Bronson Announces Completion of Marion Cty. Plant That Converts Animal Waste to Energy

metro-talking-DSC09965-200OCALA — Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced the completion of an innovative bioenergy project that helps manage animal waste while at the same time producing energy and agriculture products.

Bronson joined a host of public officials and industry representatives at the demonstration of a bio-energy plant owned by Sigarca, Inc., and located at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion in Marion County.  The facility processes horse manure into renewable energy, organic soil and soil tonic (bio-fertilizers) and gives Florida’s substantial equine industry an environmentally superior method of disposing of animal waste.

“Florida has more than half a million horses, and waste disposal is an increasingly difficult and costly endeavor,” Bronson said.  “In addition to providing a safe and effective waste disposal method, this technology can also move Florida further ahead in efforts to produce clean, renewable energy.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10346

The What, Why, and “How To” of Shoulder-In, by Jane Savoie

Shoulder-in is the father of the advanced lateral dressage movements. It does many wonderful things for your horse. Here are just some of them:

Shoulder-in is a suppling exercise because it stretches and loosens the muscles and ligaments of the inside shoulder and forearm. During shoulder-in, your horse passes his inside foreleg in front of his outside foreleg. This motion increases his ability to move his forearm gymnastically in other movements.

It’s also a straightening exercise because you should always straighten your horse by bringing his forehand in front of his hindquarters. Never try to straighten him by leg yielding his hindquarters out behind his shoulders.

Shoulder-in is also a collecting exercise. It increases your horse’s self-carriage because he lowers his inside hip with each step. As a result, his center of gravity shifts back toward his hind legs. His hindquarters carry more weight and his front end elevates. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10240

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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AQHA Welcomes Dressage

honey_bright_dreamDressage becomes an official AQHA class.

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.

Horses competing in dressage are given scores, expressed in percentages. The Quarter Horse show industry has always been a point-driven system, so AQHA has created a conversion table to change dressage scores into AQHA points. View the conversion table (click on “frequently asked questions”). Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10096

Jacksonville A to Z and Gulfport Updates

We had another great week in Jacksonville.  This week we were minus our leader, Tony Weight, the President of NFHJA, because he had shoulder surgery, but somehow we made it through.  We all wish Tony a speedy recovery. It’s hard to believe that four weeks have gone by this fast.

The Jacksonville Winter Series is quickly drawing to a close.  Four exciting weeks have flown by, but there is still another week of fun!  The Jacksonville Finale boasts yet another $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, Feb. 6th at 7:00 p.m.  The $10,000 Bruning Foundation Equitation Classic presented by Jerry Parks Insurance Group will be held Friday, Feb. 5th at 7:00 p.m.  Come out and cheer on your favorite horse and rider in both of these exciting events! Plans are already underway for 2011.

On Friday night the show hosted the USHJA National Hunter Classic. Megan Young won the call aboard Levaro, owned by Rachel Herman. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10078

A Platinum Win for Aaron Vale in the $25,000 Jacksonville A-Z Grand Prix

Aaron Vale & Platinum ©Flashpoint Photography
Aaron Vale & Platinum ©Flashpoint Photography

Green Cove Springs, FL — January 30, 2010 — Tonight’s $25,000 Jacksonville A-Z Grand Prix sponsored by North Florida Hunter Jumper Association closed out Week IV of competition with one of the most successful riders in show jumping, Aaron Vale, adding another win to his illustrious career.

After a week of observation, course designer Allen Rheinheimer put all he learned about today’s starting field into a lengthy and technical 13 obstacle/6 effort test with a time allowance of 96 tight seconds. “It was a little bit on the snug side for sure,” chuckled Vale about the tick tock of the clock. A vast majority of the faults in round one occurred from battling the clock, with 3 horses retiring and 6 having time issues.  It wasn’t until the 6th in the field of 21, birthday girl Claire Lee, that the audience saw a clear round. Lee and partner High Roller posted a clean run of 91.786, which held as the only perfect ride until 3 rounds later when Vale and Platinum assured a jump off with a clean 94.083 seconds. Only one other horse and rider combo, Tony Font and Gardenio (owned by YZ Partners LLC) with a clean 93.776, would accompany them to the final round. Vale said, “This was surprising. When I walked the course I thought, wow – we had 9 clear last week, we’re going to have more clear this week. We only got 3 so sometimes you just can’t tell. Allen did a great job.” Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=10050

