This week’s News Notes is brought to you by Back on Track, the natural way to a pain-free life.
The winter season kicks off in Florida this weekend. Meanwhile, dressage riders in Australia rally to save the competition season at a show grounds inundated by floodwaters. A show jumping Olympian takes a big dressage win in the Philippines. Budget cuts affect the use of horses in Britain’s upcoming royal wedding. And a horse in Vermont discovers that running from fireworks in the dark of night is rather risky.
Well, it’s a new year and the winter show season is now gearing up. This year’s big target is the Pan American Games scheduled for October in Mexico. Contenders for the team will start to emerge in the next couple of months as major shows get under way in Florida and California. Two shows will be starting off the season this weekend and both are being held in Florida. Wellington Classic Dressage will host the Challenge I at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Loxahatchee (www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com). And in Newberry will be the Twice as Nice Dressage I (www.canterburyshowplace.com).
We’ve all been hearing the news out of Australia about the damaging floods that have inundated entire towns. Equestrian stables have not been spared and some important dressage competitions could be in jeopardy. The Young Witness news reported this past week that the Bendick Murrel recreation grounds, home of the Young Dressage Association, is under water. The association’s office was full of water but the worst damage was to the dressage rings, which were recently upgraded at a high cost. The Young Witness reported that all five competition rings were destroyed. The competition season was set to begin in February and in March, the grounds was to host the first official Equestrian Australia competition followed by the largest regional dressage championships in Australia. The Australians have not given up hope. Dressage fans in the country have launched a campaign to raise the funds and repair the damage in time for at least the March events. You can read more at http://www.youngwitness.com.au/news/local/sport/equestrian/flood-damage-to-dressage-club/2037085.aspx?src=rss.
Meanwhile, in the Philippines dressage competition went on with the World Dressage Challenge taking place right before the start of the new year. One big winner was Olympic show jumping rider Toni Leviste who showed that she can also ride dressage. She won the in the Advance division of the competition, which was held at the Manila Polo Club in Makati City. Toni earned her victory with the help of Carissa Coscolluela’s 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding FAB. The Manila Bulletin reports that it was not an easy victory. Earlier the horse spooked and tossed Toni when he spun. She joked that it turns out dressage isn’t much safer than show jumping. More than 100 riders competed in the World Dressage Challenge and the host country’s Team Philippines came out in third place. You can read more at http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/295447/leviste-tops-dressage-tilt.
The Californian in Southern California reported this week on a potential honor for a local man who died in December while tending the grounds of a city-owned equestrian center that is so short of funds it couldn’t hire groundskeepers. Rick Thompson was the city of Murrieta’s maintenance supervisor. The city purchased the equestrian center in 2009 in order to protect a recreation area used by equestrians and to protect a piece of city history. But the city hasn’t had the money to maintain the center. Rick developed a soft spot for the equestrian center because his 11-year-old daughter was taking riding lessons there. And so, he would spend a day a week helping to care for the grounds. He collapsed and died of a heart attack while at the grounds. The city is now looking to name the main arena after him. You can read more at http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/murrieta/article_447900b8-c494-5c0c-8491-cd2fbd91e0db.html.
Well, budget cuts are even affecting the role of horses at the planned wedding of Britain’s Prince William to Kate Middleton. It’s been reported that Kate has opted to arrive at her wedding in a car rather than the traditional horse-drawn carriage. The reason given is that the carriage appears too ostentatious during a time of economic struggle for many of Britain’s average citizens.
Here’s one horse that didn’t have a good start to the new year. Boston.com reported this week on a horse in Vermont that spent 14 hours trapped in a ravine after being spooked by New Year’s fireworks and crashing through a fence and over an embankment. Fortunately, the seven-year-old mare was rescued by a whole crew that included veterinarians and the Colchester Technical Rescue team. Rescuers used a pulley and harness system to get the mare out. She is now reportedly resting comfortably back at the stable and rethinking late night runs.