Category Archives: Community/Charity

Ravel Named Adequan/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year

Lexington, KY (December 21, 2009) – The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) would like to congratulate the eleven-year-old, 16.3 hand, Dutch Warmblood gelding, Ravel, owned by Akiko Yamazaki of Woodside, California, and ridden by Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, for being named 2009 Adequan/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year.  Ravel’s median score of 75.574 percent made him the top horse in the United States competing at this level and the recipient of USDF’s highest honor.

Ravel was recognized at the 2009 Adequan/USDF Salute Gala and Annual Awards Banquet with a certificate, a commemorative personalized plaque, an embroidered cooler and $400 gift certificate provided by Dressage Extensions, and a gift certificate for Adequan joint therapy.  Also, Ravel is the recipient of the Colonel Thackeray Award and will have his name engraved on a silver trophy to be on permanent display in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame housed at the USDF National Education Center, located at the Kentucky Horse Park.

“We are thrilled to be able to recognize this extraordinary horse for his many accomplishments this competition season, and look forward to his future successes,” stated USDF Executive Director Stephan Hienzsch.

For more information about the Adequan/USDF Horse of the Year awards or to access a list of past and current recipients, visit the USDF Web site at www.usdf.org, or contact the USDF office at usdressage@usdf.org.

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FEI Launches Investigation into Odense Dressage Warm-Up & FEI Position on Hyperflexion

This is the modern version of Dressage showing the 'competition trot' with the front leg overextended and not parallel with the hind leg, plus the horse's head is behind the vertical. Notice the horse's rump high and not rounded - the horse is on his forehand and cannot make use of his backend for thrust. He is being ridden from front to back instead of back to front as in Classical Dressage. He may have been trained using hyperflexion (roll kur) techniques.
This is the modern version of Dressage showing the 'competition trot' with the front leg overextended and not parallel with the hind leg, plus the horse's head is behind the vertical. Notice the horse's rump high and not rounded - the horse is on his forehand and cannot make use of his backend for thrust. He is being ridden from front to back instead of back to front as in Classical Dressage. He may have been trained using hyperflexion (roll kur) techniques.

October 26, 2009 – The FEI is aware of the video filmed at the FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier at Odense (DEN) and posted on YouTube by Epona TV at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hIXGiV4N4k. FEI’s main concern has always been and will always be the welfare of the horse. We are taking the issues raised in the video and in the comments made by members of the public on social media and by email very seriously and have opened a full investigation. The conclusions of this investigation will be made public in due course.

Please read Dr. Gerd Heushmann’s book “Tug of War” and see his DVD “If  Horses Could Speak” about the dangers of using this method of training and the long term effects of forcing horses to be hand ridden, ridden incorrectly from front to back which is is SUPPOSED TO BE as in Classical Dressage – from back to front, and pushing young horses into doing Dressage levels at too young an age before they have completely developed. I had posted that I interviewed him last week and will be posting more on this in the very near future. Click below to purhcase his book and DVD.

See previous blog post: http://horsesinthesouth.com/blog/index.php/2009/10/28/dr-gerd-heuschmann-author-of-tug-of-war-dvd-if-horses-could-speak-lecture-clinic/ . Click on this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TahYWzsCdQM to watch a YouTube excerpt from his DVD which you can purchase from the Amazon.com link above. This should be ‘required reading’ for all of those who compete and for judges, if you do not know the true form of Classical Dressage or riding the horse from back to front to have a happy horse!

FEI POSITION ON HYPERFLEXION – updated 17.11.08

 “The FEI held a successful seminar on Hyperflexion in 2006. There has been no change in the scientific evidence since that review. There are no known clinical side effects specifically arising from the use of Hyperflexion. However, there are concerns for the horses’ well-being if the technique is not practised correctly. The FEI does not permit excessive or prolonged Hyperflexion in any equestrian sport, and has a strict stewarding program to protect the performance horse in all disciplines.”

 “The FEI regulates international competition principally. Also through its work it seeks to educate riders, trainers and judges thru their NFs how to deal with issues which have a bearing on the welfare of the horse.  Where there is a specific training issue which brings the welfare of the horse into question it is for the NF to legislate at National level.  At international competition level it is for the FEI to act.  Through the ongoing training of stewards and all officials we seek to develop peoples understanding of what is acceptable and unacceptable training techniques.”

 David Holmes, Executive Sports Director

Associated info at HorseandHound.co.uk: http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/397/291211.html

British Horse Society chairman Patrick Print has since written to HRH Princess Haya requesting the FEI launch a second investigation into the practise of hyperflexion.

Print’s letter reads: “The concerns so widely expressed are reasonable and therefore deserving of an urgent two-part investigation: first, an inquiry into the treatment of this particular horse on this particular occasion; and, second, a broader inquiry into the ethics and consequences of hyperflexion. In this second aspect The British Horse Society stands ready to assist the FEI in any way it can.”

Forums are rife with angered comment on the topic and several facebook groups have been set up in condemnation of rollkur.

The Classical Riding Club have also written to the FEI and are urging all members to sign their petition to the FEI to ban all hyperflexion in competition. 

Another YouTube video showing hyperflexion used in show jumpers and western riders: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7o-Ref-owE

More to come on this important issue!!

VTRC Receives Quality of Life Grant from Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

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The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center used the Quality of Life Grant from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to purchase Cinderella.

Loxahatchee, FL – October, 27, 2009 – Each year the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation awards grants to non-profit organizations that provide services to individuals living with paralysis. This year the Foundation is proud to announce Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center’s Horses for Heroes Program as one of the 145 recipients, receiving $5,000 in aid.

Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center will use the grant to help those living with paralysis become active members in everyday life. Cinderella is an elegant seven-year-old Quarter Horse, and she was purchased for the VTRC programs though a grant provided by the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

“After receiving the grant we looked high and low for the perfect horse and finally the proverbial glass “horse” shoe fit,” noted VTRC Founder and Executive Director Ruth Menor. “Cinderella (we call her Cinder for short) stepped on to VTRC property with inquisitive yet accepting eyes, and quickly made friends with her new equine family. At 14.2 hands, she is the perfect size for both kids and many adults and is currently being used for a handful of lead line and independent lessons.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8674

Chester Weber’s Famous Equines Raise Money for Charity by Painting “Moneighs”

Mary Simons of ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.”  (Photo courtesy of ReRun, Inc)
Mary Simons of ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.” (Photo courtesy of ReRun, Inc)

Ocala, FL (October 26, 2009) – Jamaica, the 2008 USEF Horse of the Year and member of Chester Weber’s seven-time National Four-In-Hand Combined Driving team, has taken his role as an equine ambassador seriously throughout the past year. Jamaica recently received his most colorful request ever, when the ReRun Thoroughbred charity asked Jamaica and his teammate Rolex to help raise money for charity by painting masterpieces known as “Moneighs.”

Never ones to say neigh, Jamaica and Rolex painted their works of art for ReRun’s Moneigh collection, which will be auctioned off on eBay to raise money for ReRun. The name Moneigh is derived from the name of the famous artist and the sound a horse makes.

ReRun’s Mary Simons visited Live Oak Stud in Ocala to assist Jamaica and Rolex with their paintings and was thrilled with the beautiful bay Dutch Warmbloods. “They were stunning animals and my favorites so far,” Simons said. “I had heard that sometimes Jamaica wasn’t so friendly, but he was very warm, kind and professional. He and Rolex both did their paintings with red and white paint and signed them with a black hoof print.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=8642