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

Combined Driver Chester Weber Featured in World-Renowned Equestrian Photographer Gabriele Boiselle Calendar

Weber enjoying a quiet moment with his dog Steffi and equine partner Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Archiv Boiselle/ Gabriele Boiselle)
Weber enjoying a quiet moment with his dog Steffi and equine partner Jamaica. (Photo courtesy of Archiv Boiselle/ Gabriele Boiselle)

Ocala, FL (January 22, 2010) – World-renowned equestrian photographer Gabriele Boiselle has captured the bond between Combined Driver Chester Weber and his animals, and the tender moment is being preserved in one of Boiselle’s 2010 calendars. The photo captures Chester Weber holding his wife’s Miniature Schnauzer, Steffi, standing with his equine partner Jamaica. The expressive photo appears in Boiselle’s 2010 Combined Driving (or Fahren, German for ‘four-in-hand’) calendar.

Boiselle has spent almost three decades traveling and photographing horses around the globe, sharing her images with her fans through calendars, books, DVDs, an online photo archive and live photoseminars. Her company, Edition Boiselle, is based in Speyer, Germany, near Frankfurt.

For 2010, Boiselle has created 24 different wall calendars, including the calendar featuring Weber and other combined drivers. “For many years I have personally been so fascinated by carriage driving and in particular by the four-in-hands that I actually traveled to the USA to take photographs at the special Live Oak competition,” Boiselle said, adding that each of the breathtaking pictures tells an individual story. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9969

If Animals Could Talk – by Ron Hevener

If-Animals-Could-TalkWinter’s aching fingers pinched my ears as I hurried to the barn. My toes, cozy and padded by woolen socks in a new pair of work boots, bent with each chunk of frozen mud beneath them and sent fluffy, mindless snow bouncing away on my path. A shepherd amid his flock of sheep, or a farmer in a cloud of white chickens, might have centered himself in such a universe. I was on my way to the horses that had become the center of my life.

Over the years, I had studied our purpose in the big picture. I had studied yoga and philosophy and had enjoyed the teachings of many interesting thinkers. I had traveled with them on their lecture circuits and to their book signings. I had been a guest in their homes, at their hotels and at their universities. Authors of books such as “Cosmic Consciousness”, “As a Man Thinketh” and “The Magic of Believing” became personal acquaintances or intellectual friends living through their works in my private library. Walter Russell, HH Swami Rama, Col. Arthur Burkes, and the like, were writers and observers of thought whom I was lucky enough to know and ask almost anything I could imagine. Thinking back, I usually wanted to know where I belonged in the grand scheme of things – and what meaningful purpose I was living for. I stopped asking those questions as time went by and life took its course. Read more> http://www.horsesinthesouth.com/article/article_detail.aspx?id=9935

THE FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – GAL AND TOTILAS ON TOP IN AMSTERDAM

Photo Caption: The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas swept to victory in the seventh leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series in Amsterdam this afternoon to rocket up to the top of the series leaderboard.

GalAmsterdam
Click for larger image.

Amsterdam (Ned), 23 January 2010 The Netherlands’ Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas swept to victory in the seventh leg of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage series in Amsterdam this afternoon to rocket up to the top of the series leaderboard.   Once again thrilling both judges and spectators alike, the dynamic Dutch duo recorded a score of 87.70% as they high-stepped their way to success with their unique sparkle and panache.  But the most remarkable thing about today’s competition was the exceptionally high level of performance throughout the entire class.  The sport of dressage has raised its game in dramatic fashion over the past 12 months, and horses and riders are meeting the challenge head-on. 

Today, Great Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer produced a wonderful test from Mistral Hojris to slot into second place with a score that was only just over four points behind the spectacular winners while Holland’s Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hunter Douglas Sunrise, double-winners already this season, finished third.  The host country’s Anky Van Grunsven and Painted Black were fourth ahead of Germany’s Isabell Werth and Warum Nicht FRH in fifth, and Bartels now jointly-shares top spot on the league table with Gal.

HELD THE LEAD
It was Hans Peter Minderhoud who held the lead going into the second-half of the competition following a bright and happy test from Exquis Nadine.  The 15 year old chestnut mare executed her extended trot and passage with lady-like delicacy and precision, and her forward-moving canter was perfectly balanced by her Dutch rider’s sensitive and sympathetic hand to achieve a mark of 76.70%.

