Well, there is no doubt that for the next week Florida will be dressage central. The prestigious Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W has kicked off in the West Palm Beach area and runs through Sunday. This year’s show is drawing top FEI riders and horses from throughout North America as they compete for the chance to represent the North American League in April’s Dressage World Cup in Germany. This is also the first year that the new show management team of International Horse Sport Palm Beach is running the Derby. Dressage action in Florida this week won’t end with the Derby. Right on its heels will come the Wellington Classic Dressage CDI3*and the World Dressage Masters CDI5*. The two events will run simultaneously at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee. The Master’s competition has drawn many of Europe’s leading competitors as well as American dressage star Steffen Peters. Who is flying in from the West Coast with his World Equestrian Games partner Ravel. The Master’s competition will kick off next Thursday with the big final event being Friday evening’s Grand Prix Freestyle. And when the competition wraps up on Saturday March 12, everyone can head off to Saturday evening’s Challenge of the America’s event at The International Polo Club Palm Beach. In addition to the Derby, Florida will also play host this weekend to Dressage Among Friends in Tampa. And California will be the site for Dressage at Mission Pacific in Somis.
The Guardian newspaper in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago reported this week on the outcome of the FEI World Dressage Challenge, which took place in February at the Hidden Valley Stables. And the big winner was Kyna Thompson. With the help of her partner Monte Carlo she had the highest score of 65.518 percent. Taking the Reserve Championship was Cammila Garcia riding Miramis with a score of 65.00 percent. The World Dressage Challenge offers riders in developing nations the opportunity to compete in an event judged by top international judges. The event in Trinidad and Tobago had judges Janine Rohr-Circurel from Argentina and Ricardo Rojas from Costa Rica. Riders came from Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. You can read more about it Here!
Christchurch, New Zealand has been in the news for tragedy lately, but the region is also a leading equestrian area in New Zealand. And only a week before the big quake, the city had played host to a large dressage competition – the South Island Championships. A good number of winners came from the Marlborough area and earned a write-up in New Zealand’s Marlborough Express newspaper. Among them were Nicola French, champion in Level Three, and Melissa Parkes, champion in Level Four. With her partner Don Freese, French beat out more than 30 other competitors. Parkes took her championship with the help of Dons Party. She also earned the title of Level Four Young Rider Champion. You can read more Here!
There are some horses in Britain that may be thinking ill of the wife of Prince Charles. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, recently visited the stables of the World Class Para-Equestrian Performance Dressage Squad. The Spalding Guardian reported that the Duchess passed down the aisles petting horses but most thought she was handing out treats. But alas, her pockets were empty. Camilla, who is a patron of the British Equestrian Federation, said she usually does carry treats in her pockets but forgot that day. The equestrian center caters to riders with disabilities and most of Britain’s leading paralympic riders train there. You can read more Here!
Jeffrey Wallace of the Prairie High School equestrian team in Vancouver, Washington seems to be one multi-disciplined rider. According to the Columbian, the regional newspaper, at a recent equestrian competition Wallace won not only in dressage but also driving and the working rancher events. He was also second in reining. There has been growing interest in dressage by western riders and vice versa and Wallace seems to prove the two disciplines really do complement one another. You can read more Here!
Horse and Hound reported this past week that horses are coming back to the London stage – real horses and supposedly for the first time in 39 years. According to the report three Quarter Horses and a Lusitano from the Zingaro Equestrian Theater are slated to be in The Centaur and the Animal. A spokesman for the theater is quoted as saying the show “explores man’s relationship with the horse and the highest levels of training – dressage.” Horses were last in a London theater show in the 1972 revival of Gone with the Wind. You can read more Here!
And finally, from the Connecticut Post comes a story of just how bad state budget woes have become. Connecticut’s 2nd Company Governor’s Horse Guard, created in 1808, is on the chopping block as the state seeks to deal with a $3 billion deficit. The horse guard has served as an escort for visiting presidents and dignitaries, including the Marquis de Lafayette. The state actually has two horse guards and Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing that they be merged into one to save $70,000 and that would mean the horse guard in Newton would be dissolved and its 21 horses would have to find new homes and new owners. The state’s horse guards are under the command of the Connecticut Army National Guard and through the years, they were the escort as governors traveled the state by horseback. Now volunteers with the units help patrol in parks and are trained in search and rescue. Supporters of the 2nd Company Horse Guards are fighting the merger and are offering to raise funds to keep the horse guard. You can read more Here!