Category Archives: Horse Care/Protection

An International Day of Rallies for America’s Beloved Herds

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DC, LA, London, Las Vegas: March for Mustangs This Thursday!

Dear Supporters,
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.

Continue reading An International Day of Rallies for America’s Beloved Herds

Horse Owners Urged to Vaccinate

Bronson Urges Horse Owners to Vaccinate Animals for Mosquito-Borne Diseases; Recommends That Humans Take Steps to Protect Themselves

TALLAHASSEE — With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today reminded horse owners to get their animals vaccinated for mosquito borne diseases.

The two principal equine diseases associated with mosquitoes are Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV), and the majority of cases of each can be prevented with proper vaccinations, according to animal health officials.

“The key is to make sure that a horse has been vaccinated against these mosquito-borne diseases and to check with your veterinarian to determine whether an animal’s booster shots are up to date,” Bronson said.

Continue reading Horse Owners Urged to Vaccinate

They Named Him FREEDOM

IDA-15023It 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.

Today, IDA is fighting for all the wild horses who are threatened by man’s inhumanity. And we need your help! Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10353

FEI ROUND TABLE CONFERENCE RESOLVES ROLLKUR CONTROVERSY

FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010
FEI Round Table Conference Participants on Rollkur/Hyperflexion - 9Feb2010 (click for larger image)

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.

FEI PRESS RELEASE
Media Contact:
Malina Gueorguiev
FEI Press Manager
Malina.gueorguiev@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 33

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Angie Dickinson Donates Academy Award to Old Friends!

Photo by Rick Capone
Photo by Rick Capone

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.

“Michael and I have been friends for a long time and I adore the horses,” said Dickinson, the star of TV’s Police Woman and such films as Point Blank, Rio Bravo, and Dressed to Kill. “Now, I finally have an Academy Award, and I can’t wait to see him.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10043

Wilhelm Genn & Samantha Schaefer Score Big Wins at Week III of Jacksonville Winter Series

Green Cove Springs, FL­­ January 22, 2010 – The third week of competition at the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series got in full swing this afternoon with the $5000 Open Jumper Classic being won by Lebanon, Ohio’s Wilhelm Genn, as both owner and rider, piloting the brilliant mare Happy Z.

Wilhem Genn on Happy Z (click for larger image)
Wilhem Genn on Happy Z (click for larger image)

Presented by Farm House Tack, the Jumper Classic served as a prelim to Saturday evening’s featured event, the $25,000 Marco Family Foundation benefitting H.O.R.S.E. Therapies, a nonprofit therapeutic equine program to air people with special needs as well as military personnel in the Horses for Heroes and Wounded Warriors programs. This week’s course designer Buddy Brown of Stanford, CA got a good gauge of the talent on hand while the competitors learned how tough grabbing that prize money would be with only 6 clean first rounds. Genn was the only rider to bring two mounts into jump off runs, Chantal for owner Laura Ryan-Barnaclo and his own Happy Z. Despite some fierce competition the afternoon’s glory belonged to the popular chestnut Happy Z whose winning time of 33.025 simply couldn’t be caught. “She’s very much like a fine wine- better with age.” a happy Genn proclaimed.
Finishing in second place was teenage phenom Samantha Schaefer riding Sugar Ray –owned by Schaefer- to a clear time of 35.980, third place to veteran rider-owner Mary Lisa Leffler taking Gerona 92 to a clean time of 37.000, fourth place went to Wisconsin based Denise Wilson aboard the Blue Gate Farm entry Life is Life with a clean time of 40.194, and completing the top five was Indiana’s own Erin McCabe as rider-owner of Midnight Hour finishing with 4 faults in a quick 33.825.

Samantha Schaefer on Castle (click for larger image)
Samantha Schaefer on Castle (click for larger image)

As evening fell the lights of the covered arena seem to shine extra brightly for rider Samantha Schaefer as the 16 year-old received top marks in the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic. The number one horse of the evening was Castle, owned by Ashley Toffolon and piloted by Schaefer with a first round score of 169.500.

In all, 22 horses competed on the course designed by Paul Jewel of Lambertville, New Jersey. The class consisted of two sections, with amateurs and juniors jumping 3’6” while professionals had an option of 3’6” or 3’9” fences depending on the horse’s level. The layout of 10 fences required strenuous efforts of both horse and rider with its bending and broken lines throughout the course.  Judges Sue Ashe, William Sparks, and Chris Wayne presided over the scoring, returning only the top 12 pairs for round 2.

Schaefer is no stranger to winning this Classic- in 2007 she won aboard Lyle, the 17-year old German Warmblood then owned by Stephanie Keen and in 2008 with Lazy Sunday, a 9 year-old Zangersheide owned by Keli Colby at the time. Schaefer has made transitioning from being one of the nations most acclaimed pony riders to a top junior rider look effortless, but will be the first to say it’s only through daily hard work that she’s stays in the upper rankings. Sixth in the order, Castle and Schaefer finished the first round strong with combined judges’ score of 168. “I was very confident coming into the class with him [Castle] because I knew he would go right around, if anything it would just interest him a little bit and maybe spark him up a little, because he’s a really quiet easy going horse.” Schaefer said of the 11 year-old Dutch Warmblood, who along with both owner Ashley Toffolon and on occasion Schaefer train with Andre Dignelli of Heritage Farm in New York. 

