London (GBR), 24 March 2010 – Last night (Tuesday, 23 March) the Greenwich Council’s Planning Committee voted in favour of the planning application submitted by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) for the temporary use of land at Greenwich Park, the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College and Blackheath Circus Field for the London 2012 Equestrian and Modern Pentathlon events.
“The FEI is thrilled by the decision of the Greenwich Council’s Planning Committee in regard to the planning application for Greenwich Park,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya declared.
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.
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.
The North Florida Hunter Jumper Association five week 2010 Jacksonville Winter Series will run from January 6th – February 7th, 2010. This will be the 16th year of the annual Winter Series, which has donated over $900,000 to local charities over the years, including the Clay County 4-H and has an annual economic impact of over $16 million to the surrounding community.
The first week of competition, the Jacksonville Kick-Off, runs from January 6-10, 2010. It is an “AA” nationally rated horse show and will feature a $10,000 Jumper Classic.
Perhaps the most exciting of the weeks is the second week of competition. The Jacksonville International will be held from January 13-17, 2010. It is an “AA” nationally rated horse show that also boasts the $125,000 Green Cove Springs CSI-W. The $25,000 Welcome Class will be held on Friday, January 15th and the $100,000 World Cup Qualifier Class will be held on Saturday, January 16th. These two classes will draw a large and very exciting field of national and international Olympic riders and their mounts. A children’s carnival, rides, pony rides and a petting zoo will be offered to entertain the young and young at heart during the day. Admission is free with a $5 donation for parking. All proceeds from the day’s events will benefit the Clay County 4-H Foundation.
The Jacksonville Mid-Winter, January 20-24, 2010 follows with its own attractions, including “AA” nationally rated hunters and jumpers. The highlight of the weekend will be the $5,000 Welcome Class to be held on the afternoon of Friday, January 22nd in addition to the $25,000 Marco Family Foundation Grand Prix on Saturday, January 23rd that will benefit Horses for Heroes and the Wounded Warriors Programs. Cedar River Seafood will cater a reception for Exhibitors and Sponsors prior to the event. A string of pearls generously donated by Beard’s Jewelry and cufflinks generously donated will be auctioned off to raise money for the worthy causes. The $10,000 Jerry Parks Hunter Classic will be held the evening of Friday, January 22nd. This Hunter Derby type class is always spectacular to watch in the big covered ring under the lights!
The Jacksonville Winter A to Z ~ January 27 – 31, 2010 features “AA” nationally rated hunters and jumpers, a $5,000 Welcome Classes to be held on the afternoon of Friday January 29th in addition to a $25,000 Grand Prix to be held the evening of Saturday, January 30th. Exhibitors and sponsors will be treated to an Exhibitor Party on Saturday evening preceding the Grand Prix in addition to a Pizza Party Luncheon on Saturday during the day at the rings.
The series concludes with the fifth week, the Jacksonville National that runs from February 3 – 7, 2010. It also features “AA” rated hunters and jumpers. The final $5,000 Welcome Class will be held on the afternoon of Friday, February 5th and the final Grand Prix will be held on the evening of Saturday, February 6th.
All events are held at the Clay County Fairgrounds on SR 16 W in Green Cove Springs, FL. Each week of competition draws approximately 550 to 600 horses, which is the full capacity of the show grounds. Our exhibitor base draws heavily from North Florida and South Georgia and the entire East Coast. It includes international riders from approximately 25 states, three provinces of Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Columbia, Ireland and Mexico. We are very proud to be chosen one of the only 12 shows in America to host a World Cup Qualifier.
Sponsors are in front of a very qualified audience for each of the five weeks and are in very good company. Some of our sponsors include, but are not limited to the following: Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club, Hodges Boulevard Development Group, Inc., Ring Power, John Deere, Mac Paper Company, Greene Hazel & Associates, the Marco Family, SKANSKA USA Building, Inc., Arlington Toyota, Auld & White Constructors, Inc., The Gift Horse, Pat’s Nursery, Ronnie’s Wings, Top of the Reef, Rick Baker’s RV Sales, Clay County Tourist Development Council, The Bruning Foundation, SunBelt Springs Water, Woody’s BBQ, Bridlebourne Stables, Baptist Primary Care, James D. Hinson Electrical Company, Jerry Parks Insurance, Diamond D Trailer Sales, Corrigan Trailer Sales, Canadian National Railroad, Six Mile Marina, Club Continental & Cedar River Seafood.
Lots of you tell me you’re confused about the correct length and height of your horse’s neck so I thought I’d address that in this article.
1. Neck too high: The height of the neck is determined by the degree of engagement of the hindquarters. So, the height of the neck changes as you go up through the levels and your horse becomes more collected.
Always keep in mind, however, that if you ride with the neck too high and short and the angle of the throatlatch too closed, there can’t be any bridge from the back end to the front end.
The neck has to be in line with the power train of the hindquarters-not above it. When the neck is too high, the hind end is disconnected from the front end.
2. Neck too short: I like to say the length of the neck is proportional to the length of the stride taken by the hind legs. So, if you crank the neck in and it gets too short, the hind legs take shorter steps.
Always strive to keep your horse’s neck long.
Even though you want more and more of an uphill balance as you go up through the levels, you still want to see a long neck blooming out in front of you.
This is an exaggeration, but I like to pretend that I have 1/3 of the horse out behind me, and 2/3 of the horse blooming out in front of me. The last thing I want to see is a short neck with 1/3 of the horse out in front of me and 2/3 trailing out behind.
Now, it’s really not 1/3 behind and 2/3 in front, but that gives you a good visual for always having a long neck blooming out in front of you. And that’s the case whether you’re in the horizontal balance of Training Level or the uphill balance of Grand Prix.
One of the mistakes you see at the FEI levels is that riders think they’re collecting their horses, but all they’re doing is shortening their necks.
This creates all kinds of problems because the hind legs are blocked. For example, in a canter pirouette, a horse might switch leads behind or break to the trot. In piaffe, the diagonal pairs might break up, and the piaffe is no longer a real 2-beat trot.
3. Rules of thumb for your horse’s balance: At Training Level, the horse has approximately 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs.
That’s the same balance that a horse has in nature because a horse is built like a table with a head and neck on one end. By virtue of the weight of the head and neck, horses naturally have more weight on the front legs than the back legs.
So, at Training Level, with 60% of his weight on the front legs and 40% of his weight on the hind legs, the horse is in what I call “horizontal balance”. His topline looks pretty much parallel to the ground.
At First Level, exercises and movements like smaller circles, leg yields and a little bit of counter canter, cause a slight shift in the center of gravity back to the hind legs. That’s because those exercises create an increase in the bending of the joints of the hind legs. The horse’s croup goes down a little bit, and the forehand goes up proportionately. So at First Level, you might have approximately 55% of the weight on the front legs and 45% behind.
At Second Level, you begin “modest” collection. More weight shifts toward the hindquarters by virtue of the exercises such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, renvers, and simple changes of lead. So you end up with about 50% of the weight on the hind legs and 50% of the weight on the front legs.
At Third Level, you have the beginning of real collection with more weight on the hind legs than on the front legs.
As you go up through the levels there’s a progressive increase in the loading of the hind legs. As a result, the horse, like a seesaw, gradually sits more behind and comes more “up” in front.