Tag Archives: Horse Care

Cheers to Horses and Summer – From Where It All Began for the EQUUS Foundation

Ella Kraut aboard Nakia, winner of the $10,000 Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake @Sarah Latterner Anderson, SEL Photography.

Horse lovers and equestrians showed their support for the EQUUS Foundation and its work to protect America’s horses from peril on Thursday, June 23rd at the Fairfield June Horse Show in Westport, Connecticut for the EQUUS Foundation’s Champagne and Ice Cream Social. Over 160 guests enjoyed complimentary champagne and ice cream sundaes, hosted by Fairfield Equine Associates, while watching the $10,000 Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake.

“This beautiful horse show, now in its 99th year, is not only in my back yard, literally, but it is where the EQUUS Foundation got its start with a charity luncheon in 2003 to benefit local equine charities,” said EQUUS Foundation Founder and President, Lynn Coakley. “We have grown into a renowned, national equine welfare charity that supports hundreds of equine welfare organizations across the United States that are dedicated to keeping America’s horses safe throughout their lifetimes. We will be celebrating our 20th Anniversary next year.”

It was a perfect, sunny day for a parade and for guests to meet and hear the stories of some of the rescues from EQUUS Foundation Guardian charity, Rising Starr Horse Rescue. The staff and volunteers at Rising Starr turned out in their iconic red shirts to show off Army and Navy, two rescued Miniature horses who have a permanent home at Rising Starr to serve as Rescue and Adoption Ambassadors.

Also featured were Sierra and Panda, who are both seeking loving homes. Sierra is a sound, fancy, 16-year-old, bay, off-track Thoroughbred mare who could excel in many disciplines. Panda is a 12-year-old uniquely marked black and white paint mare rescued from a neglect situation in Louisiana. She is easy going, healthy and stunningly beautiful. Rising Starr Horse Rescue welcomes scheduled visits to meet these adoptable horses and more at their farm in Wilton, Connecticut.

“These horses are here today to represent the thousands of adoptable horses that are available across the country who need new homes and new careers,” said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP.

“For horses to stay safe, we must give them opportunities to thrive throughout their lives – that’s what the EQUUS Foundation is all about.”

The Rider’s Closet, an EQUUS Foundation program, founded by top international rider and EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, had its iconic donation tack trunk on site to receive donations of gently used and new riding apparel which will be donated to riders in need so that everyone can pursue their equestrian dreams.

The EQUUS Foundation was also thrilled to announce the launch of the EQUUS Foundation charitable partnership with Prixview. Prixview’s Fantasy Games provide an exciting and free on-line opportunity for show jumping fans to follow the competition and project the winning teams.

“We are incredibly excited and proud to be working with the EQUUS Foundation. I personally hope this partnership can connect the fans of our platform and sport with more ways to give back to the animals that make it all possible,” said Lucy Davis, Prixview’s founder.

Players earn cash by picking which horse/rider combination in the matchup will place higher in the class and can also donate all or a portion of their winnings to the EQUUS Foundation. The option to donate was available for the first time for the Fairfield Welcome Jumper Stake on Thursday, June 23, and the Fairfield Grand Prix on Saturday, June 25, and it will continue to be a feature permanently.

The EQUUS Foundation wishes to express its thanks to the Fairfield County Hunt Club for selecting the EQUUS Foundation as the charitable partner of the Fairfield June Horse Show.

To learn more about the EQUUS Foundation and their mission, please visit www.equusfoundation.org.

Fenwick Equestrian’s LT Mask: How a Blanket Search Sparked an Industry Revolution

The LT Bonnet, with and without soundproof ears. Photos by Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

Together, brother-and-sister duo Wilhelmina and Fred McEwan have traversed most areas of the equestrian industry. An accomplished show jumper, Wilhelmina was a member of the 1976 Canadian Equestrian Team at Spruce Meadows and competed in the 1977 American Invitational. Fred began riding at a young age, traveled the show circuit with his sisters and then moved on to the racing industry, working for the likes of SamSon Farm in Canada, as well as Spendthrift Farm in the U.S.

But now a 12-stall barn in Camden, SC has been converted into their temperature-controlled product warehouse.

No, they’re far from out of the horse industry. But ask either sibling: they’ll tell you they did not envision this career path.

