Regional dressage championships continue this weekend with Region 2 in Michigan. Ticket sales are taking off in the last weeks before the World Equestrian Games and lead sponsor Alltech steps in to help fill a budgeting hole. Actor and horseman William Shatner is profiled in the latest New York Times Magazine.
National Young Rider champion Meagan Davis gets profiled in her hometown paper. A mechanical horse helps British jockeys learn how to fall. And New Jersey media report that the state’s Horse Park needs a bit of financial help.
It’s not dressage but it needs to be mentioned that the big event this weekend comes from the show jumping world with the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix scheduled to be held at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York on Sunday afternoon (www.hitsshows.com). It will bring together 40 of the world’s top horse and rider pairs who have qualified throughout the year for a chance at the $1 million in prize money.
And in the dressage world, USDF regional championships continue this week. This time it’s the Region 2 championships that are taking place in Williamsburg, Michigan (www.horseshowsbythebay.com). It’s clearly the time of year for statewide and series championship shows. The Oregon Dressage Society will be holding its Championships in Sherwood, Oregon (www.odschampionshipshow.com). And in Somis, California, there will be the 13th Annual DASC Championship Show (www.socaldressage.com). In the way far west, the Aloha State Dressage Society will host a show in Waimanalo, Hawaii (www.alohastatedressage.com). Deep in the heart of Texas this weekend will be the Southern Sporthorse Breeders Show and Southern Series Final held in Rockwall, Texas (www.lostridgefarm.com).
The 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games is just around the corner and the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that ticket sales are on the rise in the final weeks. Reining individual final tickets are now sold out and so are general admission tickets for Oct. 1. Also on the sold-out list are sections of the cross-country day and the vaulting individual finals have only a few hundred tickets left. Organizers report that more than 325,000 tickets have now been sold. You can read more about plans for the WEG at http://www.kentucky.com/2010/09/06/1422215/ahead-of-the-games.html#ixzz0yrvbXNU6.
Actor and horseman William Shatner was profiled in the New York Times Magazine. The 79-year-old television and film star is still extremely active in the horse industry and his passion for them was much a focus in the profile. For the article, the writer had to follow Shatner around in Kentucky as he prepared for competition and got a good look at the actor’s busy equestrian lifestyle. You can read the entire profile at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05Shatner-t.html?_r=1&ref=magazine.
The last-minute burst of ticket sales is good news for WEG organizers. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the budget for WEG had been cut by $500,000 because ticket sales had been less than expected. The result was cutbacks in such things as landscaping. Alltech, lead sponsor of the WEG, stepped in to save the day by adding $1 million to the budget. And AP reported that Alltech president Pearse Lyons said he was also providing $2.5 million worth of staffing.
New National Young Rider champion Meagan Davis made the hometown news when her national victory was reported in New York’s Kingston Daily Freeman. This was her third year competing in the national championships, but her first as the winner. The article profiled Davis and her partner, the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood Bentley. The article also included a video of the winning ride. You can read the whole article and see the video at http://dailyfreeman.com/articles/2010/09/06/sports/doc4c846a23a679b482409077.txt.
It’s not a dressage win, but worth a mention. New Zealand eventer Caroline Powell won the Burghley Horse Trials in England and made news as the first New Zealand woman to win the trials. Caroline is based in Kelso, Scotland, but comes from Christchurch. New Zealand has a tradition of turning out top eventers among them Mark Todd, Blyth Tait and Andrew Nicholson and now Caroline. She earned her Burghley win with the help of Lenamore, 17 years old and standing at only 15.2 hands.
The Kentucky Horse Park has gotten quite a facelift with the coming of the World Equestrian Games, but further east in New Jersey, another horse park could use some help. The Examiner reported this past week that the Horse Park of New Jersey is feeling the effects of the recession. The Horse Park apparently has to raise $50,000 by March 2011 or the Jersey Fresh Three-Day Event will be cancelled. The 189-acre Horse Park is owned by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The park borders the Assunpink Wildlife Management Area and NJDEP leases the land to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture (NJDOA), which contracts the operation and maintenance responsibilities to the nonprofit Board of Trustees. The Horse Park has stabling for over 200 horses, an indoor arena and four rings of various sizes. You can read the whole story at http://examiner.gmnews.com/news/2010-09-09/Front_Page/Horse_Park_needs_to_raise_50K_to_keep_Jersey_Fresh.html.
in England reported this week on a novel approach to teaching jockeys how to reduce injuries when they fall. The British Racing School in Newmarket has a mechanical horse that can pitch jockeys into the dirt – or in this case a mat – to help them learn how to fall safely. You can watch the news segment at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-11218293.
Courtney King has been updating her website and reports that she’s still busy riding for her therapy. Her stable of mounts has now doubled. In addition to Dude, she is now riding a therapy horse named Shilo. She’s even back in her own saddle, literally. She often uses the saddle she had at the Olympics when riding. She hasn’t graduated to trot work yet, but Courtney says it’s a start. Her positive attitude is an inspiration for many and you can keep up with her progress at www.courtneykingdressage.com.