Thursday, September 23, 2010

WEC Aussie Endurance Rider Penny Toft takes time out to talk to us... - Full Article

Written by Kelly Bauer | Friday, 24 September 2010 03:37

Penny toft has horses in her blood, coming from an equestrian family she started out making a name for herself in the show ring. Having won many champion hack & pony, in harness and ridden classes aswell as winning Horse of the Year titles, Penny decided to make the switch to endurance.

This change of direction proved hugely successful and Penny is well known among the best endurance riders Internationally.

In 2001 Penny was third at the WA Tom Quilty, in 2002 she was a member of the bronze medal winning team at WEG in Jerez. In 2003 at the Tom Quilty in NSW she was 3rd and in 2004 she competed in the Tevis Cup USA for a 17th place overall. Penny has competed and in and won many Gold, silver, and bronze medals at World Championships.

Penny will be riding Don, a seasoned Part Arabian Endurance Horse. He is bay,14 years and over the last 5 years has been succesfully completing 160km rides with Penny. He competed in the World Endurance Championships in Malaysia for an overall 18th place. Penny says „Don is in his prime and has never been better“.

I was lucky enough to catch up with Penny while she is based at the amazing Kentucky Equine Research faciltiy and she shared some of her thoughts with us…

When did you arrive in the US?

1st September.

Where have you and Don been based since arriving?

We have been extremely priveleged to have been based at theKentucky Equine Research Farm in Versailles. We have had the use of the Farms fascilities including Walker, Treadmill, paddocks and convenient trails. The Horses have settled in well to their routine and it will be hard to move on to the Horse Park later this week. My Husband, Peter and Daughter (Groom), Alexandra are staying on the Farm with DON.

Read more here:

Hunterdon residents bound for World Equestrian Games in Kentucky - Full Article

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Lillian Shupe/Hunterdon County Democrat

Some Hunterdon residents are headed down to Kentucky for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Some will be there to watch, some compete and others will be working behind the scenes.

The games get underway with opening ceremonies on Saturday. It is the first time the Games have been held on American soil and the first time all eight world championships will be held together.

Kingwood Township resident Meg Sleeper will compete in endurance riding which will start on Sunday morning.

An Endurance Ride is a competition testing the speed and the endurance ability of the horse. To be successful, the competitor must have knowledge of pace and efficient and safe use of his horse across country. The competition is against the clock over a distance of 100 miles with at least five stops for veterinarians to check the horses’ fitness to continue. The competitor who finishes the ride in the shortest time wins.

Last fall Sleeper was on the team that won a test event at the same location as the Games. Sleeper finished sixth overall in the event...

Read more here:

New Zealand: World quest for Higgins combo - Full Article

Last updated 13:04 24/09/2010

Representing New Zealand is becoming a bit of a family affair in the Higgins household.

This time it isn't shooter Phillip wearing the silver fern. Instead, it is wife Alison's turn to do the nation proud.

On Sunday, she and their horse Twynham El Omar will line up in the 160km endurance race at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

The Nelson-based combination will be one of three Kiwi combos on the starting line.

But it was Phillip who started Omar, breaking him in and riding him for the first three years.

As a shooter, Phillip represented New Zealand at both world championship and world cup level. These days, he's happier grooming for his wife in her bid for glory.

Omar is the third of the late Leo Nisbett's horses to represent New Zealand at world championship level. In the hands of Alison, he won the 2010 100-mile South Island Championship.

She's got no qualms about the world games race she faces this week, but says that starting line will be something else.

"We're used to 1am starts, when everyone is calm – we'll be in a pack with 130 or so others. It's going to be tough."

It's not the first time she has been chosen to represent New Zealand. In 2008, she and Omar got the nod for the World Endurance Championships in Malaysia but turned it down over worries about heat and humidity...

Read more here:

New Zealand: WEGwatch – Tuesday 21 September 2010 - Full Article

22/09/2010 4:27:53 p.m.
It is a cacophony of sight and sound at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington...and the Kiwis are right in the midst of it.
There are accents, languages, signs, flags, vehicles and more as thousands gear up for the World Equestrian Games which get underway on Sunday (25th September). Everyone has a smile on their face and welcoming words. The Kiwis are coming in from all over.
The endurance crews are settled on a farm not far from the Park and will head in to the Games stables over the next day of two. The horses all travelled well and are getting used to their new world. Equine physio Nikki Lourie spent several hours with the endurance horses yesterday and is back out there again this morning.
The endurance riders are settled in a comfy RV right at the farm and the rest of the them are sleeping marae-style in a nearby farm house.
They've become kings and queens of Wallmart, and able to spot a bargain from a mile off. A nearby cowboy boot store has a new appreciation for all things New Zealand after nearly all of them bought at least one pair of boots this week.
And they're pretty sharp at identifying the local wildlife too, with coyotes, skunks, fire flies, raccoons and more all regulars in their patch.
Eventer Clarke Johnstone travelled out with the Aussies and the UK based eventers are set to arrive later this afternoon. Watching the enormous silver trucks – each of which have to carry at least 12 horses – roll in and out of the park is something else. They're so shiny they could be used as mirrors and in a convoy look most impressive.
Showjumper Katie McVean and Dunstan Delphi have made themselves quite at home in a somewhat mobile barn right at the equestrian park. The rest of the showjumping team arrive next week.
The NZ support team have been busy making sure all the important details are seen to – like decorating the stables and ensuring there are cold drinks on hand for riders and grooms...among plenty of other things...

Read more here:

Nearby farms are part of WEG endurance course - Full Article


Sept. 22--Imagine hosting a party on scale so grand you'll need to ask a neighbor to open his yard for your party.

And another neighbor, and another and ... .

That's what it's been like for Emmett Ross.

Endurance discipline manager for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Ross has led the way in cobbling together a 100-mile course over 24 pieces of private property for Sunday's endurance competition.

The endurance race -- essentially a long-distance race in which the rider must pace the horse so that it remains fit to finish -- will begin and end at the Kentucky Horse Park, but it is the one WEG competition whose course will extend beyond the park.

Originally, 65 landowners gave permission to use their property. That proved to be a bit much logistically, so Ross "just drove around all the time" and came up with a more precise route. Still, it's the largest course on private land to be used in a World Championship, according to Ross.

