Well, it is definitely the show season because there are way too many dressage competitions to list them. One of the larger ones this weekend on the West Coast is the Festival of the Horse in Burbank. And in the middle of the country is the Kansas City Dressage Society Kickoff and the San Antonio Spring Dressage in Texas. And Dressage at Equestrian Estates will be taking place in Florida this weekend. For a complete list of dressage competitions this weekend visit the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s competitions page at www.usef.org.
Dressage continues to grow as a college equestrian sport. Miami University’s student newspaper Miami Student recently published an article on the school’s first home dressage competition, which was held this past weekend. The article included an explanation of the sport for the uninitiated. The university’s dressage team started three years ago thanks to Shannon Sullivan, an alumna who asked Director of Riding Lori Cramer about starting a dressage team. It didn’t take long for the team to grow, it now has 15 members. Miami University dressage riders are aiming to represent their school in national competition. The team is part of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association.
On the New York City real estate market and in the news this week is the sale of an apartment owned by Olympic Gold Medalist Ann-Kathrin Linsenhoff. The dressage rider paid $9,761,919 on the apartment in 2007 and is seeking to sell it for $10.9 million. It comes out to $5,791 per square foot. You can see photos Here!
Houston Community Newspapers in Texas reported this past week on an unusual way to raise funds to help the homeless – an equestrian event. The Montgomery County Homeless Coalition will host its inaugural Kentucky Derby Gala on May 7 at Stonehaven Equestrian and if you are in the area, you might want to go. Dressage will be part of the event. Horses will be there for attendees to visit while they also watch a live telecast of the Kentucky Derby. There will also be dressage exhibitions. The organization hosting the event estimates that there are more than 2,000 homeless in the Houston area and the group hopes to help both those on the streets and those in shelters. For more information and tickets call 936-760-4179. You can read more here!
Andalusians took center stage this past weekend in Arizona this past weekend during the Day of the Spanish Horse. The event was part of a celebration of Spanish culture. A leader in creating the event was Patricia Armstrong, who works at Estrella Mountain Regional Park where the event was held. Other breeds that participated were Lusitanos, Aztecas, Peruvian Pasos, Brazilian Marchadors and Spanish Barbs. The Bard is being considered for Arizona’s state horse. News articles on the event certainly gave Andalusians a good dose of public attention. You can read all about the event here!
The Cape Cod Times in Massachusetts recently ran an article on Alexandra Pope, a 25-year-old rider who is aiming to compete in the Special Olympics in Greece this summer. Her trainer is Brenda Tri who coaches Alexandra in dressage. Alexandra is no novice to dressage competition. She is a gold medalist from state-level Special Olympics competition. Alexandra suffers from a condition called Prader-Willi syndrome, which is a genetic disorder that causes emotional and behavioral problems, obsessive-compulsive behaviors and slow body metabolism. Also a problem with this condition is that people never feel full and so they eat continuously. In the group home where Alexandra lives, food must be kept locked away from her. Horses have helped give meaning to her life and distract her from other things, like eating. She has lost 90 pounds from riding. You can read more about this remarkable rider here!
She’s not a dressage rider, but British event rider Pippa Funnell had a great feature article about her in London’s Evening Standard. It was eight years ago that Funnell made an eventing record by winning at Kentucky, Badminton and Burghley in the same year. But in the past years she’s been out of the limelight until last year’s World Equestrian Games season. Some of that time these past years was spent writing children’s books with horse themes – Tilly’s Pony Tails, a series about Tilly Rebrow. But that writing career might be momentarily put on hold. She has a new horse that she believes will take her back to eventing Olympic gold. Her partner in this effort is Redesigned. You can read all about Pippa here!