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In Asian Games competition, South Korea clearly dominates dressage with Gold Medal wins in team and individual competition. In a local newspaper feature, Guenter Seidel vows he’ll be back in the show ring next spring. An Australian dressage rider and her horse overcome injury to make their dream competition. And Florida rolls out its new license plate to benefit the Florida Horse Park.
The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday continues to be a theme at dressage competitions this weekend. Lake View Terrace, California will play host to Thanksgiving Dressage at Hansen Dam (www.gdsdressage.com). And in Hernando, Mississippi this weekend there is the Turkey Trot Dressage (www.deltadressage.com). Also down south this weekend is the Poplar Place Farm November Dressage in Hamilton, Georgia (www.poplarplacefarm.com). Louisville, Kentucky is the location for this weekend’s Bluegrass Fall Dressage (www.stonehurstridingclub.com). The Midwest has the Fields and Fences Autumn Dressage taking place in Gurnee, Illinois (www.fieldsandfences.com). And out West are two shows this weekend – the Las Vegas Dressage Fall Fling in Las Vegas (702-401-8292) and Dressage Getaway in Thermal, California (www.dressagegetaway.com).
The news from the Asian Games is that South Korea emerged as the clear winner in dressage competition. The South Korean dressage team took the Gold Medal and team member Hwang Young-Shik also earned the individual Gold Medal with a score of 74.900 percent. Hwang is only 20 and it was his first Asian Games. He beat out 12 other top Asian dressage riders to earn his medal.
Another interesting angle to the story of South Korea’s Gold Medal win is that Hwang’s teammate Kim Kyun-Sub dedicated his team Gold to his uncle, Kim Hyung-Chil, who was killed competing at the Games four years ago when his horse hit a fence on a rain-soaked cross country course and fell back on top of him. Said Kim after his team Gold, “I hoped that I could win Gold in dressage to honor my uncle. I trembled before I came into the arena.”
In a hometown news feature, dressage rider Guenter Seidel vowed that he’ll not only be back in the saddle, but back in competition. The North County Times in Southern California recently published an article on Guenter in which he stated his hopes that he’ll be competing by next spring. In the article, he said of that fatal day in June that all he could remember was getting on U II, a nine-year-old Dutch gelding, and the next moment a doctor was looking down at him telling him that he was being flown by helicopter to a hospital for emergency surgery to save his life.
Guenter said his long-range goal is the 2012 Olympics and he admits recovery is a challenge with continued on-and-off pain. At 50, healing takes longer, he said, but he expects to be back in the saddle within a few weeks. There are risks. Another serious fall could permanently end his riding career, but he says he doesn’t have “any reservations about getting back on the horse." The fall broke his pelvis and also injured a rib and lung. Guenter has been riding since the age of 12 and notes that this is the longest he’s been out of the saddle. You can read the whole article and see the photos at http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/encinitas/b6252b0b-677e-59f1-a3d2-b529287f5b22.html.
And from the Northern Star in Australia comes a nice story of dressage rider Sally Evans and A’seduction. It was Sally’s dream to compete with her favorite partner in the Australian National Dressage Championships, but a beach ride nearly ended that dream. The pair were riding on the beach with the 14-year-old A’seduction suffered a tendon injury. Initially, it appeared to be a career-ending injury, but after seven months of rehab, A’seduction was back in training. The pair made it to the national dressage finals and even finished in the top 10 in Grand Prix competition. You can read more about them at http://www.northernstar.com.au/story/2010/11/05/evans-horses-sport-ballina/.
The state of Florida has rolled out a special license plate to benefit the Florida Horse Park. The license plate is of a horse on a beach with the sun and on the bottom it says “Discover Florida’s Horses.” Residents who chose to get the plate will help provide financial support to the 500-acre horse park in Ocala. You can see the plate at http://www.ocala.com/article/20101116/articles/101119776&tc=yahoo.