"It's a pretty neat trail," he said. "The big thing is the relationships I've had with the landowners and farm owners..."

Read more here:

Canada: Endurance Alternate Injured

Monday September 20 2010

Canadian endurance rider Carol Steiner was injured when her horse Jumpin' Jax bucked her off in a training ride. She sustained several broken ribs, a possible broken collarbone and punctured lung. It was thought that the horse tangled with some yellow jackets. Carol and Jax were second alternates for the Canadian Endurance Team. Carol remains in the hospital in Lexington recovering from her injuries.

Shaker Village the 21st - Heather Reynolds - Full Article

Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Sorry, I have not had internet until now. We had to move out of the hotel for the second time right before they decided who would make the team so I have not written since.

Our team which you have probably heard by now is:
Ellen Rapp on Berjo Smoke
Meg Sleeper on Syrocco Harmony
Jan Worthington on Golden Lightening
Heather Reynolds on Ssamiam

Our individual is:
Lindsay Graham on Monk

Deborah Reich on DJB Juniper

We were all on pins and needles to hear who would make it. After our final trot out for the selectors we were all relieved because at that point we had done all we could and it was now up to the committees to decide.

We were waiting from about 10 am until 4:30 pm. A long day to say the least. Then when they did announce the team they did so in alphabetical order and started with Ellen Rapp so poor Lindsay thought she had not been selected, then they announced the individual after that. She was overwhelmed...

Read more here:

Blittersdorf is alternate for U.S. Endurance team - Full Article

Jeffersonville woman training for World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky

By Mike Donoghue, Free Press Staff Writer • Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Melody Blittersdorf is hoping to take the horse ride of her life.

The Jeffersonville woman is representing the United States on the Endurance team at the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Endurance is a 100-mile horse race with at least five mandatory stops along the way for veterinarians to check the horses to ensure they can continue, Blittersdorf said in a recent interview.

“I’m the only one from Vermont in any of eight disciplines and the only one from New England in the Endurance,” she said. The competition also includes Dressage, Driving, Eventing, Jumping, Para Dressage, Reining and Vaulting.

The international games are held every four years and this marks the first time they are in America, Blittersdorf said.

The list of Endurance riders on the U.S. team was recently cut to five finalists, but Blittersdorf was named as an alternate and could still move up, according to her husband, Jeff Blittersdorf.

He said his wife is still hoping for a chance to perform at the games, which run from Saturday until Oct. 10 and will be aired on national television — NBC-TV — over three weekends...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Equine Therapy For Special Children Impresses Tuanku Mizan - Full Article

From Sharifah Nur Shahrizad Syed Mohamed Sharer

HINCHINBROOKE (QUEBEC), Sept 20 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin visited a therapeutic riding centre here Sunday and came away impressed with the equine therapy programme for special children and disabled people.

His Majesty spent about two hours at the Lucky Harvest Therapeutic Riding Center where he was briefed by the coordinator and instructor, Debbie Wilson, and chatted with several participants of the programme.

Located about an hour's drive from Montreal, Lucky Harvest Therapeutic Riding Center is the first equine therapy centre to have received an accreditation certificate.

The Lucky Harvest Project was established in December 1990 with the primary aim of providing therapy, rehabilitation and enjoyment to children, youths, and adults with physical, intellectual, emotional and/or developmental disabilities.

The focus of the programme is similar to that of the Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation which assists disabled people, particularly in health care.

Tuanku Mizan, who is chairman of the foundation and an avid endurance horse rider, is on a "special task" visit to Canada in conjunction with the "Brain Gain Malaysia" programme, of which the foundation is a grant recipient...

Read more here:

Close Contact with the World Equestrian Games - Full Story and pictures

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First of all, I have to tell you how awesome my husband is...

He bought me a ticket to the Dressage Finals on October 1st so I can watch my idols ride. I am so excited!! I know I'll be tired because I'll be coming back from an 11 day road trip for work and going straight from the airport to the arena but I don't care! Matt has a photo credential (we could only get one) so he'll be there too.

Also, my husband received a call from his cousin who lives in California. Turns out that his step daughter was selected to ride on the U.S. Endurance Team!! Matt and I know very little about endurance riding except that it's one of the FEI competitions at WEG.

We are learning quickly! The riders compete in a 100 mile race that will have several vet checks. The winner of the race is the rider who crosses the finish line first AND the horse recovers as "fit to continue" the fastest in the vet check. Wikipedia has a great explanation (considerably better and more concise than what I could write) of the competition - Click Here to Read.

Matt contacted his cousin's step-daughter and we met up with the team at an undisclosed location near the Kentucky Horse Park. They were training at this farm.

Without further ado, let me introduce to you the U.S. Endurance Team!

Read more here, and pictures:

200 Wins, Celebration and Reflection

Global Endurance Training Center

The 200th endurance win of Christoph at last weekends Las Cienegas 100 mile ride was certainly a landmark and world record. No other rider has ever crossed that threshold. It was reached on Stars Aflame, competing in her third season now. Last year she was highest finishing USA horse at the Kentucky Cup. This year, she was among the final 25 horses selected for a spot on the USA Endurance Team for the WEG. She ended up not being selected, which allowed her to return to the AERC competitions for the remainder of the year. This was her first 100 mile win. Christoph was glad for being able to work with her in partnership during this race.

Focus, constant learning, commitment and dedication to the sport certainly paid off for Global Endurance Training Center with this accomplishment. This is a time to not only celebrate and bask a little in the sunshine, but also to give Thanks to our horses and their willingness to work with us in partnership. Without their commitment, eagerness and spirit, we would not have achieved these goals.

We are lucky to have such a great family of performance horses at GETC. Christoph has roughly 400 completions. Half of them, 50% are first place finishes. During the endurance careers of Christoph and Dian, GETC horses have accumulated over 135 BCs. (Christoph and Dian have over 100 combined BCs alone). If you think about it, of roughly 700 completions of our horses, there is a 20% chance of a Global Endurance horse receiving BC.

