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The big event this weekend is the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships being held at the Kentucky Horse Park. Courtney King-Dye posted news of her first riding experience since the fall that injured her six months ago.
Pony Clubbers from several nations, including the U.S., are gathering in Hong Kong this week for competition and a chance to serve as goodwill ambassadors for their home countries. Show jumping rider Rich Fellers earns a nice profile in one of Oregon’s major newspapers. The New York Times reports on an annual summer ritual that has helped fuel the equestrian spirit in many city kids. And an Equestrian Crime Database is launched in the U.K. with the goal of making it harder for criminals to sell items stolen from that nation’s equestrian community.
Without a doubt the big event taking place this week is the Adequan/FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. The action takes place at the Kentucky Horse Park and runs through Sunday, August 1. NAJYRC features the top young riders, age 14-21, from the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean-area nations. The FEI-sanctioned event gives young riders a unique opportunity to experience true international competition in the disciplines of dressage, show jumping, eventing and reining. Meanwhile, the Midwest’s adult dressage riders will be gathering a bit north of Lexington in Wilmington, Ohio for the big Cincinnati Dressage Tradition breed and performance competition (www.cincinnatidressagetradition.com). And way out west, the Summer Sizzle dressage show will be happening in Kula, Hawaii (www.hsdsmaui.org). For a complete list of this week’s shows, visit the calendar section of www.usef.org.
Here’s some very uplifting news. Courtney King-Dye reports that she has started the slow road back to horses and has twice taken a ride as part of her therapy. Courtney continues her rehab on an outpatient basis and says she’s really happy to be now spending some time at home. Her recent riding partner was a therapy horse named Dude and Courtney admits to mixed emotions. She is happy to be back “home” in the saddle, but her recent rides have also shown her the real impact that her injury has had on her riding. Still, it’s a first step and Courtney said she’s determined to one day be back riding at the level she once was.
One of the exciting events happening abroad this week is the start of the Pony Club Inter-Pacific Exchange competition. The event will be taking place in Hong Kong over the next two weeks drawing young pony club riders from numerous countries, including the U.S. The biennial event was started in 1989 and features competition in several equestrian disciplines, including dressage. And while much of the focus is on the riding skills of the young competitors, the goal of the competition is also to foster international relations by teaching the young riders to act as good ambassadors for their home countries. For the chance to compete in Hong Kong, Pony Clubbers had to qualify to be on their national teams. They’ll be riding borrowed horses and in addition to time spent competing, there will also be time for sightseeing. Read more at http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?pp_cat=11&art_id=100986&sid=29030865&con_type=1&d_str=20100727.
In the show jumping world, U.S. rider Rich Fellers, who is based in Sherwood, Oregon was featured in The Oregonian newspaper and what a great profile it was. Fellers, 50, is on track to be a member of the U.S. team at this year’s Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games with the Irish Sporthorse stallion Flexible. The pair’s road to the WEG has been filled with speed bumps that included a blocked vein that kept Flexible out of competition for more than a year. And, just when that problem was solved, a broken shoulder bone sidelined the stallion again. But both horse and rider persevered and Fellers, who has already won $735,000 in competition this year, is close to his dream of representing the U.S. in the WEG. You can read more about this amazing pair at http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2010/07/veteran_equestrian_rich_feller.html.
The New York Times this past week reported on continued efforts to develop future equestrian competitors from the ranks of city kids. A recent feature article focused on Long Island stables that have long had the role of providing summer riding camps and competitions that draw New York City youngsters. Such stables are carrying on a tradition that has provided riding opportunities to the likes of a young Jacqueline Bouvier (later Kennedy). Many of these stables are located in the glitzy Hamptons and during summer days, the rings are as filled with children as nightclubs are with adults on weekends. You can read more about this summer ritual at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/nyregion/25ritual.html.
PR Newswire announced this past week the launch of the National Equestrian Crime Database in Great Britain. The database works to prevent the sale of stolen equestrian items and provides an information service for equestrians and law enforcement so that they can more easily trace stolen property. You can read more about it at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/National-Equestrian-Crime-prnews-2940969013.html?x=0&.v=1.