“We thought we’d be working with horses the rest of our lives,” Wilhelmina said. “We’re involved, but I never thought we’d be doing something like this.”

The McEwan siblings founded and still are the sole owners of Fenwick Equestrian, and within that, the creators of the Fenwick LT Mask — the innovative therapeutic mask that helps horses relax and focus naturally. Having taken off in the Thoroughbred industry, the recognizable mask is now a staple on the show jumping circuit.

It all started with a sibling quest for a better blanket.

At the time, both McEwans were operating Fenwick Farm, their thoroughbred training center in Camden. Wilhelmina had found her way into her brother’s industry by way of her husband, Brownell Combs. Wilhelmina and Fred were in the process of breaking yearlings and sought out a better therapeutic blanket.

“I was looking for a therapeutic blanket for the horses that was affordable, easy to take care of and didn’t have wires and magnets and lasers,” Wilhelmina recalled. “I had used the whole gamut through showing and racing and everything else. Then, we found this fabric.”

The fabric, which has become the Fenwick hallmark, is a Far Infrared (FIR) therapy, based on the dispersion of titanium in water at the nano level by water-soluble metal technology.

“It was an immediate success,” Wilhelmina recalled. “It improved circulation [and] accelerated healing, and that was something that was unique to it that a lot of the other blankets didn’t have. After more research, we learned that a few studies showed that it reduced stress and anxiety in humans.”

After about a year, Fred brainstormed the idea that changed everything — thanks to some nervous Thoroughbred yearlings.

“We basically made a blinker — sewed the fabric in the same pattern as a blinker — and started using it, and it was immediate. Within 10 minutes, you could see a difference in some horses,” Wilhelmina detailed. “Thoroughbreds can be so high strung, and we just thought, ‘This can’t be true.’”

“We were very skeptical,” she continued. “Maybe this horse just decided to wake up that day and be good, but [the LT Mask] has proven us wrong, over and over and over.”

The McEwans began producing more masks and giving them out to close friends to try, and by word of mouth, use of the masks spread like wildfire.

“The harness industry picked up on it first,” Wilhelmina recalled. “They swore that the horses didn’t break stride when they were wearing it. We had the Hambletonian winner in our first year.”

Fenwick’s LT Mask has now transcended industries, sports and disciplines, and its uses have grown by leaps and bounds. Approved for use in numerous racing jurisdictions, as well as by the international governing body of equestrian sports (FEI), the LT Mask can be worn 24/7 and is not only used to increase relaxation and focus while riding; it is also used on the ground with farriers, vets, shippers, and horse owners at all levels.

“We started using it on all of the yearlings that we broke,” Wilhelmina said. “We put the mask on from day one, and we just had much calmer babies, hardly any ulcers and fewer riders falling off. It made our jobs so much easier, and the horses were happier.”

Over the course of the next six years, the McEwans meticulously perfected their design so that it would be durable, soft on the horses’ faces, and hypoallergenic; they now own an international patent for the use of the fabric. The product line has also expanded to ear bonnets and graphic coolers, among other items that utilize the Far Infrared Therapy technology. LT ear plugs were created for show hunters and used by the only three-time champion of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships, Brunello. In the dressage arenas, the LT Mesh Ear Bonnet was approved to meet the standards of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF).

“The titanium is unique in that it actually accelerates healing in the body, because the bodies of humans and animals don’t reject it,” Wilhelmina said. “The other advantage of our products is that you don’t need compression to improve circulation like with other products [on the market].”

Fenwick’s warehouse is proudly based in the United States — at Wilhelmina and Fred’s Camden, SC Thoroughbred training center, where the duo can test their products in the most real-life, natural of settings. The benefits of wearing their LT products — supported by research — is a laundry list, from improved relaxation and focus to boosting circulation, healing, pain relief and more. The fabric also boasts moisture-wicking and 50+ UPF-UV blocking properties. Did they mention the mask is machine washable and able to go in the dryer?

“After all the years working with stinky, smelly horse laundry… Humans have such easy-to-care-for clothing. We thought, ‘Why can’t we do this with horses?’” Wilhelmina said.

It’s a closely-knit team effort, with the wellbeing of the horse always at the forefront. Fenwick Equestrian now produces 600 masks a week, with more LT product ideas on the pipeline.