Kevin Myers, Marketing Director of EasyCare, Inc, interviewed Christoph yesterday. His Press release can be viewed at EasyCare's Blog:

EasyCare has been instrumental in the success of Christoph, Dian and all the GETC riders. The new EasyCare Glue-on boots and Gloves are helping our horses tremendously in their performance. Many times we have written about the ease of application, the light weight of the boots, their sole protection. These new boots are unprecedented in the hoof care market. Nothing will ever be the same from here on out. Hoof protection companies have to step up to the plate. The bar has been raised substantially by EasyCare.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Christoph Schork's World Record

Kevin Myers, Easycare Inc, September 20

Christoph Schork is the world record holder for the number of first place finishes at endurance events. Christoph won his 200th race on Saturday, September 18, 2010, at the Las Cienega 100 mile event. More than 25% of those wins were achieved since December 2008 using Easyboot Glue-Ons.

Christoph boasts an astonishing 92% completion rate across more than 21,000 competition miles with more than 80 Best Condition awards and beats the next most-winning rider by more than 50 wins.

Born in Germany in 1953, Christoph was raised on a dairy farm and rode his first horse at the age of three as part of the annual town parade. Each year the horses in the parade would wind their way through town to a spring in the woods where the Catholic Priest would bless the horses before the riders set off into the countryside to ride. What an image.

To say that Christoph is competitive would be an understatement. Growing up as a gymnast from the age of six, he also took up running, track and field (3,000 – 5,000 meters), cross country skiing, triathlon, archery, biathlon, rowing, mountain bike racing and downhill ski racing. He also participated in other extreme sports such rock climbing, white-water kayaking and mountaineering. He has climbed to the 24,590-foot summit of Peak Somoni (formerly Peak Communism) in the Pamir mountains in northwest Tajikistan.

His interest in horses has never waned. He competed in some dressage as a juvenile: he enjoyed the discipline, the precision, being one with the horse and the need to pay attention to detail. But he did not particularly like to be confined – something he says he dislikes to this day. Even when he was competing as a gymnast, he was envious of his friends who were cross-country running because they were outdoors.

Christoph was in his 30s when he first heard about endurance riding through Ride & Tie events in the Salt Lake City area. He particularly enjoyed working in partnership with the horse: the combination of riding and running.

His first endurance race was in 1986 as a non-AERC member. His first official recorded start was in 1988 with a horse named Dahn Hallany. “My knowledge of horses was very limited back then. I knew a little bit about breeding, but Bob and Arlene Morris were of great help as early mentors.” He still keeps in touch with them today. “You should take time to learn,” he says, “because if you don’t learn, you stay stagnant which is akin to going backwards.”

read full article at

WEG: Nearby farms are part of WEG endurance course

By Mark Maloney -

Imagine hosting a party on scale so grand you'll need to ask a neighbor to open his yard for your party.

And another neighbor, and another and ...

That's what it's been like for Emmett Ross.

Endurance discipline manager for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Ross has led the way in cobbling together a 100-mile course over 24 pieces of private property for Sunday's endurance competition.

The endurance race—essentially a long-distance race in which the rider must pace the horse so that it remains fit to finish—will begin and finish at the Kentucky Horse Park, but it is the one WEG competition whose course will extend beyond the park.

Originally, 65 land owners gave permission to use their property. That proved to be a bit much logistically, so Ross "just drove around all the time" and came up with a more precise route. Still, it's the largest course on private land to be used in a World Championship, according to Ross.

"It's a pretty neat trail," he said. "The big thing is the relationships I've had with the land owners and farm owners."

Ross, who came from Cat Spring, Texas, in June 2008 to begin his task, has been working full-time on the course for the last year. He also played executive roles with the equestrian events at the 1984 Los Angeles and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games.

He says Horse Park neighbors have been quick to lend a hand.

"There were two or three that were like this at first," Ross said, ruffling his face in a dubious frown. "But they have become our biggest supporters."

The course extends over Thoroughbred and sport horse farms, as well as corn, soybean, tobacco and beef cattle farms.

It includes 18 road crossings (where police will assist in keeping the road clear) and 15 water crossings, including one at the mouth of Russell Cave.

Tobias Incollingo, farm manager of Castleton Lyons, said the farm's late owner, Tony Ryan, was an enthusiastic supporter of the Games from the beginning. Ryan died in 2007.

"It was relatively easy," he said of their participation. "We mowed the grass a little lower and we had to add a few gates so the horses could get through the pastures," Incollingo said.

The endurance horses will come up the farm's main driveway, then continue on the west side of the farm along Mount Horeb Pike as part of one of the loops. The Castleton Lyons horses will have to be brought in from those fields as the riders go through.

"We like to be involved in local events," said Incollingo, who said the farm was not paid for their participation, but did receive some tickets to the horse park.

Caves and water crossings

While the competitors, officials, managers and emergency vehicles will have access to the endurance course farms during Sunday's race, spectators and rider's assistants do not. (Some land owners will host private parties, which will enable invited guests to glimpse the race.)

Spectators will be able to see the competitors at the Horse Park, where horses will stop for vet checks after completing each of six loops.

If you're thinking of scouting for a spot to park alongside a road to watch the competition, don't. No parking is allowed.

The course footing is listed as 80 percent grass trails and pastures, three miles of paved road segments, two miles of gravel roads, and some dirt trails.

"I think we'll have fun with all that grass — 80 percent," said Eoné Willemse, a 22-year-old South African woman who will be riding the Arab-Saddlebred-cross Shamwari. "All the water crossings will be fun as well."

The terrain is rolling, with several steep but short climbs.

"They've been very helpful," said Chad Needham, who is part of Ross's crew in preparing the course. "They have some beautiful places and they've allowed us to pass through."

Needham, a former Bryan Station and Transylvania University soccer standout, spent Saturday inspecting the second and longest loop of the course, which covers about 25 miles.

Included on that loop is the Russell Cave water crossing on Mt. Brilliant Farm. That portion of the course also passes alongside Man-O-War's Barn, where the horse of the same name once lived.

The second-loop turnaround — and farthest point from the Horse Park on the course — is where only the marble columns of the original Elmendorf Farm mansion have survived.

Ross said he designed the course that way because the mansion's owner, James Ben Ali Haggin, was involved in one of the earliest endurance races in California.

A slow Kentucky Derby

Sunday's race is scheduled to start at 7:00 a.m. Some competitors will not finish until after dark, so 3,000 glow sticks will be used to mark the course. The cutoff time to finish the course, 11:08 p.m., requires riders to cover an average of 8.2 mph; the winner likely will clock about 12 mph.

