901
Tel. (415) 448-0048 Fax (415) 454-1031
idainfo@idausa.org

Troxler Advises Horse Owners to Guard against Blood Disease

THURSDAY, AUG. 12, 2010 – RALEIGH – North Carolina has joined a growing list of states with cases of equine piroplasmosis, an animal disease the U.S. was free of for 20 years, Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced today.

Tests of blood samples submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the presence of EP in 11 horses in four locations. North Carolina joins 19 other states that have identified cases of the disease in the past two years.

State veterinary authorities immediately quarantined the premises where the horses resided. The quarantine means that no horses can be moved from these locations.

The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is conducting an investigation to determine the source of the disease and whether it has spread beyond the locations where the infected animals were housed.

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Death of Canadian Olympian Walter Pady

12 August 2010 – The FEI deeply regrets the death this week of 1952 Helsinki Olympian and former Chair of the Canadian Equestrian Team, 77-year-old Walter Pady, following a car accident in Ontario.

Initially identified as an Eventing talent and a member of Canada’s first Olympic equestrian team in the three-day event competition in Helsinki (FIN), Mr Pady switched to Jumping and scored a number of top placings during Canada’s first European show jumping tour in 1954.

At the end of his competitive career, Mr Pady dedicated himself to Canadian equestrianism. Chairman of the Canadian Jumping team for 10 years, he was then chair of the Canadian Equestrian Team in the 1980s, contributing hugely to the development of Canadian horse sport.

The FEI expresses its condolences to Mr Pady’s family and friends.

Media Contact:

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org