Members of the dressage community – both human and horse – took some top honors this past weekend during the U.S. Equestrian Federation annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. For the second year in a row, [#24757 override="Steffen Peters was named Equestrian of the Year" title="Steffen Peters was named Equestrian of the Year"] and his partner, [#24758 override="Ravel, was named Horse of the Year" title="Ravel, was named Horse of the Year"]. And Jessica Ransehousen went home with a [#24756 override="Lifetime Achievement Award" title="Lifetime Achievement Award"]. Dressage is one of the smaller groups in USEF, which serves as the umbrella organization under which all horse sports fall, but it definitely stood out this year.
The holiday season is clearly behind us and the winter show season is in full swing with several shows scheduled for this upcoming weekend around the warmer parts of the country.
In Florida, the Gold Coast Opener CDI kicks off on Friday and runs through Sunday. It's one of the important shows of the season because it's not only a qualifying competition for riders aiming for a spot on America's WEG team, but also the last chance for riders to earn an invite to the five-star Exquis Dressage World Masters that will be held in Florida the first weekend of February. For more information on the Opener, visit www.gcdafl.org.
And in Texas, the KDS Winter I and II is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday in Katy (www.houstondressagesociety.org). And show organizers would like to note that there is prize money for this show so winners will go home with more than just ribbons. Tucson, Arizona will play host this weekend to the Tucson Dressage Club Winter Heat (www.tucsondressageclub.org). And in California, there is the Yarra, Yarra Dressage January in Pleasonton (www.yarrayarraranch.com).
Tens of thousands of American military personnel are involved in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but in Southern California, a group of them were busy last Friday helping to upgrade The Equine Sanctuary, a nonprofit organization owned by Alexis Ells that rescues top performance horses, dressage horses among them. Enlisted military personnel from Naval Base Ventura County, most of them Seabees, put their building skills to work helping place new water lines, building French drains and providing other maintenance help. Most of the horses end up at the Sanctuary when injury prevents them from continuing their competitive careers. Most of those capable of returning to riding work end up becoming dressage horses for new and, hopefully, more caring owners. Read the whole story.
Americans weren't the only ones struggling through a recent cold snap. Europe has been suffering through cold and snow the past few weeks as well and Horse and Hound reports that it has had quite an impact on the British competition calendar. A number of dressage and jumping shows have been cancelled due to travel problems and frozen ground, including important shows that serve as qualifying competitions for national events. The near stop to Britain's horse sport industry is taking its financial toll as well with riders canceling lessons left and right. Read the whole story.
And speaking of England, opposition to equestrian events at the 2012 Olympics scheduled to be held in London, just seems to keep coming. The latest news out of England last week is that a protest movement has begun over the use of Greenwich Park as the site for equestrian competition, dressage included. Much of the opposition stems from concerns over the impact horses, people and construction for the Games will have on the historic park. The latest move is a legal challenge using an 1866 law that prohibits enclosure of metropolitan commons and opponents argue that a compound planned for the Olympic site amounts to an enclosure. Read more
The weekly News Notes seeks to provide brief news updates from throughout the U.S. and abroad and we welcome news information from our readers. If you have news to share, please email Lynndee@harlynnfarms.com.