"It's like running 80 Kentucky Derbies at one-third the speed," Ross said, "but in one day."

According to Ross, no World Championships endurance event has had more than 40 percent of the field complete the test. He's hoping for 50 percent here.

The compulsory stops for vets to check the horses' fitness and ability to continue take place at the Horse Park upon completion of each loop. A fit horse that is also able to demonstrate quick recovery gives the rider a distinct advantage, reducing the time spent in the inspection area.

Jan Worthington, at 70 the oldest member of the U.S. team, placed third in a rain-hampered 75-mile test event here last year. Her horse, a 10-year-old Arabian named Golden Lightning, was named Best Conditioned.

"He did good in the mud. ... But he's a pretty good horse in the heat, too," Worthington said. "So he should do better than the average horse if we make it. He has pretty fast recoveries, and that's a big advantage, and I have a good crew.

"He's got huge nostrils, which the Arabian breed is known for," she said. "His are particularly big."
Herald-Leader staff reporter Linda B. Blackford contributed to this report.

Read more:

France: Change on the French Endurance Team

The rumour running around yesterday has been confirmed by an announcement, in the usual laconic style of the FFE, that the French team has had to withdraw Bénédicte Santisteva and Djour de Bozouls. Raison because of concerns about the horse'e health.... They will be replaced by Cécile Miletto-Mosti and Easy Fontnoire... a crack rider with an exceptional horse. As a result it's possible that national selector Jean-Louis Leclerc, will review his strategy… In effect, with the replacement of the 12 year-old Djour by the 8 year-old Easy, the team now has three 8 year-old horses - and 8 is the ideal age, according to M. Leclerc, to run a 160k. Consequently there are now 3, not 2, horses who could run for the individual title: Virginie Atger on Azim du Florival, Cécile Miletto-Mosti with Easy Fontnoire, and Sarah Chakil with Sakalia. But given that the latter is still a youngster, the situation seems most advantageous for the two others, two riders with similar experience on two horses of undoubtable ability. M. Leclerc will have to pick one or the other...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Frequently asked questions about the Games - Full Article

September 19 2010

What is the FEI, who leads it and what do they do? The Fédération Equestre Internationale (International Equestrian Federation, but it's in French because that's the traditional language of the Olympic Games), is the worldwide authority for all international events in dressage, para-equestrian dressage, jumping, eventing, driving, para-equestrian driving, endurance, vaulting and reining. Headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, the FEI works with the national federations of each member country to regulate and govern equestrian disciplines. FEI's current president is Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, who is sometimes seen at the Keeneland sales with her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Where have previous Games been held, and where will they be in the future? The first World Games were in 1990 in Stockholm, Sweden. Following that, the Games were held every four years in the following locations:

1994: The Hague, Netherlands

1998: Rome, Italy

2002: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

2006: Aachen, Germany

2010: Lexington (the first time in the United States)

In 2014, the Games will be in Normandy, France.

How much public money will be spent on the Games? About $107 million will have been spent directly on projects associated with the Games, such as new facilities at the Kentucky Horse Park and road projects. Another $151 million has been spent on projects that may have already been planned, but were put on a faster timetable because of the Games.

Read more here:

World Equestrian Games has plenty of fans, just not necessarily in Louisville - Full Article

By Matt Frassica • • September 19, 2010

When Louisvillians think about horses, the Twin Spires, mint juleps and exactas spring immediately to mind.

Dressage and reining? Not so much.

That might explain the mixed response locally to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington. Kentucky will host the world championships for eight equestrian sports over 16 days beginning September 25.

The World Equestrian Games, the Olympics of horse sports, has never before been held outside Europe. When they open at the Kentucky Horse Park next Saturday, the Games promise to burnish the state's reputation as the horse capital of the world.

The Games are expected to draw 300,000 visitors, with an economic impact estimated at $167 million, according to a University of Louisville economist.

But while the star athletes of sports like driving and dressage are celebrities in Europe, they're not as well recognized in Kentucky, where the focus of most horse enthusiasts is on racing. The Games do not include racing around a track — or betting.

They do include dressage - a form of competitive horse training, which has nothing to do with Todd Pletcher vs. Bob Baffert...

Read more here:

Horse Power: Some area businesses set to cash in on World Equestrian Games - Full Article

September 18, 2010

When the news first broke about four years ago that Lexington had been chosen to host the 2010 World Equestrian Games, there were high hopes the international horsey set would be running unbridled all through the area with money falling out of their saddlebags.

Back then, even folks as distant from the Kentucky Horse Park as Liberty were anticipating a pay day by stabling horses at the Ag/Expo Center.

But now, with games only a week away, such galloping expectations have been reined in by reality. A stubbornly slow economy and reports of sluggish ticket sales and motel bookings have shrunken the real sphere of influence the Games will have more tightly around the Lexington area.

More than half a million people are expected to attend the Games and will have an estimated economic impact of more than $150 million.

Some of that wealth will be spread in these parts. One business, Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, has already profited handsomely. The U.S. Endurance Team — 10 horse-and-rider teams, their grooms, team officials and other hangers on — have spent nearly three weeks at Shakertown prepping for the Games...

Read more here:

Davidson Legacy Will Be Part of the WEG at Kentucky Horse Park - Full Story

September 18 2010

Nancy Jaffer/For The Star-Ledger

McLain Ward, who will be the cornerstone of the U.S. show jumping team at WEG with his two-time Olympic team gold medal mount, Sapphire, got a good warm-up for the Games when he won the Pfizer Animal Health $1 Million Grand Prix last Sunday at the HITS show in Saugerties, N.Y.

The grand prix, the richest ever, had a tough course by Olympic designer Steve Stephens that enabled only two in the field of 43 to qualify for the jump-off. Charlie Jayne had a rail down with Athena while Sapphire, as usual, went clear to take the title, worth $350,000.

Meg Sleeper of Frenchtown yesterday was named to the U.S. endurance team for the WEG. A veterinarian who finished 21st in the last WEG, Sleeper will be aboard her 8-year-old Arabian, Syrocco Harmony.

In an e-mail, Sleeper talked about the training camp where the horses are based while revving up for the WEG.

