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News Notes for August 11, 2010

This weekend, all eyes will be on the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey as the final leg of the National Grand Prix competition and WEG Dressage Selection Trials takes place. Tina Konyot and Calecto V are thus far in the lead. The Dressage Foundation will be moving to a new home in Lincoln, Nebraska as a birthday gift to founder Lowell Boomer, who turns 99 this fall. And dressage riders continue to be profiled in the mainstream media across the U.S. and Canada, helping to give the sport some attention among the general public.

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The big event this weekend is the continuation of the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games Selection Trials to pick the U.S. dressage team. The trials are part of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions and National Dressage Championships. The first two legs of the trials were completed last week and Tina Konyot and Calecto V are thus far in the lead. Standing in second is Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan. It’s all taking place at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. This weekend will also be the Junior, Young rider and Brentina Cup competition. Last weekend’s portion of the competition featured the Intermediaire championships with Cesar Parra and Olympia being crowned national champions.

The country’s national leaders may be gathered at Gladstone, but other dressage competitions will be taking place all across the country this weekend. In the northwest, the 5th Annual Spokane Sporthorse Breeders Classic and 15th Annual Spokane Sporthorse Dressage Spectacular will be in Spokane, Washington. Heading south down the West Coast, you’ll find Capistrano Dressage in San Juan Capistrano, California and the CDS San Diego Chapter Summer Show in Del Mar. Several days of competition will be in Grass Lake, Michigan at Dressage at Waterloo. In Batavia, Ohio will be found a show with the perfect summer name – Hotter than Blazes. And way up in the Northeast, where it’s probably a bit cooler, will be the Vermont Dressage Days in Essex Junction. For a complete list of shows this weekend, visit the calendar section of the USEF website at www.usef.org

Lowell Boomer, who founded The Dressage Foundation in 1989, got a special birthday present this year – new office space for the Foundation, bought with donations given in honor of his 99th birthday. The new office is located at 1314 O St., Suite 305 in Lincoln, Nebraska. "It has been my father's wish to anchor The Dressage Foundation permanently in Lincoln, to secure the future of the foundation as a standalone organization, which is neither enmeshed in the organizational structure, nor entangled in the politics of any other equestrian organization," said retired president and CEO John Boomer in a news release this past week. In June, the foundation received $1 million from longtime supporter Gordon Cadwgan Sr., the release said. The release also said that the Foundation will now be able to award two annual scholarships from the $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize fund, and the amount will go from $900 per recipient to $1,000. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.dressagefoundation.org.

Cesar Parra’s win in as National Intermediaire champion made the news in the mainstream media in his home state of New Jersey this week. The Hunterdon County Democrat ran coverage of the 2010 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and it was nice to see dressage get coverage like other sports. You can read the article Here.

Also showcased in the mainstream media this past week was a young rider who competed in the recent Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in Kentucky. Erica Marino from Tennessee competed in the NAJYRC with her mare Diamond Girl and the two were featured in both dnj.com news and wsmv.com in Tennessee. The two articles on Marino and Diamond Girl served as a great plug for the sport of dressage. Marino purchased Diamond Girl four years ago by taking money out of her college fund, but it didn’t keep her from making it to college. She did take a year off from school to focus on her competitive career, but the 20-year-old dressage rider will be going back this fall to finish her senior year. Marino trains with Jessica Roberson Wright. You can read more about Marino Here!

Stephanie Early, who won a silver medal in dressage at this year’s Adequan/FEI NAJRYC, also made news in her hometown newspaper. The Monterey County Herald profiled her and her partner, the Hannoverian mare Panash, this past week. The 15-year-old rider is the first in her county to compete and medal at the championships. Early and the seven-year-old Panash were brought together in 2008 with help from her trainer Jennifer Roth of Across the Diagonal Farm. The article notes that in her first year with Panash, Early rode the mare in a dressage show at Pebble Beach and was bucked off. She was bucked off again at a show in San Juan Bautista. Clearly, this pair has come a long way since then. You can read all about them at Here!

New Zealand dressage was in the news this past week when the Marlborough Express reported on the final round of the Lucas Saddlery Winter Dressage Series held in the Omaka Equestrian Arena. According to the news report, it was a damp winter show in this southern area of the globe, but a well-attended one. The four-round series took place over a three-month period. Read more about it and see the results!

And, north of the U.S. in Canada, the sport of dressage was featured on bclocalnews.com in a profile of Deborah Fox, an Equine Canada level two coach, whose team of young dressage riders won the silver medal in the British Columbia Summer Games in Langley. Fox has been a coach at the Games for 12 years and is also a dressage judge in Canada. The profile on her gave a nice overview of the sport of dressage and the training involved and you can read the whole story Here.

Ending on an uplifting story from the Chicago area news this week is the story of Buck. Back in 2007, Buck was sitting in a holding pen awaiting shipment to a Mexican slaughterhouse when horse rescuer Margo Sutter bought him and two other horses. Sutter had him trained as a racehorse, but he was never a big success. His best showing was third place. Buck’s last race was this summer at Arlington Park racetrack in Chicago, but his sports career might not be over. He’s in retraining for a potential career as a show horse.




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