“It’s turned out to be a great product,” Wilhelmina. “It’s helpful for the horses and it’s easy. It continues to amaze us.”

To learn more about Fenwick Equestrian and the #LTMask, visit FenwickEquestrian.com.

© 2022 Catie Staszak Media, Inc.

FEI Publishes Second Part of EHV-1 Report on 2021 Outbreak in Mainland Europe

Lausanne (SUI), 22 April 2022 — The FEI has published Part 2 of the Report into the 2021 outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in mainland Europe. This section of the Report focuses on the Return to Competition protocols put in place to ensure the safe resumption of FEI Events after the six-week FEI-imposed lockdown on international sport in Continental Europe.

Part 2 of the Report also focuses on the EHV-1 By-Laws and sanctioning system, and evaluates their effectiveness, along with the elements that were subsequently incorporated into the FEI Veterinary Regulations 2022 approved at the FEI Hybrid General Assembly in November 2021.

The 30-page Report (Part 2), together with over 200 pages of Annexes, has been produced by FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström and Grania Willis, former FEI Communications Director and now Executive Consultant to the FEI.

“It was important to take a really forensic look at the 2021 EHV-1 outbreak itself, and this was the basis of Part 1 of the Report, but it was equally important to review the Return to Competition measures post-lockdown,” Dr Åkerström said. “This is what we have done in Part 2, along with the related By-Laws and the resulting amendments to the FEI Regulations.

“Knowing how busy the members of our community are in their daily lives, we have simplified things to make the Report a more user-friendly experience by adding a dynamic Table of Contents, so that readers can go directly to the elements/sections they wish to read, as we did with Part 1 of the Report.”

Part 2 of the Report is published here, on a dedicated page within the Biosecurity Hub of the FEI website home to all the content related to the investigation into the 2021 outbreak in mainland Europe.

It sits alongside Part 1 of the Report published on 28 February 2021, which provides a comprehensive and factual picture of the outbreak, including the series of events, causes, roles, and responsibilities, and analysis.

Part 3 of the Report, elements of which will be presented at the FEI Sports Forum 2022 (25-26 April), will incorporate further risk mitigation of EHV-1, including conclusions from the scientific EHV-1 vaccination review commissioned by the FEI, and the suggested way forward. This concluding section of the Report, with the Sports Forum presentations incorporated as Annexes, will then be published as Part 3 in May 2022.

Media contacts:

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46+

Zippy Chippy, Racing’s Loveable Loser, Dead at 31

Zippy Chippy, left, and Red Down South at Cabin Creek by Connie Bush/Tiger Eye Photography.

GREENFIELD CENTER, NY – APRIL 16, 2022 – Zippy Chippy, horse racing’s most loveable loser, has died.

A retiree at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY, a satellite of Kentucky’s Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement, the son of Compliance was 31.

Campaigned by owner-trainer Felix Montserrate — who acquired the horse in 1995 by trading a truck — Zippy is known more for losing races than winning them. In 100 starts, he never crossed the finish line first. But he earned fame in other ways — for being cantankerous and for putting on carnival exhibitions where he once raced against a baseball player.

In 2000, People Magazine even voted Zippy Chippy one of the year’s “Most Intriguing Characters.”

Banned from numerous tracks due to such antics as refusing to break from the gate, Zippy finally retired from racing in 2004 and had a brief second career as an outrider’s pony at his home track, Finger Lakes in New York.

In April 2010, the aging campaigner found a home at Old Friends at Cabin Creek. Under the guidance of Cabin Creek owner and manager JoAnn Pepper, Zippy finally found solace with a paddock mate, Red Down South, a chestnut New York-bred gelding.

In recent years, they were the stars of Cabin Creek.

“Zippy was our main character here, and he lived his life his way,” said Cabin Creek’s Pepper. “He was so content, and would not do anything he wasn’t in the mood for. He taught me so much about life, and I’ll miss him forever.”

“Zippy found his greatest success as a retiree,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “JoAnn and all of the volunteers at Cabin Creek adored him, and he attracted hundreds of fans to the farm each year. He was finally a star. Our thanks to JoAnn and Mark Pepper and everyone at Cabin Creek for the wonderful care they gave Zippy,” Blowen continued. “I know he will be deeply missed by all.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Update on Situation in Ukraine and Support to Ukrainian Equestrian Community

A webinar was held 30 March for the European Equestrian National Federations and associated European Equestrian Federation (EEF) members to provide a comprehensive update on the situation in Ukraine.