"Pretty frequently, we have people just stop by who have seen the sign “Shaker Village- home of the 2010 USA Endurance Squad” on the road. They want to see the horses and learn about endurance,, so it seems to be good PR and they have lots of questions about the sport. I checked my weight with tack today and I am pretty good;only one-half pound under the minimum. I think I can deal with that by drinking a lot before weighing in, but Dave (her husband) is going to bring a gel pad from a good friend just in case I need the extra weight.

"We are trying to prepare the horses for the UAE (United Arab Emirates) tactics of galloping by screaming to unsettle the other horses (which isn't that hard with a mass start of 160 horses anyway). So we practiced riding in a large circle with two people peeling off and cantering in the opposite direction (passing as close to the oncoming horses as possible and yelling at the top of our lungs as we did it). Then we repeated it while traveling in the same direction, which is more intimidating for the horses (having a screaming horse and rider passing you at the hand gallop).

"We looked like fools and the horses must have known it was just tactical maneuvering. At least they all stayed fairly calm..."

Read more here:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chile: Bad Luck for the WEC Team

WEG: Arrivals As The Blog Turns By Ruthie Harbison - - Full Article

September 18 2010

There has already been heartbreak in the barn for Pedro Pablo from Chile. His endurance horse got his foot caught in its haynet the very first night it was stabled here at the park and fell down and was injured. Luckily the horse will recover, but what terrible luck. All the other riders from the other disciplines have been very sympathetic to his situation as everyone who competes understands that kind of heartbreak with the horses. Unfortunately Chile only sent three endurance horses so now they no longer have a team. Pedro has been a real trooper about it and says he needs a halter with 'shit happens' written on the side of it.

Read more here:

Spain: Path of the WEC Horses

El Raid Blog

Camino de los Mundiales de los caballos de Raid

Seguimos con las peripecias de nuestros caballos de Raid, camino de los Mundiales.
Esta es la nota de la RFHE.

"Tras la llegada el pasado jueves a la cuarantena que se lleva a cabo en Cincinnati de los caballos españoles; este viernes por la tarde - noche ha comenzado la llegada escalonada de los deportistas, técnicos, acompañantes y asistencias de Raid, Reining y Doma Clásica.

Todos ellos, con sus respectivos Jefes de Equipo, fueron llegando desde Atlanta y Nueva York a la ciudad de Lexington, siendo recogidos por los vehículos oficiales y trasladados: al hotel de concentración unos, y a la residencia de las asistencias otros.

Los miembros del Equipo de Doma se desplazaron desde Alemania, donde han llevado a cabo bajo la dirección de Jean Bemelmans, la última parte de su preparación para los Juegos.

Los representantes en las disciplinas de Raid y Reining lo hicieron desde Barcelona, en cuyas proximidades quedaron concentrados para llevar a cabo las sesiones finales de entrenamiento antes de cruzar el charco.

En lo que se refiere a los caballos, y a la espera de la confirmación de la organización, se espera para esta tarde de sábado la entrada de los mismos en el Kentucky Horse Park, donde llegarán con el fin de quedar instalados en sus cuadras y el comienzar sus sesiones de preparación.

Su estancia en la zona de cuarentena según los veterinarios de los equipos, ha sido buena en general, si bien el calor y lo limitado del espacio aconsejan la salida cuanto antes hacia Lexington.

En otro orden de cosas podemos resaltar que ha tenido lugar la primera reunión de la organización con los Jefes de Misión, de la que cabe destacar como conclusiones más importantes que el Kentucky Horse Park no estará a pleno rendimiento hasta el día 22 de Septiembre, así como que quedan todavía procedimientos por definir por parte de la organización".

Path of the World Raid horses

We follow the adventures of our horses Raid, way of the World.
This is the note of the RFHE.

"After arriving on Thursday to quarantine is carried out in Cincinnati of Spanish horses, this Friday afternoon - evening has begun phased arrival of athletes, technicians, companions and assists Raid, Reining and Dressage .

All of them, with their respective team leaders were coming from Atlanta and New York to the city of Lexington, being collected by government vehicles and transported: the demonstration, hotel, residence and assists others.

The Dressage Team members traveled from Germany where they have conducted under the direction of Jean Bemelmans, the last part of his preparation for the Games.

The representatives in the disciplines of Reining Raid and did so from Barcelona, were concentrated in the vicinity to carry out the final sessions of training before crossing the pond.

In regard to horses, and pending confirmation of the organization, is expected this Saturday afternoon of the same entry in the Kentucky Horse Park, where you'll to be installed on their blocks and begins his preparation sessions.

His stay in the quarantine zone by the veterinary teams, has been generally good, although the heat and limited space output advise as soon as possible to Lexington.

In another vein we note that took place the first meeting of the organization with the Heads of Mission, which include as major findings that the Kentucky Horse Park will not be at full capacity until the day September 22 and and that there are still procedures to be defined by the organization."

WEG for Monk - Monk's Blog

FEIRedhorse blog - Full Story

Sad to say, but the only reason that MONK made the WEG team was
because Jeremy Reynolds pulled his beloved Smitty. If you knew what
the selectors knew you would have to make the same call. You want
your "suspect horse" to be the individual rider and not in the 4 horse
team. I think the only reason he would be "suspect" was his pull in
Danville. MONK has never had any lameness issues until he traveled on
that coarse, where he obviously found a hole with his name on it. I
have lots to say about Danville, but will leave that for another time.
I think under other circumstances I would of pulled my horse and gone
home, but the lure of being on the WEG USA team was too strong and
I/we succumbed to the pressure. I abandoned what I knew was best for
my horse. But I was not the only one, not that that is any

Read more here:

Pre-Shaker Villager - Monk's Blog

blog - Full Story

Friday September 17 2010

This is a post that I wrote some time ago, but did not feel it was appropriate to post until now. I will finish the post at the end so you know what happened....

Pre Shaker Village

Not widely known but MONK was in fact pulled at Danville. He had completed the 17 and 24 mile loop when he came up off on the left front at the Vet check. Well, needless to say our hearts sank to the bottom depths of our chests. The head vet told Lindsay that the FAT lady had not sung yet, so to just wait and see what happens.

