Dressage News Notes - Brought to You by BioStar Performance Whole Food

Well wishes for a speedy recovery Darren!
Well wishes for a speedy recovery Darren!

The new helmet safety rule is around the corner and will become effective in January 1, 2013 - check out what this means for you! Event rider Darren Chiaccia has contracted a rare and dangerous form of fungal meningitis - see how he is doing and where you can wish hime well. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy has annouced the dates for test event in 6 of the FEI disciplines that will take place at the Games. In breeding news, check out what the German Oldenburg Society is trying for stallion licensing. Read about a study that took place to investigate arena maintenance and the effects on horse performance. As much as we give our horses the best we can, the ponies of Assateague Island are managed with a polar opposite approach which has worked out for over 350 years!

A very quiet show weekend is shaping up for this week. However there is one big event that is taking place with the Col. Bengt Ljungquist Memorial Championships 30th Anniversary, Presented by Trilogy Saddlery and Virginia Dressage Association Fall Competition in Lexington, VA. Elsewhere in the south we have the Poplar Place Farm October Dressage Show in Hamilton, GA and the Wellington Classic Autumn Dressage in West Palm Beach, FL. Across the rest of the nation we have the Dressage at the Bucks County Horse Park V in Revere, PA, the Harvest Fling in Albuquerque, NM and the Dressage At Spirit Equestrian in Somis, CA.

The new safety helmet rule is coming quickly upon us with implementation taking place January 1, 2013. While riders mounted in any form on show grounds must wear approved safety helmets, dressage riders 18 years or older, riding a horse 7 years or over may wear a top hat or bowler instead of the protective gear in an actual competition and during the warm up immediatley before the class. Many riders voluntarily had moved to showing with helmets before the rule change including Olympians Charlotte Dujardin, Ashley Holzer and Jacqueline Brooks. Read the full story here where the rules are more fully explained...

Most everyone has heard by now that Darren Chiaccia has had another misfortune of contracting fungal meningitis, which is the rare form of the disease that has recently broken out across the country. Further complicating his condition, he has also contracted the MRSA staph infection commonly aquired in hospitals. Despite being ill, Darren competed at the CIC*** Plantation Field Horse Trials where he said the sheer weight of his head gear was almost too much to bear. Darren posted on his Facebook fan page on Tuesday a thank you for the well wishes and sent luck to those competing at Fair Hill International CCI*** this weekend. Read more here....

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 in Normandy has announced the test event dates for the six of the disciplines that are included in the games. There are no specific test events set for vaulting and Para Equestrian but the organising committee and the FEI state "all technical aspects will be examined to ensure the competitions in all the disciplines meet the same level of excellence.” Check out the full story to see when your favorite sport will host its own test event!

Eurodressage.com's Astrid Appels has an editorial about the German Oldenburg Society and their decision in the spring of 2012 to do a test format of a stallion licensing that would allow breeders to present the horses under saddle as three-year-olds. While other German breed registeries would prefer to stick to the traditional autumn format, the Oldenburg Society will have to offer both an autumn as well as spring licensing so that the potential loss of revenue would potentially drive breeders to send their young stallions to other registires in order to license and sell this autumn. Read more at Eurodressage.com...

theHorse.com has an informative article on the effects of arena maintenance on performance and injuires to horses. While the initial study was done on racing surfaces, a later study was done with eight general purpose horses all ridden by the same person on both an indoor and outdoor surfaces. The study was done with pre-raked, post-raked and watered surfaces. Some high tech camera captures were evalutated and the results of the study can be seen here!

Interesting to read that while we do our best to give our horses the best of everything, sometimes to the detriment of ourselves, sometimes they are left to fend for themselves even if they are the famous ponies of Assateague Island. In an interesting article from delmarvanow.com it was found that the park rangers take the word "wild" in their ponies very seriously. Interference is kept to a minimum and that includes vet care, water and food. While the ponies are left to fend for themselves, they have been thriving for over 350 years. In fact they were doing so well without human interference, they are actually having to use birth control to slow down the herd so the island ecosystem can support them. Check it out!