Wow, WEG is around the corner

7 Jun

Carl Pippa

(Two top horsemen–Carl Hester, Pippa Funnell)



If anyone wants to know how influential Carl Hester is–just look around at all the horses that now get regular turnout; get hacked out; get ridden in snaffles; that get to live like horses rather than jewels in a setting. It is just amazing how many people tell me they ‘have always done this’…

On behalf of horses everywhere: THANK YOU, CARL!

Shout-out to Eric Lamaze, for forging new partnerships after the loss of the incredible air machine/partner, the KWPN stallion  Hickstead. Of course, the experience and knowledge and Mr. Lamaze’s incredible timing did not get lost, but the desire to mind-meld, to find and use the required energy to forge the special relationship necessary for top  of the podium top sport –that seems to be back, making the WEG podiums ever more complex to predict.

In dressage, no one needs any special talent to predict the team gold.

Barring heretofore never seen catastrophe, Germany has such depth this year, they have more than the requisite formula of THREE horses that can score over 80…they actually have extras and near extras.

Only team coach Monica Theodorescu can have that kind of smile on her face; everyone else is scrambling to figure out how to stand on the lower podiums.

In an embarrassment of riches, mostly descending from Donnerhall,Germany will now have yet another major arrow in the quiver– the unmatchable Totilas is back and hot on the hunt for a team spot.  The horse is nowhere near the level of artistry or partnership he displayed in those legendary years with Edward Gal. But the horse is such a phenomenon, under the skillful tutelage of super-coach Sjef Janssen, the horse appears happy enough with his lot in life, and still shows his unreal piaffe, which the judges are3 only too eager to reward.

In eventing, the ridiculous FEI suspension of Kiwi riders Jock Paget and Kevin McNab has been strangely lifted. Too late for Paget to really have a season; too late for him to be given back his Burghley title; too late for either rider to recover the income, the life,etc, in the strange world of FEI where one is presumed guilty and must somehow prove innocence. Which would not be so terrible if : A–such logic ruled ALL such drug suspensions, but do not seem to truly affect certain riders in endurance. And that is B as well.

Endurance at WEG will probably be incredibly well-regulated and protected: the sport has never before suffered such public scrutiny andhorror at the major abuse of horseflesh in top endurance. Leg fractures, heart attacks, horses followed by screaming crowds in vehicles, horses illegally whipped and flogged–the list just goes on and on.

But WEG, I will make bets with anyone, will see everything hunky-dory in endurance.  I only hope the improvements last longer than this one competition–but am not holding my breath.

So the road to WEG features lots of combinations, which makes the actual competition more interesting than in the days when everyone moaned that the order could be called out even before a horse took its warm-up circle, no matter what sport.





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