Jointly hosted by the European Equestrian Federation (EEF), Ukrainian Equestrian Federation (UEF), UEF Charity Foundation, and the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the meeting included a thorough overview of the current actions and priorities in Ukraine, as well as an interactive discussion to establish the most efficient processes required to support the equestrian community (including the horses) in Ukraine and those who have fled to neighbouring nations.

The meeting also highlighted the strong collaborative spirit between the National Federations and the willingness from the equestrian community to provide both financial and logistical support through donations of supplies and materials, offers to host individuals, and/or horses and employment opportunities.

Since the onset of the war, the FEI, EEF, and UEF have worked together and tirelessly to provide support and aid through the UEF Charity Foundation and the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund.

Current situation in Ukraine

The UEF Charity Foundation, which was set up at the start of the conflict and has the full support of the FEI and EEF, manages the logistics and coordination of humanitarian aid, the evacuation of horses, and the general information flow to/from the community and those externally wishing to help. Through the website www.helpukrainehorses.eu, offers of material aid (feed, shavings, etc.), monetary donations, and accommodation have been received from across Europe and overseas. To date, over 375 tonnes of material aid have been received at their central hub in Poland and over €75,000 has been donated directly to the Charity Foundation.

Working hand in hand and funded by the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund, the Foundation has also managed the creation of a logistical hub in Granat, located between Lviv and the Polish border, able to accommodate up to 40 horses so they can be prepared for transfer into the European Union. Individuals should contact the UEF Charity Foundation for more information. It is expected this hub will be at full capacity in the coming days.

Whilst the achievements so far have been remarkable, the UEF Charity Foundation gave a stark warning that the requirement for aid is ongoing. Over the next month, an expected 2,000 horses will require support from the Foundation which would equate to triple the number of supplies currently held. As such, there is a need to continue working cooperatively across Europe in order to facilitate the supply of aid.

FEI Solidarity Director Jean-Phillippe Camboulives took this opportunity to urge all National Equestrian Federations “to designate an official representative to first coordinate the offers of support and supplies nationally, and then liaise with the FEI, EEF, and UEF to ensure logistical efficiency.”

Among other things, this would entail that offers for accommodation or employment be coordinated through National Federations, prior to reaching the UEF Charity Foundation and the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund.

Camboulives added that the “FEI Solidarity Relief Fund has been able to provide great support to individual members in the Ukrainian community through neighbouring and European member federations such as the Ukrainian Vaulting team which is currently training and living in Slovakia thanks to the efforts of the host National Federation and the determination of their Secretary General Zuzana Baciak. And there are many examples like this at the moment. We must continue to work together and to coordinate our efforts and use our resources effectively.”

EU Regulations on the movement of horses

FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström provided an update on the situation regarding the transfer of horses from Ukraine into neighbouring EU countries, as well as the essential biosecurity protocols and sanitary requirements, which must be respected to safeguard horse welfare and horse populations both inside and outside of Ukraine. Among the topics covered, he also informed member nations of recent amendments to the existing Health Certificate published this week by the European Commission and taking effect on 29 March through to 15 December 2022 which could facilitate the transit of horses. Given the recent publication, the documents are currently under review by the FEI and clear guidance will be shared to all relevant stakeholders in the coming days.

Looking ahead and planning the future 

Reflecting on the complete collapse of the Ukrainian equestrian industry, the EEF and the FEI gave their full support to help rebuild the Ukrainian Equestrian Federation and the community.

To conclude the meeting, EEF President Theo Ploegmakers said, “The situation in Ukraine is devastating, but the collaboration we have seen across Europe through our members and the FEI is incredibly encouraging. There is still a huge amount of work to be done to help both the equines and the wider equestrian community in Ukraine and I believe through our network in Europe we can continue to provide the necessary support.”

FEI Solidarity Relief Fund:

The FEI set aside a CHF 1 Million Solidarity Relief Fund for the equestrian community in Ukraine, following the invasion by Russian military forces. The allocation was approved by the FEI Executive Board during a meeting convened on 28 February 2022, where members also unanimously condemned the invasion and agreed to remove all international equestrian events in Russia and Belarus from the 2022 FEI calendar. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has also joined forces with the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund, establishing the USEF Ukraine Relief Fund to Support Ukraine horses and equestrians, with 100% of funds raised going to the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund to be distributed by the FEI.