MONK had been standing at the trailer for over 3 hours. He had been iced and his legs were in wraps with poultice. Becky Hart and a couple of Vets showed up at our trailer and wanted MONK to trot out, so we did. They trotted him out a couple of times, all of which looked perfect to me and others, who were standing around. He was pronounced significantly better, (I think that means not lame)..

Needless to say we were very happy and surprised that he was selected to go to Shaker. I was asked prior to the selection if I would be willing to have a full lameness exam done on MONK, to which I agreed.

As soon as I got to Lexington I got a call from Dr. Duncan Peters from Hagyard vet clinic. We made an appointment for him to see MONK at their clinic, which is right across the street from Lexington Horse Park.

A couple of days prior to the appointment MONK showed up with a large 6" scrape on his left rear butt cheek where he probably skidded out on the wet grass. I was not too concerned as I was pretty sure that there was no lameness to be found.

Dr. Peters did all the standard lameness exam stuff, trotting out,
circling and a flexion exam, which I am not too fond of.. MONK showed
sings on his left rear, (where he had fallen) of taking a few bad
steps after the flexion test. We were sent home with some Bute and
said he would call for a re check the next week...

Read more here:

Worthington, 70, on U.S. endurance team - Full Article

By Jennie Rees • • September 17, 2010

HARRODSBURG, Ky. — Seventy-year-old Jan Worthington made the five-woman team that will compete for the United States in endurance at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park, team coach Becky Hart said Friday evening at Shaker Village.

Worthington will be the oldest U.S. competitor in any of the eight disciplines at the Games, which run Sept. 25-Oct. 10, and likely will be the oldest for any country. The 100-mile endurance competition is Sept.26.

“Experience, old age and treachery, remember?” Worthington joked.

“I hope I break your record,” said 33-year-old team member Heather Reynolds...

Read more here:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Great Britain: Endurance riders race in all weathers on Dartmoor

September 17 2010

Drizzling rain soon turned to bright sunshine in typical Dartmoor fashion for the Brentor Endurance ride.

With the sun shining and the scent of heather in bloom, this was a wonderful day for riding on the moor and 80 horses and riders turned out to enjoy themselves.

Endurance rides on Dartmoor have always been popular as the scenery is magnificent and the going is challenging. This year's route, put together by Jo Chisholm and Katherine Letherby followed the lanes and bridleways from the venue to the moor below Gibbet Hill. From here it crossed the A386 and ran north to Sourton Tor and Prewley, with different routes and loops for the different classes.

Ride organiser Janet Lander said: "Two local landowners, Roger Cole and Brian Lavis, very generously let our competitors ride across their land and, thanks to the volunteer helpers, almost all the gates were manned."

The longest two classes of 80 km (50 miles) and 66 km (40 miles) had a vetgate and hold (compulsory rest for the horses) on the track going up to Willsworthy rifle ranges. This meant that the competitors could stay out on the moor for most of the day and not return to the venue until the end of the ride. Two of the four vets, who were on duty at the ride, went out to check the horses at the vetgate, while the others stayed at the venue to do the final vetting.

Among the riders was Janet Watts, 67, of Totnes, who was riding with Rebecca Townsend from Bere Ferrers. This was Janet's first endurance ride since she had a bad accident out hacking four-and-a-half years ago...

Read more here:

Northern Championships comes to town - Full Article

17 September 2010

THE NORTH & East Yorkshire Group of Endurance GB hosted the Baileys Horse Feeds Northern Championships for the third and final year last month, before it is hosted by Durham and Teesside.

There was a gentle breeze to keep the horses cool,which resulted in a host of Grade 1s The Hambleton Hundred was run as a CR over 2 days, 63km on Saturday followed by 42km on Sunday. Placings were then determined by Performance Formula.

13 combinations set out, with 12 completing on Sunday afternoon.

Cheryl Wallace and the evergreen Wrightfield Omar (20yrs) were winners of the FancyThat Memorial Trophy. They completed at a speed of 13.76kph with a finishing pulse of 36, achieving 48.33PF points.

Hot on their heels was Catriona Moon and her French bred mare Leila...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Horseback rider dedicates endurance ride to captured Idaho soldier - Full Article

by Dee Sarton
Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVB


Posted on September 15, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Updated today at 6:41 PM


See all 6 photos »

HAILEY, Idaho -- It's been a long time since we've had any good news about Bowe Bergdahl, the Army soldier from Hailey who has been held by the Taliban in Afghanistan for 15 months.

Idaho friends and neighbors have been a bastion of support for Bergdahl's family ever since his capture. They've kept yellow ribbons flying and his memory fresh, but on this day there was a new expression of support in his hometown.

"Bowe's still out there we need him to come home and we're going to keep his horse waiting for him," said Donna Thibedeau.

Bowe's horse is optimistically named Destiny, one of the rescue horses from Donna Thibedeau's ranch in Malad, Idaho where she invites veterans suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome to come and heal at no charge...

Read more here:

The Republic of Endurance - Horsebytes Blog

Horsebytes Blog - Monica Bretherton - Full Story

There's an endurance powerhouse missing from the list of nations competing at the World Equestrian Games.

That is the Republic of Texas.

This realization came while talking to Darolyn Butler last week. We met briefly at the WEG trials in Brothers, Oregon, when she was hoping to possibly be riding herself in Kentucky. That was not to be, but she still had a major role to play - as standard bearer for the State of Texas and international endurance racing in general.

When I asked how many of her horses were nominated, she listed five, plus one she sold. In addition, Kattie Shah's horse Ace's Comett, one of Cecilia Strahle-Engquist's possible mounts, is a resident of her farm, Cypress Trails.

You might quibble that only one of her horses has a rider who is Texas-born and bred - her daughter, Ceci Butler-Stasiuk. The three members of the Namibian Endurance team, Anna Wucher, Kordula Voghts and Olivia Mattaei, and a Colombian, Maurizio Gaona, are riding four more, and the mare she sold, DJB Juniper, is shortlisted for the USET team with American rider Deborah Reich of Croton-on-Hudson,New York.

Still, Darolyn pointed out that only a few countries are likely to field more horses than Texas. I wanted to know exactly how she had become its standard-bearer at the World Equestrian Games, and that meant delving into the past...

