Dressage News Notes Brought to You by Back on Track Products

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This week’s News Notes is brought to you by Back on Track, the natural way to pain free life for you and your horse. The main event in the dressage world this week is the Adequan/USDF Annual Convention and Symposium taking place in Jacksonville, Florida. Stay tuned to DressageDaily for news from the convention. And all eyes may be on the convention, but there is dressage competition this weekend. Taking place in Jacksonville alongside the USDF convention is the Dressage on the First Coast. And further up the East Coast in Aiken, South Carolina, the holiday season gets started with the Holiday on Horse dressage show.

The main topic in dressage news media around the world this past week is the announcement of who will take over the ride on Totilas. And that rider is Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, 26. He takes over the reins from Dutch rider Edward Gal who lost his partner of several years after Totilas was sold to top German breeder Paul Schockemöhle in October. Paul had made it rather clear that Totilas would have a German rider. This will clearly give the German’s a leg up in international competition. With Edward Gal aboard, Totilas cleaned up at the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games. Matthias was a member of the Bronze-medal winning German team at the WEG.


USDF news has reported that the two honorees for the Lifetime Achievement Award this year are Judith Noone and the late John “Jack” Kimball. The awards will be given out during the Salute Gala & Annual Awards Banquet at the 2010 Adequan/USDF National Convention & Symposium in Jacksonville, Florida in December. The award is given to people who have shown a lifetime of dedication to USDF through volunteering, and developing programs, projects, and committees that have contributed to USDF's mission.

Judith is from Abington, Mass. and is also well-known as the mother of FEI rider Tom Noone. She was honored for giving countless hours of her time and expertise to the sport of dressage and to USDF. She is known as a champion for youth in dressage as demonstrated by her proposal, in 1978, of a Junior/Young Rider program to her GMO, the New England Dressage Association (NEDA) which resulted in years of collaboration on free weekly youth clinics and Junior/Young Rider dressage camps. Because of her dedication to youth and dressage, USDF founder and inaugural Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame inductee Lowell Boomer asked Judith to helm a USDF Junior/Young Rider program and in 1983, she officially became the chair of the new Junior/Young Rider Program Committee. Under her leadership, the committee went on to develop education grant programs, produce the three-part educational video series Just for Juniors, introduce the Junior/Young Rider Executive Board (not the Youth Programs Advisory Subcommittee), and founded the USDF Youth Regional Team Competitions.

Jack Kimball was an active volunteer with USDF from its beginnings in 1973 until his death in June 1996 and was a founding member of USDF. He served on several USDF committees, including Technical Delegates, Symposium Organizing, and Show Management, served as USDF Region 3 Director from 1979-1987, was a well-known American Horse Shows Association (now US Equestrian Federation) “R” dressage judge and technical delegate, and helped a number of USDF Group Member Organizations (GMOs) get off the ground. These included the Florida Dressage Society which is one of USDF’s first charter GMOs for which he served as an official representative at the inaugural USDF meeting.

From The Timaru Herald in New Zealand comes the story of a New Zealand event that gave dozens of the country’s best up-and-coming dressage riders the opportunity to gain international exposure. The event was the FEI World Dressage Challenge and it was held in Christchurch. The Herald article focused on two local riders who had the chance to participate – Philippa Bartrum and Cushla Cain. The three-day event tested horses and riders under the watchful eyes of two top international judges. These were Jacques van Daele, from Belgium, and Peter Holler, from Germany. To qualify for the event, riders had to earn scores of 60 percent or better in two different competitions. Bartrum gave the event a real thumbs up saying that "We never ever get international judges (in New Zealand), except for at the Horse of the Year Show ... It was more the chance to be judged by the best judges who are right up there in international competition." You can read more about the event and these two riders in particular Here...

Courtney King-Dye reports that she is now getting to spend more time at home and less away for rehabilitation and her therapy rides continue to progress. She also recently had a birthday so happy birthday Courtney. Her clients and her husband Jason joined forces to give her a surprise party and even her family flew in for the event. Her website shows her favorite birthday card, one from her sister that has a mouse wearing a helmet and looking at the cheese on a mouse trap. The saying is “older but wiser.”

British para-dressage riders really dominated at the 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games having won 13 medals, included seven Gold medals. And the BBC news recently reported that with seven highly qualified riders on the WEG team, competition for Britain’s 2012 Olympic para-dressage team is going to be real tough. The Olympic team can only have five members and team manager David Hunter recently told BBC Sport that: "I'm sure it will be one of the toughest selection processes but that's why we have top selectors. When the time for selection gets closer, all of the horse and riders combinations will understand that they will be fighting to catch the selectors' eye.” In addition to the riders were competed at the WEG, Hunter said there were a number of other top para-dressage riders in Britain who were aiming for the Olympic team. You can read more Here!

It’s worth noting that the horse still plays an important role in the national holiday tradition in the U.S. In this week’s news was mention of the arrival of the official White House Christmas Tree. As a military band played “Oh Christmas Tree,” a horse-drawn carriage brought the 18 ½ - foot Douglas fir to the gates of the White House. The tree came from the Botek family farm in Lehighton, Pennsylvania, and it will be on display in the Blue Room of the White House. You can read more and see photos of the horse-drawn carriage Here!