This week’s News Notes is brought to you by Back on Track, helping to put you on the road to a pain-free life. Next week launches the start of the popular Lake Placid Horse Show and I Love New York Show in New York. Lamplight Equestrian Center in Illinois this weekend plays host to the U.S. Selection Trials to choose the team for the WEG Para-Dressage competition. The Kentucky state legislature gets an update on plans for this year’s WEG.
A miniature horse disrupts traffic on a busy Southern California freeway. A select group of endurance riders are gearing up for the most challenging, and longest, endurance ride through the Mongolian steppe. And from New Zealand the story of a failed racehorse that has become a steeplechase champion. The big event coming up in the show jumping world is the kick-off next week of two weeks of top competition in Lake Placid, New York (www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com). The annual Lake Placid Horse Show starts on June 29 and runs through the July 4 holiday weekend. It’s followed by the I Love New York show that starts on July 6. The event plays host to a CSI2* that is sure to attract many of North America’s top show jumpers. Set in a beautiful part of New York, the two back-to-back shows guarantee that there will be something fun happening to please every member of the family throughout the two-week run.
Meanwhile, dozens of other competitions are scheduled throughout the U.S. this weekend. The big event in the dressage world is the Selection Trials to choose the Para-Dressage team for the U.S. for this year’s Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games. The Selection Trials will take place at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, Illinois. Check out the complete show schedule for the U.S. in the calendar section at www.usef.org. Members of Kentucky’s state legislature got an update this past week on preparations for the upcoming WEG. Legislators were educated on the potential benefits Kentucky will receive by hosting the WEG and received an overview of the equestrian disciplines that will be involved. This will be the first time the WEG has been held in the U.S. and Kentucky is going all out to make it a success. Part of the sell made to state legislators was the potential money that Kentucky will earn from the tens of thousands of tourists who will attend the WEG. The report to legislators also noted that more than 2,000 volunteers are now in place to help keep the show running smoothly. Aside from the competition, the WEG will also feature a trade show, a Kentucky produce showcase called “Kentucky Experience” and the popular “Equine Village”, which will showcase a variety of horse breeds and sport. It is expected that the WEG will contribute $167 million to state’s economy.
And talk about early planning for a WEG, it was reported that a team from Normandy, France has already been to Kentucky to meet with organizers of this year’s WEG and get some hints. Normandy will host the 2014 WEG. The CEO for the Normandy organizing committee is Fabien Grobon, former sponsorship director for the French Tennis Federation.
And here’s the fun story for the week. A miniature horse went for a romp on a busy highway in the eastern fringe of the Los Angeles region. The Riverside County Press-Enterprise reported that police received reports on the horse and went to investigate. They found him running up and down the freeway with a young boy chasing after. The brown and white horse was eventually caught. Fortunately, the mini easily fit into the in the Animal Control’s van normally used to collect wayward dogs. You can check out the photos at http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/stories/PE_News_Local_D_pony21.ab3308.html.
The Houston Weekly reported this week on the Mongol Derby (http://mongolderby.theadventurist.com), billed as both the “Greatest Horse Race in the World” and as the “Longest Horse Race in the World.” It is probably most definitely the longest at 630 miles. The Derby is an endurance ride that covers a vast territory of the Mongolian steppe. It’s so challenging that few competitors qualify and those who do must undergo three days of training. The second annual Derby will start this year on August 7 and 16 riders have qualified to compete. Since its inception last year, three Americans have qualified for the race. You can read more about the upcoming race and one of the riders at http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2010/06/21/greater_houston_weekly/top_of_the_week/0623_mongolian_derby.txt.
And out of New Zealand comes a sweet horse story about Logan James, a rising young star in the steeplechase world. Owners Graham Falconer and his daughter Bridgette had once tried to give the horse away when he showed no promise as a racehorse. “A girl was supposed to pick him up," said trainer Ross Elliot. “But she never arrived and Graham said to me the horse is sitting here, what are we going to do with him? Can we make him into a steeplechaser?" They did and the rest is history. The eight-year-old Logan James, named after Falconer’s grandson, is now setting steeplechase records. You can read more about Logan James’ transformation from racehorse outcast to steeplechase star at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10653302&ref=rss.