Cheltenham National Hunt Festival, England

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Mild sunny weather welcomed the return of enthusiastic crowds to Prestbury Park with the promise of 4 days of top quality National Hunt racing and the pinnacle of the racing year – the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday.

The first day of the Cheltenham festival hit punters pockets hard with surprise results when 5 favourites failed to win. Champion jockey Tony McCoy’s joy was evident when winning the feature race, the Champion Hurdle, on Binocular. Up until last week it was unclear if the Nicky Henderson trained gelding would run because of recent injury. This French bred six year old, who finished 3rd in 2009, was always travelling sweetly and took command between the last two hurdles to win comfortably giving his popular Irish owner, J. P. McManus, his 22nd festival success.

CheltenhamP3160013But much of the festival focus remains on Friday’s eagerly anticipated Gold Cup which will see a clash for the 3rd time of super equine heroes, Kauto Star and Denman. The Paul Nicholls trained duo have captured the hearts of the nation and Kauto Star’s bid to win this three and a quarter mile chase would secure a place in the history books with former champions Arkle, Best Mate, Golden Miller and Cottage Rake.

By LYNN LAWSON    16th March ‘10

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Aiken Olympic Gala Benefits USET Foundation with Great Success

Left to right, Bonnie Jenkins, Phillip Dutton, and Mark Phillips. Photo © 2010 listaphoto.com
Left to right, Bonnie Jenkins, Phillip Dutton, and Mark Phillips. Photo © 2010 listaphoto.com

Aiken, SC – March 15, 2010 – Held at Phillip and Evie Dutton’s True Prospect Farm winter training facility in Aiken, SC, March 11, 2010, the Aiken Olympic Gala was enjoyed by all who gathered in attendance for the benefit of United States High Performance Eventing riders and the United States Equestrian Team Foundation.

Evie Dutton reflected on the evening, saying, “The event was a great success and we had fabulous attendance. There were approximately 250 people there, and everyone had a good time. This was our third year putting on the Gala, and it has grown more and more each time. We look forward to it every year; we get such incredible support from the community and it goes to a great cause as it benefits riders, drivers, and the USET Foundation.”

Guests enjoyed cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres as they bid on silent auction items and listened to guest speakers Phillip Dutton (United States Leading Event Rider for the past ten years), Boyd Martin (2009 Eventing Rider of the Year), and Mark Phillips (Chef d’Equipe of the U.S. Eventing Team).

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Alysheba Memorial Statue to Be Unveiled

Alysheba“America’s Horse” to be remembered at Kentucky Horse Park

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 12, 2010).  One year after the death of Kentucky Derby Winner Alysheba, the Kentucky Horse Park will unveil a memorial statue at his grave.

The famous son of Alydar had resided at the park for only five months when he was euthanized as a result of an accidental fall in March 2009.  The 25-year-old stallion was buried at the Hall of Champions.

The public is invited to the Alysheba Memorial Statue Unveiling, Friday, April 16, 2:00 pm.

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Tina Konyot Wins Grand Prix Special Sponsored by Classic Equine Equipment and Idlewild Furnishing at 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI

Tina Konyot and Calecto V won the Grand Prix Special at the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI. Classic Equine Equipment, a nationally recognized leader in quality horse stall systems and stable accessories, sponsored the class along with their South Florida distributor, Idlewild Furnishing.
Tina Konyot and Calecto V won the Grand Prix Special at the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI. Classic Equine Equipment, a nationally recognized leader in quality horse stall systems and stable accessories, sponsored the class along with their South Florida distributor, Idlewild Furnishing.

West Palm Beach, FL (March 11, 2010) – Tina Konyot proved just how special her Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V was during the 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI, riding away the winner of the Grand Prix Special. Konyot’s class was sponsored by Classic Equine Equipment, a nationally recognized leader in quality horse stall systems and stable accessories, and their South Florida distributors, Idlewild Furnishing.

“Tina and Calecto turned in a beautiful ride,” said Adam Busse, owner of Classic Equine, who along with John Grimes, owner of Idlewild Furnishing, presented Tina with a teak braiding stool for her win. “It is always great to see a friend win. I could not be happier for Tina and her successful ride. The Palm Beach Dressage Derby is a fantastic show, and Tina and Calecto certainly raised the performance bar.” Grimes added.

It was Calecto’s third time to compete in the Grand Prix Special, and the stallion, by Comeback II, earned a score of 71.958%. The winning score was the highest non-freestyle score to date for the 12-year-old stallion.

Konyot suffered a back injury prior to the Derby, but followed the old adage that the “show must go on” and competed, although in pain. Despite her bad back, Konyot was pleased with her stallion and gave much of the credit for the pair’s advancing success to trainer Lars Petersen.

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Slow Down to Go Fast: Part II

Use Bryan Neubert's colt-starting techniques to get your ranch colt ready for the range.
Use Bryan Neubert's colt-starting techniques to get your ranch colt ready for the range.

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

Mount Up
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.

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FEI Designates Gene Mische American Invitational as WEG & European Championship Qualifier

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Tampa, FL – March 1, 2010 – Stadium Jumping, Inc., announced today the FEI, the governing body for world equestrian sports has designated this year’s $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational as a qualifying event for the World Equestrian Games 2010 and for the European Championships in 2011.

The city of Tampa, Florida, will once again play host to this event, the world’s premiere show jumping event, often dubbed the “Super Bowl of Show Jumping.” The $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational returns to Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 8 p.m.

The $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational is the grand finale to the Tampa Equestrian Festival which takes place at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center from March 24th through April 10th, 2010.

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Prescribed Fires Help Protect Natural Areas

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson this week is promoting the awareness of prescribed fire’s vital role in maintaining the health of Florida’s forests and other natural areas, as well as protecting the safety of the state’s residents and visitors.

The Florida Cabinet in 2008 designated the first week in March as “Prescribed Fire Awareness Week.”

“Prescribed fire is a safe way to apply a natural process, ensure ecosystem health and reduce wildfire risk,” Bronson said. “Many of our plant and animal communities are dependent on a regular occurrence of fire for a healthy existence.  Prescribed fire provides better forage for wildlife and livestock, returns nutrients to the soil, helps to control certain plant diseases, and reduces hazardous fuel buildups.”

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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

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

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