Dressage News Notes - Brought to You by Back On Track



The Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 Series kicked off at Odense in Denmark and it was a star studded line up to kick off the competition. The powerhouse stallion Totilas has drawn the attention of the German branch of PETA and they are now going after his owners and Matthias Rath. Charlotte Dujardin was recently invited to participate on a popular British reality TV show - which one and will she do it? The 440 year old Spanish Riding School will for the first time open its doors to the outside world by offering seminars, theory sessions and best of all riding lessons from some of the most classically trained riders in the world! Speaking of classical - judges are trying hard in today's modern dressage to recognise and reward lightness and harmony in riding - check out what they have been observing in the arena and what they feel should get the big scores! {C}


Only four shows make up the USDF calendar for this weekend with peoples attention turning to enjoying the upcoming Halloween Holiday! We have competitions in California with the Dressage At Mission Pacific in Somis and the Greenville Equestrian Center Dressage in Livermore. New York has the Dressage at Stanhope in Huntington and we round out the weekend with the Halloween Spooktacular Classic in Katy, TX.

It was Dutch domination at Odense in Denmark when defending champions, Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, scored a convincing victory followed by fellow countryman Edward Gal, who took second riding Blue Hors Romanov. While Adelinde had planned to give her 15-year-old partner a break after the London Olympics said that the horse "hated it"! So back to work, but, after hearing stephen Clark's comments that the pair needed to show “more lightness and self-carriage” to beat Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro - Adelinde changed her training techniques and the change of direction is paying off. Read more here!

The German branch of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has filed charges against Paul Schockemöhle and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, Totilas’s owners, and his rider Matthias Alexander Rath. The charges are leveled against the trio over concerns of the treatment of superstar Totilas. The group is alledging that the training method of Rollkur and the fact that Totilas is in a stall for most of the day with no other contact with horses is in violation of the Animal Welfare Act. Totilas recently moved to Erp, The Netherlands to begin training with Sjef Janssen who has popularized the method of training. This story will bear watching for the outcome as many top show horses are kept stabled in a similar manner due to the fear of injury....Check out the full story at Eurodressage.com.

With success comes fame and Charlotte Dujardin has learned this in a very fast way! Seems the dressage darling of the Great Britain dessage team was recently asked to compete on the popular British show Dancing on Ice. Charlotte did make the announcement that she has declined the invitation. "The risk factor was too much for me, I can't afford to break a leg or get injured," laughed Charlotte. Charlotte aslo stated in the article from the Sunday Mercury that her Gold winning partner Valegro is not yet sold and that there is effort to try to keep the horse in the country. Yeah! This is one team that needs to stay together! Read the full story here!

The Spanish Riding School will, for the first time in it's 440 year history,  open its doors to the outside equestrian world. In the spring of 2013, the school will offer theory sessions, seminars and riding lessons! Now, don't get excited thinking that you'll be doing "Airs Above the Ground" on one of the majestic white Lipizzaner stallions - you will need to bring your own horse and you will need to be an advanced rider and according to the article in Horse & Hound have "deep pockets". Demand for the chance to gain knowledge from some of the most classically trained riders in the world is expected to high. Check it out!

Speaking of classical dressage - judges are trying hard in today's competitions to look for - and reward - lightness and harmony in training. There is a lovely article where several judges discuss what they feel exemplifies the signs of tension and how such stresses of poor riding and training can be show through the lack of quality and rhythm in the gaits thus limiting a horse's ability to perform. They also go on to look at what the light and happy horse is able to achieve when there is focus, harmony and relaxation of the frame to allow the horse to swing, come all the way through the body stretching into a well connected, closed mouth. Read the full article at Eurodressage.com to see much more on how the judge's view today's training and what they hope to see in the future! Read Here!