Lots of Olympic news this week as we have the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions completed with Steffen Peters emerging as the National Grand Prix Champion once again! This was a selection trial for the Games so be sure to check out who made the U.S. team! One of the memebers is Jan Ebling and Rafalca owned in part by Ann Romney. This has brought a great deal of media attention and some of it is just plain fun! The FEI has released its entire list of the qualified horse/rider combinations for all the disciplines. Isabell Werth is looking like she will be removing herself from Olympic contention for the London Games. In other international news - Wellington, FL is now a confirmed bidder for the 2018 WEG! And in horse health news, research is showing that turnout is an important role in the risk reduction of colic, the number 1 non-infectious killer of horses.
This upcoming weekend is proving to be quite busy around the regions! We will start out west this week in sunny California with the Dressage Derby III and IV in Vacaville, the Gavilan Chapter June Show in Gilroy, the Cascade Dressage I and II in Tulelake, the Dressage at Mission Pacific in Somis, the Steppin' into Summer Dressage in West Civuna and the Capistrano Summer Series in San Juan Capistrano. In Washington, we have the Whidbey Equestrian Center June Dressage in Coupeville and the Letter Perfect Dressage in Ridgefield. Colorado has the Autumn Hill Dressage Festival I and II in Longmont. In the mid-west we have the Sorensen Park Dressage June III in East Troy, WI, the IDCTA Summer Dressage Show in Wayne, IL, Dressage by the Bay Series I and II in Williamsburg, MI and the Dressage Lite and Dressage Lite Too in Mason City, IA. Up north, we have the Centerline Events @ Westbrook Hunt Club in Westbrook, CT, the University of New Hampshire Dressage Show in Durham, NH, the Dressage at the Ranch in Bedminster, NJ and the PVDA Ride for Life in Upper Marlboro, MD. Last but not least, the south will play host to the NCDCTA Summer Highland Fling in Tryon, NC, the Meadow Lake Mid-Summer Classic I and II in Bryantsville, KY, the June Classic in Franklin, TN, the Deep South Dressage & Combined Training Association Northwest Florida Classic II and the Topsider Farm Dressage II in College Station, TX.
Well the Olympic Teams across the world are starting to take shape and Steffen Peters dominated the two weekend Olympic qualifiers held at the USEF Dressage Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ. Peter brought Legolas to the trials as his top partner Ravel was granted permission to skip the trials based on his international record and will be automatically on the U.S. squad. The Festival was also the qualifier for the Paralympic Games and you can check out who made the team here! For mulitple stories and to see who made the Olympic Dressage Team - check this out!
The FEI has released it complete list of the nominated entries for the London Games on their website. The list includes all horse/rider combinations who have completed their minimum eligibility requirements to compete in the Olympic Gams. The deadline for National Federations to submit their final entries is July 9. Check out the story and link to the FEI list here!
Dressage has come roaring into the spotlight of late due to presidential candidates wife Ann Romney's Oldenburg Mare Rafalca earning one of the spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. Rafalca is co-owned by Ann, Beth Meyer and trainer Jan Ebeling's wife Amy. With all of the hoopla surrounding the story, dressage has become portrayed in many ways (depending on which side of the aisle your on). There is a video that has gone viral where satirist Stephen Colbert vowes to make dressage "The Sport of Summer". (View video here) To make matters even more fun - NJ.com reported from USET Team headquarters on how dressage made its rebuttal with its own spoof on the video which included Jan Ebling and Rafalsca themselves! See the story here!
It seems one person is ready to bow out of Olympic contention. Isabell Werth had a disapointing go at the German National Championships where her top horse Don Johnson became injured during her Grand Prix test and El Santo performing below par. While El Santo was Werth's 2011 European Championship team Silver horse, he has recently been struggling and Werth said she must now go back to the "drawing Board". It is not known if Don Johnson's will be fit enough to compete at the CDIO Aachen which is the last qualifyier for the German team. Werth stated that she that the London Olympics is "no longer realistic" and the she is "not a dreamer". Team trainer Johnny Hilberath however has not given up on Werth. Check out the full story here!
In other international news - Wellington, FL has confirmed that it has made a bid to host the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games. Wellington is one of 5 cities that are competing for the honor of hosting the world championships of international equestrian disciplines that are held once every four years. Other cities confirmed are Rabat, Morocco; Bromont, Canada; Budapest, Hungary; and Vienna, Austria. Check out how you can follow the bidding process and how this prestigious event can benefit South Florida here!
In horse health news, research at the University of Nottingham in England has done a study on colic, specifically whether horses on turnout are less prone to colic than its stabled counterpart. They had two study groups - one on turnout 24 hours a day and one group being stabled (with limited turnout). After 2 weeks the groups were switched. During the study motility of the gut was measured and it was shown that each group when stabled had decreased gut motility that could slow the movement of food through the system allowing it to become dry and impact. Check out more of what the researchers have found....