It will be a busy show weekend around the country with Florida holding the most dressage shows. But Texas will have one of the biggest equestrian events starting this weekend as more than 1,500 horses gather for the annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. The BBC ran a feature on the music being used by rider Richard Davison in his latest kur and now everyone is waiting to see the freestyle this weekend. And out West in Colorado, the season’s first dressage competition made the local news. Meanwhile, the New York Times ran a report on the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation that was not very flattering and the equestrian community is regrouping to ensure it doesn’t harm honest efforts to help retired horses. And stories from the 2010 Lingh Story Contest are now available online.
Florida is the place to be this weekend for dressage competition with three shows on the schedule. Apopka, Florida will play host to the Heidelberg Cup. And in the south Florida area there will be both Welcome Back to White Fences III and the International Horse Sport Palm Beach Champions Cup in Loxahatchee. Four other dressage competitions will be taking place elsewhere in the U.S. March Magic Dressage is being held in Williamston, North Carolina. Dressage Across the Lake takes place in Folsom, Louisiana. Gurnee, Illinois is playing host this weekend to the Fields and Fences March Dressage Fest and in College Station, Texas there will be Topsider Farm Dressage.
Leading British dressage rider Richard Davison made news this week on Britain’s BBC because of music he’ll be using in a new freestyle being unveiled in an upcoming competition. The freestyle uses music from pop star Robbie Williams. The freestyle music was recorded by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Richard is using it for his latest grand prix partner Hiscox Artemis. Richard will be competing this weekend in CDI competition at s’Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands. The competition is the last shot for qualification to the Dressage World Cup in Germany in April. Richard said the idea for the kur and music came from a co-owner of Hiscox Artemis – the Countess of Derby. You can read more here!
Well, this is not the kind of publicity the equestrian world likes to have but the New York Times this week ran an investigative piece into the Thoroughbred retirement industry and found it wanting. Specifically, the Times looked at the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation based in Saratoga Springs, New York and reported that many of the horses farmed out for care at retirement facilities around the country were sorely neglected. The article pointed the finger of blame at the Foundation, charging that due to its financial difficulties the Foundation has not been paying the farms that are caring for the horses. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation responded by charging that the New York Times article made false assumptions. The Foundation this week also fired the veterinarian whose job it was to monitor the horses. The Foundation said the veterinarian was not being objective. It’s a sad turn of events considering that the number of unwanted Thoroughbreds has been on the rise due to the recent recession and such publicity is likely to deter donors. But there are many excellent retirement programs out there that deserve financial support and should not be tainted by this report. The Times article did make clear that many of the farms actually caring for the horses continued to do a super job despite having to foot the bill themselves. See the New York Times article Here! Respected and notable Veterinarian Dr. Sheila Lyons contacted DressageDaily offering to write about the issue, and the result: [#23505 override="Equine Rescue Under Fire and How to Make Things Better" title="Equine Rescue Under Fire and How to Make Things Better"].
The stories of the winners of the 2010 Lingh Story Contest are now available to be read online. The winners were chosen by a panel of four judges that included two U.S. breeding experts and two European journalists. Contest creator Karin Offield warns that before reading them one should “grab your kleenex and tissues.” The stories can be found at here.
The sport of dressage made the news on the Western Slopes of Colorado this week. News channel KREX TV ran a feature on the first dressage show of the spring season held in Grand Junction and sponsored by the Grand Valley Dressage Society. The feature noted that dressage is really a sport for everyone, not just for those with, as the article put it, “a big horse with a hard-to-pronounce German name.” Competitors interviewed were quick to say dressage is really about educated riding and is good for riders of all levels and ages. And what matters most, riders told reporters, is the relationship with the horse, not winning ribbons. You can read the article and watch the news video here.
And finally, if you are anywhere near Texas this weekend then head to Houston for the 66th Annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. The show serves as a major charity event and this year funds are being donated to the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald House of Houston. The show runs through April 3 and is a multi-discipline, multi-breed show that includes grand prix show jumping competition and this year, dressage demonstrations will be a highlight. A new addition to the show this year is International Hospitality Sponsor Haras Dos Caveleiros, which will be presenting demonstrations of the Lusitano breed. The show is expected to draw more than 1,500 horses and 1,200 competitors. You can read more here.