EEF:

Founded in 2009, the European Equestrian Federation (EEF) is the representative body for the European based National equestrian Federations. Working closely with the Federation Internationale Equestre (FEI) and the National Federations, the EEF works to maximise the potential and development of equestrianism throughout the continent. The EEF is committed to promoting the sport equestrianism and its good practices, developing the sport across Europe, and providing leadership for a collective European voice in the sport.

UEF Charity Foundation:

The Charity Foundation is registered in Belgium and its mission is to help the Ukrainian equestrian community during the crisis. The Foundation works closely with the FEI and national equestrian federations. For all the latest information and activities, visit https://helpukrainehorses.eu/

Media contacts:

FEI
Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

EEF
Alice Ward
Communications Manager
alice.ward@euroequestrian.eu
+33 6 40 62 81 97

FEI Publishes EHV-1 Report on 2021 Outbreak in Mainland Europe

The FEI has published the first section of a three-part Report following its investigation into the outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Spain in February 2021. The outbreak resulted in the deaths of 18 horses in mainland Europe and confirmed related cases in 10 countries: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Qatar, Spain, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The FEI pledged to have a comprehensive and fully transparent investigation into every aspect of the outbreak and to make the full findings public. The investigation, which focused on venues where there were related cases, has shown that there were systemic failures in a number of areas and the published Report details those.

In order to make the Report as complete as possible, it has been broken down into three parts. The section of the Report published as Part 1 provides a comprehensive and factual picture of the outbreak, including the series of events, causes, roles and responsibilities, and analysis. It evaluates what was done correctly and identifies where there were failings, and lessons learned.

Additionally, Part 1 covers accountability, lack of preparedness, and measures that have already been taken to rectify that, including enhanced jurisdiction for the FEI and reinforced Rules. Blocking of sick and in-contact horses in the FEI Database to prevent further transmission, the importance of risk assessment, both pre- and post-outbreak, pre-event onsite regulatory checks, and the creation of Emergency Response Units are also covered. Multiple external reports are included as Annexes.

The 39-page Report, plus 96 pages of Annexes, has been produced by FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström and Grania Willis, former FEI Communications Director and now Executive Consultant to the FEI. There has also been input from the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group and other veterinary experts, FEI President Ingmar De Vos and Secretary General Sabrina Ibáñez, and the FEI Veterinary and Legal Departments.

Part 2 of the Report, which will be published in advance of the FEI Sports Forum 2022 (25-26 April), covers the stringent measures implemented to allow Return to Competition following the six-week FEI-imposed lockdown on international sport in mainland Europe. This section of the Report will focus on the EHV-1 By-Laws and sanctioning system, and evaluate their effectiveness, plus the elements of these that were subsequently incorporated into the FEI Veterinary Regulations 2022 approved at the FEI Hybrid General Assembly in November 2021.

Part 3 of the Report, which will be presented at the FEI Sports Forum, will look at the way forward, including potential global vaccination protocols. Professor Lutz Goehring, a world-renowned specialist in equine infectious diseases and particularly EHV at the Gluck Equine Research Center, will present his findings on the benefits and drawbacks of vaccination, focusing on the scientific evidence of whether mandatory vaccination against EHV-1 is protective against outbreaks at FEI Events. This presentation will be included in Session 8: FEI Veterinary Regulations on Day 2 of the FEI Sports Forum (26 April).

“The Report into last year’s EHV-1 outbreak in Spain is a significant body of work which offers a forensic examination of all elements of the outbreak,” FEI President Ingmar De Vos said. “The first part of the Report looks at what went wrong and what the FEI and our community did or could have done to minimise the impact and spread of the virus. It is clear that mistakes were made, and we all need to learn from them so we ensure that we never have an outbreak of such devastating impact again.

“There has to be accountability and everyone – including the FEI – has to take their share of responsibility. As you can see in the text published today, individual accountabilities will need to be established by the FEI based on the contents of this Report prior to any further potential actions. The FEI Legal Department will make a thorough analysis and the findings of any resulting legal processes will be made public in due course.