Read more here:

Shaker Village the 13th - Heather Reynolds

Reynolds Racing - Heather's Blog - Full Story

Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Above you will see Sam's dinner, now you can see where he gets his goofy side from:)

We have been keeping busy. This past weekend Jim Bryant came here again and trotted all of the horses. I think he was happy with the over all group.

On Saturday morning our group was asked to be the guest speakers for the annual Al Khamsa (SP?) convention. At the last minute the speaker that they originally had could not make it so we became the show. Their group was very nice. The club is based on having horses bloodlines that go back to Bedouin blood on all lines of their pedigree, or so I understood it, sorry if I have it wrong.

After our speech about the WEG endurance team we headed out and had brunch at Cracker Barrel. After we were all fed we headed over to Spy Coast.

Spy Coast is a hunter jumper barn. It is a stunning facility. The barn was immaculate, airy and state of the art. We all admired the barn. Spy Coast arranged for the USA team to park our trailers on their property which is great, as it will be the closest possible place for us to park next to the crew area for ride day. We were also able to view the crew lay out from their property.

While we were there we saw Ivanhoe, Michelle Roush's mount. Spy Coast is the proud owner of this mare...

Read more here:

U.S. Endurance Team training at Shaker Village - Full Article

September 15, 2010

PLEASANT HILL — If the U.S. Endurance Team has any success at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, it may credit some simple gifts gained from thundering through the hilly terrain once staked out by the Shakers.

Ten endurance riders have been in training at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill since Sept. 1 with hopes of being one of five chosen for the final U.S. team.

Becky Hart, the Endurance Team’s coach (or Chef d’Equipe,) said a group, including veterinarians, will convene Friday to decide which five riders and horses will move on to the Kentucky Horse Park on Sept. 24 for the competition.

With many locations to choose from, Hart said Shaker Village stood out because of the terrain and the fact the team could take its meals and training within walking distance. Also, instead of working a small pasture or track, members get to spread out on the 33 miles of horse trails at Pleasant Hill...

Read more here:

Great Britain: Ulverston breeder's horse 'destined for the top'

Thewestmorlandgazette.couk - Full Article

Wednesday 15th September 2010

AN Ulverston horse breeder is hoping for a bright future after one of her stock was recognised as a future champion by some of the most knowledgeable in the business.

Kaye McIver’s three-year-old Arab gelding Seren Procyon has earned the prestigious higher first premium (HFP) at the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) Futurity Evaluations, indicating the young horse may well be destined to compete at the very top of its sport.

The event, at Richmond Equestrian Centre, aims to identify British-bred young potential sport horses and ponies destined for careers in dressage, eventing, show-jumping or endurance, and may even find the Olympic champions of the future.

Seren Procyon, known as Cyon, was awarded the second overall highest score of the day and the highest endurance score – its overall score of 8.93 and the HFP title indicates the horse has the potential and outlook to perform well at top level.

Cyon was bred at Seren Arabian Stud, at Over Staveley, Kendal, by Jan Varty and Dominick Atkinson...

Read more here:

World Equestrian Games hopeful 'Zar' indeed a breed apart - Full Article

By Jennie Rees • • September 15, 2010

You've heard of shaggy dog stories. This is a Shagya horse story.

A rare breed of horse similar but distinct from the Arabian, the Shagya is so scarce in Kentucky that only two or three might be born in the commonwealth in a given year. But one of those, 13-year-old SA Belshazzar, is in the final days of evaluation to represent the United States in the 100-mile endurance race Sept.26 at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington.

It is the first time a Shagya born in the United States — let alone Kentucky — has made it to the short list for WEG endurance, a sport dominated by Arabians, according to Darlene Steven of Finchville, Ky., a past president and founding member of the organization that registers Shagyas in this country.

Of the 10 riders and 12 horses still in the running for the American team, five rider-horse combinations will be chosen Friday. Zar, as the gelding is called, is one of two horses who made the short list with rider Ellen Rapp. He also could serve as an alternate for Rapp if she is chosen for the team with her other horse, a 15-year-old Arabian...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

70-year-old World Equestrian Games rider for U.S. already is endurance winner

To Jan Worthington, riding a horse 100 miles during a Malaysian monsoon or unloading more than a ton of hay is just another day.

She's that tough.

She also might be the oldest competitor in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games that begin this month at the Kentucky Horse Park near Lexington.

Worthington, a mother of three and grandmother of four, is 70. She's on the 10-rider “short list” to compete for the United States in the Sept. 26 WEG endurance event, which involves riding a horse over a total of 100 miles in one day.

If she makes the cut for the five-member U.S. endurance team, Worthington will be America's oldest competitor in any of the eight equine disciplines at the games, which run Sept.25 through Oct. 10. And though final entries aren't due until Sept. 21, she'd very likely be the oldest of any team member, WEG publicists said.

Worthington is an icon in the endurance world and has been involved with the sport for 38 years.

“Jan is the person we all want to be like when we grow up,” said Kathy Hart, the U.S. team's coach-manager, called a chef d'equip. “She's amazing. She can do twice what a normal person can do.”

Legend has it Worthington and her horse Golden Lightning were struck by lightning while competing in the World Endurance Championships two years ago in Malaysia. That's not quite true, she says.

Amid torrential rain she saw a flash of lightning strike the ground yards away. She said she believes her horse, nicknamed Leon, felt the charge through his metal shoes.

“Leon went crazy,” she said — leaping twice and throwing her off, though she held onto her reins.

“And he dragged me.” she said. “All this is going through my mind so quickly, ‘You can't be drug any more. You've got to let go of the rein.' And then in the next instant my thought was, ‘You've come too far. Hang on.' He finally stopped.

“I opened my eyes,” she said — and found herself on her back under the spooked horse's belly.

...full story at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Equine Infectious Anaemia Detected in Second Horse in England

by: Edited Press Release
September 13 2010, Article # 16948

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) has been detected in a horse in Devon, England, after the owner requested a private vet to examine a sick horse, Defra confirmed Sept. 11.

The premise is currently under restriction and the infected horse will be humanely destroyed in line with existing regulations. The other two horses on the premises are currently being tested for evidence of infection.

The horse has been in this country for two years and only became ill very recently. The investigation into the origin of this case is ongoing.

