Dressage News Notes Brought to You By Back On Track

News Notes for the week of February 6-10, 2012. With the Olympics only 170 days away, athletes in many sports have their eyes trained on the prize - a spot to compete on an Olympic team in their chosen sport. Qualifiers are already underway on the east coast with action this weekend at the Wellington Classic Dressage Sping Challenge CDI 3*. The west coast will get its qualifiers started at the end of February. Steffen Peter's small tour superstar, Weltino's Magic is being offered for sale - what a fabulous opprotunity for some lucky rider out there! The German Xenophon society has reacted to the news of Matthias Rath hiring Dutch trainer Sjef Janssen as his new coach.

The Dutch trio of Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud and trainer Nichole Werner have struck a deal with an Austrian couple to split time with Austria and the Netherlands. Equine Canada has named the jumping legend, Hickstead, as the Horse of the Year honoring this wonderful horse whos life was cut too short by tragedy.

Another exciting CDI competition is getting underway tomorrow in West Palm Beach, FL with World Cup and Olympic qualifying action at the Wellington Classic Spring Challenge CDI 3*! Florida also has the Sweetheart Cup in Apopka, FL this weekend. While Califoria has not yet begun its Olympic qualifier, the Yarra Yarra Dressage February I in will take place in Pleasanton, CA. Arizona rounds out the shows this weekend with the Fun In February Show in Litchfield Park.

With World Cup and Olympic Fever running rampant, more CDI action is set to  take place this weekend in West Palm Beach, FL at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center with the Wellington Classic Dressage CDI3* which is a qualifier for the this year's World Cup, London Olympics and Paralympics. On the West Coast, they are gearing up for their first qualifier that will take place in Burbank, CA with the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair on February 23-26. The second qualifier will take place in San Juan Capistrano with the Festival of the Horse CDI 3* March 29-31. Read More here!

Weltino's Magic, the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding (Weltino x Diamond Boy) owned by Jen and Hlavacek is now being offered for sale! Magic, ridden by Steffen Peters, has nothing short of an incredible résumé! The decision was not made easily, and was a business one, as the owners are getting out of dressage as well stating that they would not be buying another horse once Magic sells. Check out more here!

The German Xenophon society has issued a statement regarding Matthias Rath's decision to hire Dutch Team coach, Sjef Janssen, as his new trainer. The Xenophon society promotes classical training of dressage horses and is concerned that the German rider has made the choice to work with a preponent of the rollkur method of training. Check out the entire statement here!

In Dutch News - The Glock Horse Performance Center has announced a new agreement with Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minerhoud and their trainer Nichole Werner that will see the trio spending about 4 months a year training and teaching In Austria. With this partnership, "Gal, Minderhoud and Werner will be able to select their horses to train with and keep them, they have the hope their work will be followed by medals". The facility is world class to say the least and the Glock's also have plans to build another training center late 2012 in the Netherlands. Check it out!

Although not of the world of dressage, the jumping superstar Hickstead, ridden by Eric Lamaze was awarded the 2012 Equine Canada Horse of the Year. Hickstead shocked the equine world (not just jumpers!) when he tragically collapsed in the ring and passed away while competing at the Verona CSI in Italy. Hickstead won Olympic Gold and Silver at the Beijing Games as well as medaling at the World Equestrian Games and the Pan Amaerican Games. A trophy was commisioned in his honor and will now be known as the Equine Canada Horse of the Year, the Hickstead Trophy. A wonderful way to honor the legacy of such an outstanding individual.