This and that

28 May

Global Dressage Festival in Florida this past year was hailed by almost everyone as a wonderful adventure: great shows, organization, footing, purses, commitment .  The town of Wellington benefited  hugely from the boost to the local economy, the wonderful  PR  and the promise for more opportunities.

Dressage was perhaps the biggest beneficiary, as international riders began to commit to the next season, drawing the glamor and spectators with them.

All of that is in the dumpster for the moment, as  egos and power-mongering have taken over from all good sense.  Local political forces have seen to it that a new mayor and council were elected—even having the vote tally thrown out and re-counted by hand to ensure that the correct officials were ‘elected’.



Horses—always one hoof away from disaster. Never truer than in Olympic years. The past few months, the Danish riders have seen their fortunes rise in amazing ways, including young shooting star Anna Kasprzak  with her new GP partner Donnperignon (former WEG partner to German team rider Christoph Koschel). 22-year-old  Anna K and Donnperignon have been scoring in the high 70’s, including a recent  76 in GP and 77.4 in GPS , beating Danish  star Princess Natalie and her Digby, among others.

Things, as they say, were looking up for the Danish Olympic dreams.

That was last week.

This week, Donnperignon has been reported to have a mild injury , two week lay-up,  and will miss next week’s Danish Championships.  Sending best thoughts for quick and total recovery!



Best quote of this or any week from (who else?) Carl Hester (responding to a person complaining about top sport dressage):

<< As I am only 45 years old hopefully my knowledge will improve as will my riding, and one day I will achieve what it is that people expect of me and my horses.  >>

Thank you, Carl!





The video of  the sub-human abusing a Tennessee Walking Horse has gone viral — but if even one more person sees it and adds their voice to the protest, perhaps people in that section of the industry will think twice before more abuse.





The great bicarb debate-shout out to trainer of I’ll Have Another, Doug O’Neill whose horses burst with muscle and pride and good health.

Doug: I don’t care if your horse got a milkshake! I wish every trainer’s horses look as good as yours do and run with half the pride! Fingers crossed for the Belmont! And thanks for taking such great care of Lava Man (a horse O’Neill claimed, then took on to win several  graded stakes races for over $ 5 million and now I’ll Have Another’s lead pony).


This next item will be confusing. I am still confused…

Edward Gal’s latest star, the stallion  Jack Sparrow, has been bred to about 100 mares this past season.

BUT his KWPN registration expired  recently without satisfying the licensing requirements and the horse is for the moment without proper breeding approval.

A decision was made a few months ago to not attend the KWPN’s mandatory final approval—precisely because the stallion was so in demand for breeding, Gal and the owner decided it was too much showing.

So, Gal and Jack Sparrow went this past week to Germany, Iserlohn, to qualify for the German Bundeschampionate and perform the 30 days test—and  thereby receive his Oldenberger license.

BUT German rules state that the rider has to be a member of a German riding club to be allowed to qualify for the Bundeschampionat. (ie, not happening for Edward Gal  even though he has presented this horse at Oldenburg stallion shows out the wazoo in Germany). The Oldenburger Verband   said that Edward  could ride a normal L-test, rather than the much easier BC qualifier test.

(Note:  the new head of the Oldenberg Verband  just happens to be Paul Schockemoehle, current owner –more or less– of Totilas)

To qualify for the BC they needed an average score of 8.

This seemed like a good idea—the stallion has received exceptionally high scores in all his outings so far, up to and including 10 on gaits..

Incredibly enough, on this day, in this place, he was scored as 6.9, beaten by among others, a German riding pony.

In the end, I am sure Jack Sparrow will be fully approved for breeding. Just another wrinkle in the hot, insular world of sport horse breeding.



And finally, godspeed to Ulando L, Icarus, and Jude’s Law.

These three of  U.S. event riders Michael and Natalie Pollard’s horses were only five miles from home when an impatient car driver felt a need to cut directly in front of the horse trailer that blocked his path, causing the driver of the rig to swerve very suddenly and  sharply, overturning the trailer.

6 horses were in that trailer, and 3 have gone over The Bridge. Ulando L first, then Icarus a day or so later and finally, Jude’s Law, who seemed to have only mild cuts–but turned out to have suffered major internal damage.

I hope everyone driving any vehicle realizes the responsibility that comes with that gas pedal.





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