Florida’s newest dressage show management team of International Horse Sport Palm Beach holds its premiere show this weekend at Equestrian Estates, the home show grounds for the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. You can learn more about the full schedule for IHSPB at www.ihspb.com. Also being held in Florida is the Snowbird’s Paradise in Apopka. And out on the other coast, the Los Angeles Winter Dressage is taking place at the L.A. Equestrian Center in Burbank. And up in the chilly Midwest, a group of dressage riders will be gathering indoors to compete at the Fields and Fences January Dressage show.
The big event in the Northeast this weekend is the annual Weekend Education Program sponsored by Dressage4Kids.com. The event, another great educational idea of Olympian Lendon Gray, provides intensive educational programs over the weekend geared for dressage riders of all ages and levels. It’s being held Saturday and Sunday at the Nonnewaug Regional School in Woodbury, Conn. The weekend schedule includes a session on breeding aimed at young riders, sessions with judges on the new dressage tests and a session for professional riding instructors that addresses teaching issues. Other topics covered include equine health, rider fitness, sport psychology and there are even sessions for parents on how to cope with horse crazy kids. More information can be found at www.dressage4kids.com.
The U.S. Equestrian Federation’s annual meeting in Lexington this past week made news in the mainstream media, which reported on the USEF’s new helmet rules. The new rules are a result of the head injury received by Courtney King-Dye last winter, which served as a wake-up call to dressage riders on the risk of not wearing helmets. The new USEF rule requires that everyone must wear a helmet when riding on a show grounds. The second rule requires that anyone under 18 must wear a helmet in the show ring even when competing at FEI level.
DressageDaily reported this past week on the birth of the first foal sired by Totilas. It was a filly and she’s been named Moorlands Guinevere. She was born January 23 in the Netherlands and her mother is Moorlands Sajouti. The news report said that former Totilas rider Edward Gal has already seen the new little girl. You can read more about it and see a photo [#23736 override="Here!" title="Here!"]
The Palm Beach Post this past week ran a story on a professional horse braider known to many in the Florida region. Dayna Bordeleau has been battling with Crohn’s disease, an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack itself, for many years. Last year she had surgery to deal with intestinal problems that resulted from her illness and has yet to get back to work as a braider. She’s hoping to make it back during this year’s Florida winter circuit. She needs the work. Despite having medical insurance, her medical bills are still quite costly and the Post reported on a fundraiser held by her friends at Happy Endings Farm in Wellington. You can read more about Dayna and her life as a show horse braider Here!
The challenge of teaching new riders was highlighted in a feature by California’s Napa Valley Register this past week. The feature article detailed the highs and lows of riders at Sunrise Stables who are struggling to excel in equestrian sports. And it’s not just about the riding, according to instructor Colleen Hallett. Horses are an integral part of the rider’s team and riding also teaches lessons in team work and in life. Unlike other sports, when a rider’s equine teammate is ill or injured, the rider is also out of the game and that’s not an easy lesson for many young riders to learn. You can read more about the life lessons learned by riders Here!
And finally from Britain this week comes the story of Mischief who discovered he’s not Jesus after all. The four-year-gelding, a pony-horse cross, went for a walk in Godshill and thinking he could walk across water went to cross a neighbor’s swimming pool. He sank and firefighters had to come to his rescue. To be fair, a blue plastic tarp covered the pool so Mischief might have been deceived into believing the ground was more firm than it proved to be. You can read more about it and even watch a video of the rescue Here!