March 31, 2010 – Colonels Smokingun, better known as Gunner in the reining world, has recently been named the unofficial eighth National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Two Million Dollar Sire. He accomplished this only three years after being named a NRHA One Million Dollar Sire. This was, in part, due to the recent successes of his offspring at the 2009 NRHA Open Futurity, the 2010 NRHA European Futurity and the 2010 Cactus Reining Classic, which brought his unofficial total NRHA offspring earnings to $2,000,453. Gunner was the first American Paint Horse to achieve the NRHA million-dollar mark, and is now the first Paint to reach the two million dollar mark.
Sired by Colonelfourfreckle (AQHA son of Colonel Freckles) and out of Katie Gun (AQHA), the bald-faced stallion, which is registered with the American Paint Horse Association (APHA), has an impressive lifetime record with the association. He won back-to-back World Championship Paint Horse Show Open reining titles in both 1996 and 1997, in addition to the other reining honors he earned throughout his career with APHA.
April 2, 2010 – CHICAGO (EWA) – A peer reviewed scientific study tracing race horses sent to slaughter for human consumption has found that 100% of the horses in the study group had been administered phenylbutazone, a banned carcinogen that can also fatally damage the bone marrow of humans. The findings appear to validate the European Union’s recent tightening of traceability requirements on horse meat from third countries.
The paper, titled Association of phenylbutazone usage with horses bought for slaughter: A public health risk, appeared in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology and calls into question the reliability of the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) testing programs which have consistently failed to detect the substance.
The manuscript, which was authored by Drs. Nicholas Dodman, Nicolas Blondeau and Ann M. Marini, followed eighteen Thoroughbred (TB) race horses that were identified by matching their registered name to their race track drug record over a five year period and were given phenylbutazone (PBZ, Bute) on race day and were subsequently sent to slaughter for human consumption.
Wellington, FL – A four-in-hand team of perfectly matched American Miniature Horses put on a dazzling show at the finale of the Dressage under the Stars competition at the Players Club & Restaurant in Wellington, proving that big things do come in small packages. The Wee Reds, owned by Linda Kern of Caribbean Dreams Miniature Horses in Loxahatchee, Florida, and boasting 10 National Championship and Reserve Championship titles, were the opening act of the finale at the star-studded event.
Combined Driver Chester Weber, the eight-time U.S. National Four-In-Hand Champion and a judge for the evening’s Dressage under the Stars finale, drove the award-winning Wee Reds in a cones course demonstration. Weber, who has driven the talented tiny team at two Wellington Holiday horse shows, also brought the judges in by carriage, much to the delight of the crowd.
DC, LA, London, Las Vegas: March for Mustangs This Thursday!
I just returned from the Arrowheads and after much long distance glassing with binoculars and spotting scope I was able to spot Cloud and his family with his little daughter, Jasmine; Flint and his family including young Jasper, as well as Bolder and his family with his pale buckskin filly, Jewel. All looked great from about a mile away across deep Big Coulee Canyon. I’ll be sending out more details and photos from this winter trip soon.
For now, I’d like to be the first to tell you that this Thursday, March 25th, the March for Mustangs will take place not only by the White House in Washington DC but on the Las Vegas Strip, by the Los Angeles Federal Building and in front of the US Embassy in London! In D.C. we’re honored to have award-winning actress and advocate, Wendie Malick speak to the crowd at the rally. Wendie will be joined by long time advocate and advisor on the original 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act, Hope Ryden; author RT Fitch, Filmmaker James Kleinert and many, many more! We are especially pleased to announce that country music artist Clay Canfield will be at the rally to sing his incredible song “Wild Horses” and more before we march to the BLM office with signs and banners.
Wellington, FL (March 18, 2010) – Each week at the Top Shelf Dressage under the Stars competition at the Player’s Club & Restaurant the dressage community is treated to world-class riders, judges and entertainment, including a recent demonstration by the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Esmeralda and Kuchi, two Gypsy Vanners owned by Bill and Wendy Ricci of WR Ranch in Oxford, Florida, wowed the crowd with their beauty, color and grace.
Esmeralda, who was born in England, was one of the first Gypsy Vanners imported to the United States. Esmeralda has a long list of accomplishments to her name, including being named the Number One Tandem Driving team in 2001 with her partner Jasmine. Esmeralda and Jasmine continued their winning ways last month, winning the Pair Championship at the Florida Carriage Festival.
Esmeralda, the current centerfold in the March 2010 issue of Horse Illustrated, was driven at Dressage under the Stars by owner Bill Ricci, the current President of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society. Heather Caudill, of Olympus Sport Horse, rode Kuchi, the first Gypsy Vanner born in America. Kuchi’s sire, The Gypsy King, was immortalized as the first Gypsy Vanner Horse Breyer model. Last year Kuchi, who currently competes at second level in dressage, followed in her sire’s hoof steps to become Breyer’s second Gypsy Vanner Horse model.
