This week’s News Notes is brought to you by Back on Track. Holiday weekend dressage shows are spread across the U.S. A Florida police officer earns a medal in a police dressage competition. A high school equestrian team makes the news in California. An Indiana town digs up a 1966 ordinance to keep a horse out of a woman’s backyard. The rescue of two horses makes the news half-way around the world from each other. And a Minnesota police horse retires after 14 years on the job.
The July 4th holiday weekend is upon us so it is perhaps fitting that it’s the weekend for the Stars and Stripes dressage show in Somis, California (www.santabarbaracds.org). Also in California this weekend is the Yarra Yarra Dressage in Pleasanton (www.yarrayarraranch.com). Heading eastward into New Mexico, the Horses Unlimited Fiesta de Dressage will take place in Albuquerque (www.nmds.us). The Upper Midwest will play host to both the Parkside Dressage in Long Lake, Minnesota (612-599-7071) and Silverwood Dressage in Camp Lake, Wisconsin (www.silverwoodfarm.net). In the Northeast, Glenville, New York will be the location for this holiday weekend’s Dressage at Stockade (www.stockadepolo.com) and in neighboring Pennsylvania, Dressage at the Bucks County Horse Park will be held in Revere (www.buckscountyhorsepark.org).
Congratulations to police officer Elizabeth van Fossen on her silver medal in dressage. The Bradenton, Florida Herald newspaper reported this week on the medals won by city law enforcement officers at the recent Police and Fire Games in Fort Pierce, Florida. The event drew about 5,000 competitors who competed in more than 45 events, dressage was one of them. Elizabeth also won a gold medal in Mounted Police.
High school equestrian competition made the news this week in Southern California when the Ramona Sentinel ran an article about the Ramona High School’s newest sports team – equestrian. The team’s season runs from January to May and this was its trial year. It seems to have been a big success in multiple divisions including western pleasure and reining, hunter/jumpers and dressage. What the team members don’t yet have is the opportunity to letter in their sport, but they are working on that. You can read more about this fledgling high school equestrian team at http://ramonasentinel.com/article/Sports/Sports/Equestrians_form_newest_team_at_high_school/20560.
Here’s an odd situation for an Indiana woman. The Associated Press reported this past week on Dyanna Neal who built a barn in her backyard for her daughter’s show horse. She originally received permission to build the barn from her city of Kokomo. However, once the horse moved into the backyard, neighbors complained. The city then turned up a 1966 ordinance that banned the keeping of horses, cows, goats and hogs in backyards. The old ordinance had apparently been forgotten and never repealed. Based on that, city officials said the barn could stay but the horse couldn’t live in it. The outcome of this one is not yet known.
Britain’s EDP24 regional media reported this week that Alec Lochore, 38, the event director of the SPC Holdings Burnham Market International Horse Trials and the Subaru Houghton International Horse Trials, was named as eventing manager for the 2012 Olympics in London. Alec has years of experience managing national and international horse trails and in his Olympic post, he’ll be handling the day-to-day project management and operational planning for the Olympic eventing competitions. The job includes planning and development of the cross country course and planning the Olympic test event to be held in Greenwich Park in July 2011.
Also out of Britain this week comes a story from the Lancashire Telegraph about a horse that got stuck in a pond. The 28-year-old horse walked into a pond and got stuck in the mud. Fortunately, the water depth was just over a foot. A fire rescue crew and animal rescue unit were called to the scene, but neighbors had already come up with their own solution to the problem – a tractor and a sling. A veterinarian examined the horse after its ordeal and all was well. Most likely, the next time that horse wants a drink he’ll get it from the edge of the pond.
And half-way around the world in New Zealand, another horse found itself in need of rescue. A mare named Kate was found one morning by her owner, Tonya Barrier, lying flat on her back with her legs stuck in the air and struggling. The five-year-old mare was stuck upside down in a ditch. A fire rescue unit and veterinarians also responded to that call. Lucky for Kate, she had no broken leg. Getting her out wasn’t easy. It required a local contractor to cut away the bank of the ditch so the mare could be rolled onto her feet. The whole ordeal to free Kate took nearly five hours. The horse escaped without injury and the owner is fencing off the ditch.
And last, we have a story from the Associated Press about Whisper. Whisper has had a 14-year career as a police horse in Minneapolis, but recently had to retire due to an injury. The Thoroughbred began his career as a race horse at Canterbury Downs and raced until age four at which time he was donated to the Minneapolis Park Police. He worked for the park and city police until 2005 and then on to work for the University of Minnesota Police Department. Among highlights of his career was working at the Republican National Convention. He fractured a front right elbow in November 2008 and although it was repaired, he was not able to return to duty. He has now been adopted by a family and will live out his retirement on the family farm.