“The significance of the investigation findings and the Report itself have been brought into sharper focus by the current outbreak in the United States, once again highlighting the fact that there will never be zero risk with EHV. What we must do at every Event and in every home barn is to ensure that correct biosecurity measures are in place for the safety of our horses. And we now have the tools to do that, provided we work together as a community to ensure enforcement and compliance.”

The FEI thoroughly assessed whether the investigation and resulting report should be outsourced or conducted internally. FEI Veterinary Director Dr Göran Åkerström explained the rationale: “Outsourcing to a third party would have required identifying and putting together a group of individuals with top-level expertise in veterinary epidemiology, and comprehensive knowledge of European Union and national legislation. The group would then have had to be fully briefed on every aspect of the outbreak before they could even begin their work.

“As the international governing body, the FEI was right at the centre of events and was already in possession of communications between all parties throughout the outbreak. Any third party would have been dependent on FEI Headquarters to get that information, which would have further delayed the investigation, production, and eventual publication of the Report. So a decision was made internally that the investigation, collation of evidence and production of the Report would be done by FEI Headquarters.”

Part 1 of the Report into the outbreak of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) in Spain in March 2021 is available here.

Media contacts:

Olivia Robinson
Director, Communications
olivia.robinson@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 35

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46+

Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner Alphabet Soup Euthanized at 31

Photo by Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – JANUARY 28, 2022 — Multiple graded stakes winner and 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic Champion Alphabet Soup was euthanized January 28 at Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement farm in Georgetown, KY, where he has been pensioned since 2015. The cause of death was chronic kidney disease.

At 31, the gray son of Cozzene was the oldest living winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Bred in Pennsylvania out of the Arts and Letters mare Illiterate, Alphabet Soup was a late bloomer for owner Georgia B. Ridder, winning his first stakes at age four when he captured the 1995 Native Diver (GR3) and the Del Mar Breeders’ Cup Handicap (GR2).

In 1996 he was the victor in the San Antonia Handicap (GR2), the Pat O’Brian Handicap (GR3), and the San Pasqual Handicap (GR2) en route to his greatest triumph, the 1996 Breeders’ Cup Classic (GR1), where he defeated the “invincible” Cigar as well as that year’s Preakness Stakes winner Louis Quatorze — all while setting a new track record at Woodbine.

Retired in 1998 to Adena Springs having captured 10 of 24 starts and earnings of over $2.9 million, Alphabet Soup sired numerous stakes winners, among them Grade 1 winners Egg Drop and Alphabet Kisses, and champions Our New Recruit, Phantom Light, and Sovereign Award winner Alpha Bettor.

“I’m saddened by the news today of Alphabet Soup’s passing,” said Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron, who piloted Soup to his Breeders’ Cup win. “I truly enjoyed my relationship with Soupy, and he will always have special place in my heart. He represented the U.S. well when he bested the Cigar and Louis Quatorze in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Rest in peace old friend.”

“It won’t be the same around here without Soup,” said Old Friends President and founder Michael Blowen. “Over these seven years he was a delight to be around with his sweet nature and enormous popularity. He brought joy to everyone.

“His best friend, the donkey Gorgeous George, will miss him terribly,” added Blowen, “and so will everyone on the farm. We are so grateful to Frank Stronach and everyone at Adena Springs for giving us the privilege of retiring this fabulous champion.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

FEI Statement on Allegations Raised of Unauthorised Training Methods in RTL News Report

Lausanne (SUI), 12 January 2022 – The FEI is aware of the allegations made in the documentary broadcast on RTL in Germany on 11 January 2022 and is making enquiries regarding the matter. We are already in touch with the German National Federation and will continue to liaise closely with them in order to assess the appropriate course of action.

The welfare of the horse is central to everything that the FEI stands for and we strongly condemn all training methods and practices that are contrary to horse welfare. The FEI has stringent rules in place to protect horse welfare which allow action to be taken both at FEI Events and elsewhere. The FEI absolutely condemns any form of horse abuse and the training methods shown in RTL’s video footage are totally unacceptable from a horse welfare perspective and against FEI Regulations.

The FEI General Regulations (GRs) Article 142 state: No person may abuse a Horse during an Event or at any other time. “Abuse” means an action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a Horse, including, but not limited to:
(vi) To “rap” a Horse.