Cowboy, clinician and horseman Bryan Neubert shares his insight into starting ranch colts.
By Bryan Neubert with Jim Bret Campbell in The American Quarter Horse Journal
Once the horse has softened and accepted the lessons from Part 1, he’s ready for me to prepare him to carry a rider. Remember to stay soft and quiet as you get on. I’ll slowly introduce my weight in the stirrup and just let him get used to the feel before I proceed. (See the photo gallery.) I’m also ready to step back down, draw his head toward me and move his hindquarters away from me to prevent him from pulling away or kicking me. After he accepts my weight in one stirrup, I lean over and rub him on the shoulder and hip on the right side. I might also move the fender of the offside stirrup a little to get him used to the movement. When he’s handling this well, I step into the saddle, remembering to stay soft and quiet.
Once I’m there, I don’t worry about trying to guide him much. I’ll let him adjust to the extra weight. I have a Cheyenne roll on the back of my saddle, and I’ll hold on to that in case he bucks. They almost never do if they are prepared up to this point.
It lasted only minutes, but his life changed forever. His ordeal was horrific but he had no choice, he was motivated to risk everything in his escape to freedom. Freedom’s story needs to be told, so we don’t forget what it means to be FREE!
In January, Freedom and his family were among hundreds of America’s wild horses mercilessly chased by helicopters over dangerous terrain toward capture pens, where uncertain futures and sometimes death awaited them.
Most were terrorized – frozen with fear.
But Freedom fought back!
With dramatic determination, he regained his freedom by jumping a 6-foot fence, then breaking through barbed wire, as it painfully tore his flesh, in his successful effort to regain his liberty.
Lausanne (SUI), 9 February 2010 – Following constructive debate at the FEI round-table conference at the IOC Headquarters in Lausanne today (9 February), the consensus of the group was that any head and neck position achieved through aggressive force is not acceptable. The group redefined hyperflexion/Rollkur as flexion of the horse’s neck achieved through aggressive force, which is therefore unacceptable. The technique known as Low, Deep and Round (LDR), which achieves flexion without undue force, is acceptable.
The group unanimously agreed that any form of aggressive riding must be sanctioned. The FEI will establish a working group, headed by Dressage Committee Chair Frank Kemperman, to expand the current guidelines for stewards to facilitate the implementation of this policy. The group agreed that no changes are required to the current FEI Rules.
The FEI Management is currently studying a range of additional measures, including the use of closed circuit television for warm-up arenas at selected shows.
The group also emphasised that the main responsibility for the welfare of the horse rests with the rider.
The FEI President HRH Princess Haya accepted a petition of 41,000 signatories against Rollkur presented by Dr Gerd Heuschman.
The participants in the FEI round-table conference were:
HRH Princess Haya, FEI President
Alex McLin, FEI Secretary General
Margit Otto-Crépin, International Dressage Riders Club Representative
Linda Keenan, International Dressage Trainers Club Representative
Sjef Janssen, Dressage Representative
Frank Kemperman, Chairman, FEI Dressage Committee (by conference call)
François Mathy, International Jumping Riders Club Representative
David Broome, Jumping Representative
Jonathan Chapman, Eventing Representative
Roly Owers, World Horse Welfare Representative
Tony Tyler, World Horse Welfare Representative
Ulf Helgstrand, President, Danish Equestrian Federation
John McEwen, Chairman, FEI Veterinary Committee
Dr Sue Dyson, Veterinary Representative Dr Gerd Heuschman, Veterinary Representative
Prof. René van Weeren, Veterinary Representative
Jacques van Daele, FEI Honorary Steward General Dressage
Graeme Cooke, FEI Veterinary Director
Trond Asmyr, FEI Director Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage
John Roche, FEI Director Jumping and Stewarding
Catrin Norinder, FEI Director Eventing
Carsten Couchouron, FEI Executive Director Commercial
Richard Johnson, FEI Communications Director
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.
Dressage is now an official AQHA class — one in which you can earn AQHA points, qualify for AQHA Incentive Fund earnings and compete for year-end awards. Beginning at Training Level Test 4, AQHA dressage classes will be held within existing classes at competitions recognized by the United States Dressage Federation or licensed by the United States Equestrian Federation.
The same USDF-USEF judges will preside over the AQHA classes; the only additional requirement is that the judges must be AQHA members. Exhibitors must also be current members of AQHA, and the horse must be a registered American Quarter Horse. A competition license fee of $85, good for the lifetime of the horse, is also required. The shows must be approved by AQHA at least 60 days in advance.
Celebs contribute to the retirement of Secretariat’s son
GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 29, 2010 – Academy Award, one of the only surviving sons of Triple Crown winner Secretariat, has arrived at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY. Michael Blowen, Old Friends founder and president, made the announcement earlier today.
Golden Globe-winning actress Angie Dickinson, a long-time supporter of Old Friends, is sponsoring the retirement of the 24-year-old stallion, along with Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery and Boston-based TV producer Barbara Bowen.