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News Notes for July 15, 2010

Dressage competitions are spread all across the U.S. this weekend and while the two coasts are often the busy show locations, this weekend, the middle section is jam packed with shows. Dakota dressage fans will be gathering in Huron, South Dakota for the Dakota Horse Fest (www.dakotadressageandeventing.org). Further south in Augusta, Kansas is the Briar Fox Farm Summer Dressage (www.thehorsefarm.com). And south of that, the WKF Summer Dressage (www.windyknolldressage.com) will take place in Magnolia, Texas. Moving westward, Coloradoans will be gathering in Colorado Springs for the Dressage at the Peak (www.csdressage.org). Utah area dressage riders will be heading to South Jordan, Utah for the Wasatch Back II (435-640-3287). And riders in Nevada have the Dressage in the Sierra in Carson City (www.snc-cds.com). For a complete list of this weekend’s competitions, visit the calendar section of www.usef.org.

If you’ve been holding off buying those tickets for the upcoming Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, now might be the time. The media reported this week that ticket prices for the WEG have been lowered in an effort to boost sales. There are discounts of up to 30 percent on some tickets. These are mostly tickets to the earlier rounds of competition, not the final rounds, which are sold out. The WEG begins on September 25 and runs through October 10. It’s been reported that about 270,000 tickets have been sold. And, since most people bought an average of three tickets, organizers figure that means about 100,000 people bought tickets.

The discounted tickets are part of the WEG’s effort to lure the casual equestrian fan and non-fans – people less likely to put out big money for a WEG ticket. In media reports this week, WEG officials admitted that they had expected ticket sales more around 600,000, but the world-wide recession seems to have taken its toll. The biggest discounts will be for days and events that most need a boost and this includes competition being held on week days.

The WEG isn’t quite here yet, but already serious plans are being made for the 2012 Olympics in London and here is one way to attend for free. The London Organizing Committee is set to start collecting volunteer applications at the end of this month. They will be looking for around 70,000 volunteers who will get free food and entry to the Olympics. They are also in need of several hundred volunteers who have specialized equestrian experience, including knowledge of dressage. Those who are experienced stewards or judges or even writers, can get a jump on the volunteer process by pre-registering by July 16. For more information on being a volunteer at the 2012 Olympics, visit the British Equestrian Federation website at http://www.bef.co.uk/.

The Herald in Everett, Washington reported this past week on two very lucky dressage horses. Morgan Barrows was traveling with her boyfriend and mother to a show on Whidbey Island. In tow were two dressage horses owned by clients who were following in a Chevy Pickup truck. As they headed down U.S. Highway 2, a driver in a Dodge Durango crossed into oncoming traffic – which meant them. He glanced off their pickup and then struck the side of the horse trailer. The driver then continued on and hit two more vehicles, including that of the horses’ owners following behind and a semi-truck behind them. The semi-truck’s cab burst into flames. That driver suffered burns and was taken to a hospital. The driver who started the accident was airlifted to a hospital. But, amazingly, the two horses suffered no injuries and neither did any of the people associated with them.

New York media recently reported that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former president Bill Clinton are eyeing a $10.9 million estate in the equestrian community of Bedford Hills north of New York City. The property of 20 acres came on the market after its former owner filed for bankruptcy. Aside from the usual amenities, such as hoards of bedrooms, bathrooms, a library and a pool, this home also comes with a stable and a dressage ring. Perhaps they’ll pick up the sport and become dressage fans.

It was perhaps bound to happen as top riders seem to go this route. The Daily Telegraph in London recently reported that current Eventing World Champion Zara Phillips, the oldest granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth, is launching her own line of clothing. The 29-year-old Zara will model pieces from her new line at the end of July in London. She has partnered with the outdoor clothing company Musto in this venture. According to The Daily Telegraph report, Zara has sought to create “a collection which exudes style and elegance, whilst providing the high-degree of technical peformance riders require.” And, she’s been testing the clothing herself. You can read more at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/fashionnews/7890229/Royal-equestrian-Zara-Phillips-launches-first-fashion-collection.html.




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