Article 243.1 of the FEI Jumping rules states: All forms of cruel, inhumane, or abusive treatment of Horses, which include, but are not limited to, various forms of rapping, are strictly forbidden. Article 243.2.1 goes on to give a non-exhaustive description of what the FEI considers as “rapping”.

The FEI will provide an update as soon as further information is available.

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations & Media Operations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Albert the Great Euthanized at Old Friends

Photo: Laura Battles.

GEORGETOWN, KY – NOV. 20, 2021 – Multiple graded stakes winner Albert the Great was euthanized November 19 at Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement farm based in Georgetown, KY, where he has been pensioned since 2017.

According to attending veterinarian Dr. Bryan Waldridge, the 23-year-old stallion was euthanized due to chronic sinus infection.

Campaigned by owner Tracy Farmer and trainer Nick Zito, the son of Go for Gin had a short but very prestigious career. He earned his first graded stakes as a 3-year-old capturing the GR2 Dwyer Stakes in 2000 and, later that year, the GR1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. At Saratoga that summer he fell just a stride or two short of victory in the GR1 Travers Stakes.

At 4 he captured the Widener Handicap (G3) at Hialeah Park, the Suburban and Brooklyn Handicaps (G2) at Belmont Park, and ran second in four other GR1 contests, including the GR1 Woodward and Whitney Stakes.

Albert the Great retired from racing in 2001 following a 3rd place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Classic with a 8-6-4 record from 22 starts, 15 of which were made in graded stakes. His lifetime earnings totaled $3,012,490. He entered stud in 2002 at Three Chimneys Farm before relocating to Pin Oak Lane in 2008.

He sired such GR1 winners as Moonshine Mullin, Albertus Maximus, and Nobiz Like Shobiz, who is currently retired at Old Friends.

“Albert the Great was aptly named,” said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. “He was the master and everyone else was just a serf. He didn’t need you to be his friend, just his servant. He was certainly a unique iconoclast and he’ll be missed. Our thanks to Three Chimneys, Tracy and Carol Farmer, and Nick Zito,” Blowen added. “They raised a great one.”

For more information, please call (502) 863-1775 or visit www.oldfriendsequine.org.

Expanding Our Mission: Responding to Communities in Crisis

Wellington, Fla. — Nov. 9, 2020 — In 25 years, the Equestrian Aid Foundation has helped over 500 equestrians through times of critical need. While many have faced personal medical crises, a growing number of horsemen are experiencing the devastation of catastrophic weather events. In 2019, EAF expanded its mission by creating a Disaster Relief Fund to assist equestrian communities in the aftermath of natural or other unforeseen disasters.

Community support for the fund was strong from the outset, due in large part to the Paddock Master Pruning. The brainchild of Pat Duncan, the event involved three beloved Winter Equestrian Festival paddock masters shaving their heads and beards to raise money and awareness for EAF’s Disaster Relief Fund. This moment of levity paved the way for serious work ahead.

Just weeks after the event, massive spring flooding devastated the Heartland, leaving many horse owners in the region with little except their animals. With community support and a portion of funds from the Pruning — and in partnership with the Fleet of Angels Emergency Horse Hay Program — EAF purchased a tractor trailer load of hay that was delivered to a community in dire need on the Iowa/Nebraska border.

Since the fund’s creation, relief has been delivered in response to wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, blizzards, and drought. “Due to the unpredictability of these events, we learn as we go,” said EAF board member Robert Ross. “It’s essential to find the boots-on-the-ground equestrian community leaders in disaster areas and rely on their expertise regarding what horsemen need and how best to get it to them.”

EAF’s Disaster Relief Fund was also instrumental in the foundation’s response to the COVID-19 crisis and subsequent industry shutdown in March 2020. Within a week of the shutdown, EAF implemented an emergency grant program for out-of-work industry professionals and service providers. The program delivered nearly $200,000 in grant money to equestrians in need.

Now, the Foundation is focused on next steps for its Disaster Relief Fund. “A recent estimate is that nearly one in three Americans experienced a weather disaster last summer. Our community needs to be both prepared for and ready to respond to these worst-case scenarios for horse owners,” said EAF board member Louise Riggio. “By continuing to fundraise and build productive partnerships throughout the community, we believe we can take a very active role in this essential work.”

For more information, please visit EquestrianAidFoundation.org.