This would only be good enough for sixth place in the final analysis however, and the first to better that score was multiple champion Isabell Werth from Germany.  Quickly back in harness after the birth of her baby son Frederick last October the 40 year old rider has lost none of her competitive edge, but despite excellent pirouettes and canter-changes there was a loss of rhythm several times so the score of 79.80% from Warum Nicht might easily have been improved upon.  Next to go, and fourth-last into the arena, was Bechtolsheimer and the chestnut gelding Mistral Hojris whose confidence and character seem to have grown in leaps and bounds since claiming team silver and individual bronze for Great Britain at the Alltech FEI European Dressage Championships in Windsor last summer.  They showed exuberant half-pass, piaffe and extended trot that oozed quality while Bechtolsheimer’s ear for her musical score ensured their timing was impeccable.  Taking the lead with 82.30% on the board, they were always going to finish strongly.

THE EDGE
But Moorlands Totilas had the edge once more, although his rider has clearly learned the weight of the expectations now placed upon his able shoulders.  Every time this partnership go in the ring now they are expected to break yet another world record, which is not altogether surprising since they have done so three times over the past 12 months.  At Olympia in London just before Christmas they wowed the crowd with a breath-taking performance that achieved a spectacular score of 92.30% to finish a full 10 marks ahead of their nearest challengers, fellow-Dutch team members Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival.  Today’s test was not of the same calibre – but it was still awesome and in a class of its own.

“Totilas felt a bit tense today” Gal admitted afterwards, “but he is an amazing horse to ride and he exceeds my expectations time and time again. I want to ride better next time” he said, but added, “people have high expectations though.  When I was in Stuttgart I scored 79% and I was receiving text messages in which people were asking me –  “Oh, didn’t it go well?!” – and I would be like, well Yes, it did, but I can’t score really high every time!”.

Second-last to go was Van Grunsven who understands all too well the situation in which Gal now finds himself.  The reigning Olympic champion has won more titles than most people would ever dream of and was an almost-untouchable force in the sport for many years, but the arrival of a whole new generation of contenders has changed everything.  She demonstrated her determination to stay in the game today however with a great test from Painted Black which slotted her into fourth behind last-to-go Schellekens-Bartels who produced a lovely performance from Sunrise for third place today, and level-pegging with Gal at the top of the FEI World Cup™ Dressage leaderboard.

And with just two more qualifying legs remaining – at Neumunster (Ger) and Goteborg (Swe) next month – before the final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Ned) in March that is a good place to be…..

RESULT:  1, Moorlands Totilas (Edward Gal) Ned 87.00%; 2, Mistral Hojris (Laura Bechtolsheimer) GBR 82.30%; 3, Hunter Douglas Sunrise (Imke Schellekens-Bartels) Ned 82.05%; 4, IPS Painted Black (Anky Van Grunsven) Ned 81.20%; 5, Warum Nicht FRH (Isabell Werth) Ger 79.80%; 6, Exquis Nadine (Hans Peter Minderhoud) Ned 76.70%; 7, Watermill Scandic HBC (Patrik Kittel) Swe 75.50%; 8, Nartan (Jeannette Haazen) Ned 74.75%; 9, Apollo Van het Vijverhof (Jeroen Devroe) Bel 74.40%; 10, Ovation (Christa Laarakkers) Ned 73.55%; 11, Premier (Aat Van Essen) Ned 72.70%; 12, Krawall (Jenny Schreven) Ned 72.40%; 13, Poko Loko (Manon Van Hylckama Vlieg) Ned 69.10%; 14, Randon (Michal Rapcewicz) Pol  68.25%; 15, Wito Corleone 2 (Alexandra Bimschas) Ger 67.40%.

2009/2010 FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – STANDINGS after Round 7 at Amsterdam (Ned) – Provisional

1,     Edward Gal, Imke Schellekens-Bartels        –    55
3.    Jeannette Haazen                        –    48
4.    Anky Van Grunsven                        –    47
5.    Adelinde Cornelissen, Monica Theodorescu        –    41
7.    Aat Van Essen                            –    38
8.    Patrik Kittel                            –    36
9.    Mathias Alexander Rath                    –    35
10.    Laura Bechtolsheimer                        –    32

Full standings at http://www.scg-nl.nl/

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