Regarding their round one ride Schaefer admitted, “I needed a lot of lead changes in the first class and I should have asked him in a few places to land on the correct lead, so that may have made it not quite as smooth.” Those who know Schaefer well will state she is always far more critical of her rides than any judge, as evidenced by the duo’s scores. “But in the second round he landed on every lead so it all flowed really well. He kind of glided around- real nice! He’s really good at this type of class because he’s brave and just awesome!” Schaefer added. The pair’s second round score of 177 was added to give a total score of 345. As things progressed Schaefer’s biggest competition became herself.

Corvet Z a 12 year-old Zangersheide gelding, also ridden by Schaefer and owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc. actually led the first round with a score of 169.50. “He’s just coming off of a little vacation and he was just great! In the second round I got a little excited at the last jump and he just nicked it a bit but overall he was really nice.” Schaefer said of her second place winning mount that finished with a combined total of 334.50.  “I really have to thank Don Stewart for all his help! And Kim Stewart…and Andre…it’s really a team effort and I’m the fortunate one who benefits from them all.” a beaming Schaefer said.

Schaefer has become a master of balance, both in and out of the saddle as she juggles the pressures of high school and a full competition schedule with the appearance of ease. She explained, “I attend a special school that is a self paced type, when I’m not showing I do a lot more. I’m in a classroom about 3 hours a day and some online class work. It’s scheduled for me, which is really good because I have a structure to follow that’s well organized. I work really hard late fall and early winter to get ahead and now [show season] I have two classes to finish up while I’m here.”  After the Jacksonville Winter Series the precocious Schaefer will take a week off to relax at school before heading to compete in West Palm Beach.

Official results for the $10,000 Jerry Parks Insurance Group Hunter Classic were:

1st Place- Samantha Schaefer and Castle owned by Ashley Toffolon
2nd Place- Samantha Schaefer and Corvet Z owned by Manhattan Mortgage Co., Inc
3rd Place- Shawn Casady and Eastwood owned by Kelly Tropin
4th Place- Taylor Adams and Chrystalle owned by Meridian Farms
5th Place- Taylor Adams and Rio’s Splash owned by Sarah Robin
6th Place- Gary Young and Cliché owned by Isobel Goldsmith
7th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Falcao owned by Donald Stewart
8th Place- Shawn Casady and Caruso owned by Bettina Richman
9th Place- Joy Janouskovec and Samaritan owned by Jennifer Munday
10th Place- Hasbrouck Donovan and Raquel owned by Ann Garnett
11th Place- Olivia Chowdry and Enchanted owned by Sage Flynn
12th Place- Mark Ferris and Promo owned by Ruth Douglas

The Jacksonville Winter Series continues through February 7th  with classes Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8AM until about 5PM except for special events on Saturday evenings at 7PM. Admission to the shows is free – parking at special weekend events is a $5 donation, which goes to support local charities. 

For more information or results on the 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series please visit http://www.classiccompany.com/ or call the show office at 904-284-1579. 

Flashpoint Media Services, based in Harrodsburg, KY, is a comprehensive public relations firm specializing in the equestrian sports. For additional information contact Robbi Meisel, 859-734 3713, robbi@flashpointmediaservices.com

Photos: Wilhelm Genn & Happy Z-Samantha Schaefer & Castle ©Flashpoint Photography

Client: The Classic Company

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Sheryl Crow & Willie Nelson Shout Out for Wild Horses – Take Action!

Calico Horses, sweaty in the cold
Calico Horses, sweaty in the cold

Read the new People Magazine Article & then call for immediate Congressional hearings on BLM

Dear Supporters, the excellent People Magazine article by Helin Jung starts out: Willie Nelson wants to know: “Why are there more horse’s asses than there are horses?” The country legend’s gripe comes from his concern for the American West’s wild horses and burros, which are being rounded up by the thousands and placed into holding corrals by the federal government’s Bureau of Land Management. The capture of 2,500 horses started in the Calico Mountains of Nevada last month, but the agency expects to round up a total of 12,000 of the estimated 37,000 horses on BLM land by the end of this year.

Read the whole article here on the People Magazine website, and then take action!

Protests continue: join the New York City protest on Sunday, the Reno protest on Monday and/or the Sacramento protest on Thursday the 21st! Click here for details.

Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9819

Kentucky Horse Council Works to Demystify Green Horse Farming

January 05 2010 – If spreading manure and draining waste water onto plants is your idea of going green you may be in for a big surprise. As large scale agriculture production facilities alter their management strategies to become more environmentally conscientious the spotlight transitions to the small farmer.

In an effort to provide up-to-date information on green equine initiatives, the Kentucky Horse Council (KHC) recently added a Going Green page to the Farm & Business segment of their website. The page includes links to information and articles featuring green horse farming techniques and tactics.

“Generations of horsemen having employed an array of land and stable management practices may find themselves struggling with how best to identify and utilize greener strategies. Through the Kentucky Horse Council website, those individuals can network to learn about green horse farming in the Commonwealth and around the world,” observed KHC Board President Madelyn Millard. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9670

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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

Cinderella004102
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