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We may be nearing winter, but dressage shows continue around the country, even in the north, but a slow progression southward is evident. The Global Dressage Forum has ended but comment and debate continue in the media. A former member of the Philippine legislature returns to dressage competition in a big way. For Veteran’s Day comes a great story about an Army veteran named Bo.
In Batavia, Ohio they are gearing up for the Thanksgiving season with the Majestic Farm’s Turkey Trot (www.majesticfarm.net). And also happening in Ohio is the Lake Erie College Dressage show in Concord Township (www.lec.edu). Moving southward, Dressage at Greystone Equestrian Center is being held in Lynneville, Tennessee (www.greystoneequestriancenter.com). Leesburg, Virginia is playing host this weekend to the Morven Park Benefit Dressage Show (www.equestrianeventmanagement.com). The Low Country Fall Classic is being held in Johns Island, South Carolina (www.scdcta.com). Moving on down to Florida are two shows this weekend. The Gold Coast Fall Dressage is being held in West Palm Beach (www.gcdafl.org) and in Pensacola is Blue Angel Dressage (www.dsdcta.com). And finally, out west are three shows, the American Cup Championship Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale, Arizona (www.scottsdaleshow.com), the Starr Vaughn Dressage in Elk Grove, California (www.svequestrian.com) and Dressage at CEC in Moorpark, California (www.equestrianperformancecenter.com).
Horse and Hound reported this week on the loss of a dressage great. Kirsty Mepham’s Olympic partner Dikkiloo was euthanized after a serious case of colic. The pair had represented Britain in international competition starting in the 1990s until Dikkiloo was retired in 2002. Dikkiloo, bred in the Netherlands by GJ van’t Hof, was 25 years old. Kirsty acquired him when he was six. You can read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/article.php?aid=303516.
Much of the news this past week has focused on the Global Dressage Forum that was held in the Netherlands and clearly a main topic was the sale of Totilas to Germany’s Paul Schockemöhle. Considering that the Dutch and the Germans are serious dressage rivals this hasn’t sat to well with the Dutch. Most hurt is Edward Gal who, news reports indicate, is seriously heartbroken over the loss of Totilas. Rumors of the stallion’s sale circulated at the WEG in Kentucky but Edward denied the rumors. Perhaps he didn’t know what was about to hit him. When asked during a press conference what it was like to ride Totilas, he stumbled for words, finally stating that it was indescribable, one just had to feel it. Here’s hoping that Edward is handed another great ride – and gets to keep it.
The other news coming out of the Forum relates to that ever-hot topic of judging. The movement has been launched to go from five judges to seven, but questions continue to arise regarding the problem of judge bias. Judges are human and many at the Forum noted that bias is only natural. One example, it was argued, is that a judge is more likely to forgive a mistake made by a horse and rider the judge has seen perform flawlessly many times in the past. How to eliminate bias was a debate at the Forum and it continues to be played out in the press this week as suggestions made at the Forum are debated in the media. Stay tuned to see what comes of it all.
From the Philippines comes the story of politician-turned dressage champion Carissa Coscolluela. Good News Pilipinas reported on Carissa’s championship win at the Bukit Kiara Invitational Horse Show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Carissa is a former representative in the Philippines legislature. Her success came with the help of FAB, a 16-year-old brown Dutch Warmblood gelding.
Carissa had been out of competition for 15 years, but dressage is a growing sport in Southeast Asia and she seems determined to help push it along. The head of the Philippine contingent at the international competition was Filipino Olympian Toni Leviste who told the press that “it is time that the Philippines become a serious player in international dressage competitions once again.” You can read the whole story at http://goodnewspilipinas.com/?p=13269.
And for Veteran’s Day, here’s a nice story about an Army veteran named Bo. Bo served four years in the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment and his duty was delivering fallen soldiers to their grave in Arlington National Cemetery. If you haven’t guessed it, Bo was an Army horse – a large Percheron who was retired by the Army because he was simply too big for the job. He was part of a six-horse team but took up two spots on the team.
The Army needed to retire Bo so that he could be replaced by two smaller horses. In the past, such Army veterans were merely put on the auction block. But to the Army’s credit, horses like Bo are now found homes by the Army so that they can be monitored better. Bo found a home with a family somewhat familiar because it’s a military family. Navy Lt. Brian Roach and his wife, Kim Perez, have adopted the 10-year-old Bo and he recently moved to Southern California to join his new family, which includes chickens, ducks, ponies and an elderly mare. You can read the whole story at http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Retired-Arlington-National-Cemetery-Horse-107075739.html.