The CDI season is in full swing in Florida with the launching this weekend of the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W being held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee. The list of FEI riders at this weekend’s show is long as the race to the Pan American Games begins. Moving eastward, Katy, Texas will play host this weekend to the HDS Winter Show I. And onward to Arizona, dressage riders will be gathering at the Tucson Dressage Club Winter Heat. And on the West Coast, Pleasanton, California will be hosting Yarra Yarra Dressage’s January show.
A 13-year-old Ugandan girl made news this week when she won a total 15 trophies during the five-day Horse of the Year Show held in Nairobi, Kenya. Allafrica.com noted that some of those trophies earned by Katie Bowser were in dressage competition. But that wasn’t her only victory. She also earned trophies in dressage, eventing, show jumping and racing. Her top award was the Grand Championship trophy and the Sash of Honor, which made her the first youngster to win that honor. Katie, who competed with her horse Pendragon, started riding at the age of two and trains at Flametree Stables in Kampala. According to the news report, it was only in the mid-1990s that horses were introduced into Uganda for riding sports by Sudhir Ruparelia and Katie’s mother Miranda Bowser. Miranda now runs Uganda’s first riding school and training business. Ruparelia, a businessman, has helped cover the costs of bringing horses into the country. You can read more Here!
Dressage is making its way into 4-H clubs around the country. This past week, the Springfield News-Sun in Ohio reported on 12-year-old Gillian Sturm who dreams of becoming an Olympic rider. But right now, she’s getting her basic dressage education through her 4-H club with the help of her equine partner, a Morgan named Zu. Gillian and Zu recently had the chance to enhance their skills by participating in a discounted dressage clinic taught by dressage rider Lexi Myers. Gillian said she likes dressage because ““I like to find out how things move and stuff. I also like the team effort and challenge.” You can read more Here!
It’s not dressage news but just in case you didn’t see it, Zenyatta was named the 2010 Horse of the Year. Some wondered if the filly was going to nab that honor after she was defeated by Blame in the Breeders' Cup Classic. She only lost by a nose after an amazing comeback from the rear. Zenyatta had shown consistency in her career and set a record for winning the first 19 races of her career. Many say it was about time this remarkable horse earned the Horse of the Year honor. She lost it in 2008 to Curlin and last year to Rachel Alexandra, another top racing filly. Zenyatta, owned by record producer Jerry Moss and his wife Ann, is now retired.
Slapping a police horse can get you some attention in the national news. A Florida woman made it into a CNN news report this past week after she was arrested for slapping the horse, which she claims had her pinned against a wall and scared her. Stephanie Six told CNN that she put her hand up to the horse’s face to protect herself. She was out at a bar with a group of friends when police on horses approached them and the incident happened. She was charged with battery on a police horse and later released with time served, which still doesn’t sit well with Stephanie because it leaves her with a police record. The police didn’t comment on the CNN story.
Montana’s latest advertising campaign to stop drunk driving made the news around the world. Britain’s Daily Mail even ran an article this past week on the state’s latest ad in which bar patrons are encouraged to get a “sober friend” to give them a life home after a night of drinking. The sober friend in the ad video is a horse. A number of Montana drinkers have apparently decided to follow the advice and have begun riding their horses to bars. A look at Montana law showed that horses were not considered vehicles and that people can ride home drunk with no fear of being arrested for traveling under the influence. Thus far, police have not received any reports of drunk riders but if so, there’s not much they can do anyway. Because of the attention the ad has received, the state Department of Transportation considers the ad campaign a big success. You can read more and watch the video Here!