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Even Alaska is getting into the dressage show season this weekend with the William Clark Chamberlin Equestrian Center Dressage show in Anchorage. Para-dressage riders continue to be featured in local press around the country with rider Kim Jones making the news in South Carolina. Reports are that journalists will be flooding into this year’s World Equestrian Games. In Britain, dressage rider Liza McQuiston decides to go to civil court for damages a car driver did to her partner Feist. And in Australia, dressage training is helping a top race horse make a comeback.
From Alaska to Florida, it will be a busy weekend in the dressage show world. Up north, dressage fans will be gathering in Anchorage, Alaska for the William Clark Chamberlin Equestrian Center Dressage show (www.anchoragehorsecouncil.com). Meanwhile, down deep in Florida, Wellington Classic Dressage will be holding its Dressage in the Tropics I (www.wellingtonclassicdressage.com) in West Palm Beach. And way up north in the East, GMHA Dressage (www.gmhainc.org) will take place in South Woodstock, Vermont and Windy Hollow Hunt Dressage (www.windyhollowhunt.org) will be in New Jersey. In the upper Midwest, Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois will be busy with its July dressage show (www.dressageshowinfo.com). And the West Coast will be active with dressage shows up and down the coast, including Dressage at Devonwood (www.devonwoodec.com) in Sherwood, Oregon and the 43rd Annual San Francisco Peninsula show (www.sfpcds.org) in Menlo Park, California.
The USEF this past week came out with its list of the 15 horse and rider pairs that have been nominated to participate in the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games Para-Dressage competition. Many riders on the list have been making news back in their home towns as local newspapers highlight their achievements. The latest to make the local press was Kim Jones, who was featured in South Carolina’s Post and Courier newspaper. Kim is a long-time rider who was injured in 2001 while breaking in a young Quarter Horse. A fall from that horse caused severe injury to her brain stem and to her C-1 and C-2 vertebrae, leaving her with only partial use of her legs. Prior to her injury, Kim was a nurse. Now, she lives with her mother and receives disability and her riding has kept her going. She’s so dedicated, that she loads her wheelchair in her car and drives all over the country to get the training that has made her one of the country’s top para-dressage riders. Kim’s dream, however, extends way beyond competing in this year’s WEG Para-Dressage competition. She’s aiming for a competitive riding career against able-bodied riders. You can read more about this determined rider at http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2010/jul/20/back-in-the-saddle-again/.
News reports this week are that while spectator attendance at this year’s WEG seems a bit less than had been anticipated, the journalists are still coming in large numbers. WEG organizers reported that over 700 journalists applied for media credentials and of those, over 50 percent are coming from outside of the U.S. The final count of journalists is expected to be around 1,000.
An earlier News Notes reported on a British court case involving the driver who severely injured British dressage rider Liza McQuiston’s top dressage partner Feist. The horse was being ridden on a country road when motorist Robert Austin-Smith drove into him. Feist’s injuries are such that he’ll never compete again. The driver was found guilty and received penalty points and a minor fine, which wasn’t enough to satisfy Liza. Horse and Hound reported this past week that she is following up with a civil case seeking more damages. You can read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=300132.
And here’s a great comeback story from the Courier Mail in Australia. The newspaper reported this past week on a horse named Weekend Hussler that, last year, was one of the country’s favorite racehorses. His popularity drew crowds at tracks around the country. But he was like a shooting star that burnt bright and then quickly faded. The culprit turned out to be ligament and cartilage damage and Hussler was sent off to rest and recuperate out of the public eye. As he slowly began to recovery, trainer Ross McDonald felt some dressage training might do the horse some good and it did. Hussler got both bigger and stronger. And now he’s back in training for a racing career. However, if the five-year-old doesn’t hold up to the training, his trainer said he’ll have a great second career as a dressage horse. You can read more about Weekend Hussler at http://www.couriermail.com.au/sport/turf/weekend-hussler-on-comeback-trail-via-country-victorian-racetracks/story-fn43rtw4-1225893215506?from=public_rss.