"The risk of notifiable exotic disease is ever present," said Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens. "This case demonstrates the importance of owners being vigilant and identifying illness in their animals and consulting their vet who should then report any signs of exotic disease to the Animal Health Agency."

This is the second horse in England to be confirmed with EIA, a viral disease of horses that causes intermittent fever, anemia, emaciation, and death. It can be transmitted by the exchange of blood by biting insects and occurs typically in low-lying swampy areas. The first was reported in Northumberland Sept. 7. The two cases are not being linked at this time.

What are the U.S. Team Horses up to before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games?

Release: September 14 2010
Author: Joanie Morris

Lexington, KY - Ten days to go before the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (September 25-October 10) and the American horses and riders are putting the finishing touches on their preparation. Where are they and what are they up to?

The ENDURANCE horses are all in Harrodsburg, KY where they are traversing and training through historic Shaker Village less than an hour from the Kentucky Horse Park. All 12 horses (10 riders - as Meg Sleeper and Ellen Rapp each have two) have been training well and staying fit under the guidance of Chef d'Equipe Becky Hart. They will have their final veterinary evaluation on the September 17, after which the final teal will be named.

There are an unprecedented amount of family ties in the endurance group this year: Heather and Jeremy Reynolds are married (both are named to the short list) and Jeremy's identical twin brother, Tim grooms for him. Ellen Rapp's groom is also her identical twin sister Eryn. The chances of being an identical twin are 0.4% or 1 in 250, so the chance of two different identical twins being on this list of 10 is incredible.

12 Sept Crimson King - Trisha Dowling's Blog

Dowling's Blog: There and Back Again

12 September 2010

Back in Lexington after the wettest I've ever been at an endurance
ride. Six hours in the pouring rain on Friday with Mocha took out my
black boots and chaps, and another 6 hours in the rain with Cain took
out my brown boots and chaps. Some weird felt-like lining under the
insoles of my brown boots gave way and turned to mush and balled up
under my feet. It felt gross. When we'd go up a hill, 4 inches of
water would run to my heels and when we went down a hill, the water
would run to my toes. But unlike Canada, Tennessee rain is at least
warm in September so we weren't frozen. Rain in Canada is NEVER warm,
even in July. And the ground drains better in Tennessee than
Lexington, so even with all the rain I was able to get the truck and
trailer out of the field.

So here's my summary of the weekend at the Big South Fork rides:
After the first horrible day of badly marked trails, ride management
got some help and the trails were much better marked for the next 2
days. Some intersections were still very confusing, but riding with
the former ride manager is always a good idea!The trails are beautiful
and tough - especially in the pouring rain. Lots and lots of rock, but
the ground around the rock is sandy. So the horses seemed to slip less
than at Ft Howes in the rain. I was amazed at how few horses were
pulled for lameness all weekend - even Cain and Mocha! And some of the
southeast riders go "hell bent for leather" over those rocks. I didn't
even hear of anyone losing shoes, whereas the Kentucky Cup trail was
littered with pulled shoes. I only saw a few people using Easy Boots
and I didn't see any bare foot horses.

Riding the trail yesterday with Angie McGhee was a treat!...

Read more here:

1st Women's 100-km Horseback Ride Adventure - Full Article

Published by Ozgur Tore
Monday, 13 September 2010
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Cowgirls are invited to participate in a one-of-a-kind horseback riding adventure, created and led by Triple Creek Ranch owner Barbara Barrett.

The first annual Klicks for Chicks 100-kilometer ride is an all-female upgrade of the all-male 100-mile Los Caballeros and Bohemian Grove endurance horse rides. With a decidedly Triple Creek Ranch twist, the ride is for women only, and cowgirls will ride rugged all day but return to the luxury of the Rocky Mountain resort at night. Riders will venture into deep canyons, over mountain passes, past crystal-clear lakes and through open meadows to discover the ‘last frontier' and wilds of the Rocky Mountain West. Gourmet evening meals followed by crackling fires in Triple Creek's luxurious cabins and a relaxing outdoor hot tub will be the reward for a long day in the saddle.

The "100 Klicks for Chicks" program is priced starting at $650 per night, per couple and features three-and-a-half days of riding, concluding with a fireside roast and awards presentation. All meals, beverages, and activities are included. Participants will also receive a personalized fleece vest. Traveling companions not participating in the ride are welcome to enjoy the luxurious accommodations and varied activities that Triple Creek Ranch has to offer while the cowgirls ride off into the sunrise. Husbands and compadres are invited to join the cowgirls for dinner each evening during the program...

Read more here:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Taos artist rides a hundred miles on horseback: ‘To finish is to win’ - Full Article

By J.R. Logan
Tuesday, September 7, 2010 6:15 AM MDT
About a month ago, Chuck Centers sat in the saddle amid a throng of beasts and riders waiting to take to the trail in the pre-dawn dark. The pack was restless.

“Everything is snorting and farting and bucking,” Centers said. “There are mares in heat and mules kicking and there is dust everywhere. It’s like a damn rodeo.”

It was 5:15 a.m. July 24, and Centers was at the start of the Western States Trail Foundation’s Tevis Cup near Lake Tahoe, Calif. By sheer numbers, the Tevis Cup is a daunting endeavor: 200 competitors ride 100 miles of trail over mountain passes and into steep canyons.

The course includes more than 13,000 feet of total elevation gain and more than 7,000 feet of descents. It must be done in under 24 hours, and only half the field will even complete the race. “To finish is to win” is the race’s motto...

Read more here:

Friday, September 10, 2010

Jordanian Horse Riding Experience - Full Article

Posted on 10. Sep, 2010 by in horses riding

Imagine riding an Arabian horse in its native environment and experiencing the open desert and beauty of Wadi Rum – land of Lawrence of Arabia. In October this year you can take an exclusive trip to Jordan and combine a visit to the Royal Stables in Amman, a swim in the Dead Sea, a tour around one of the oldest Crusader castles and a day’s visit to Petra, the Rose Red city of the ancient Nabateans – one of the new wonders of the world.

These are cultural add ons to a six day riding holiday which is split into three days in the spectacular Petra mountain region and three days in Wadi Rum – a dramatic desert wilderness in the south of Jordan. Huge mountains of sandstone and granite emerge, sheer-sided, from wide sandy valleys to reach heights of 1700 meters and more. Narrow canyons and fissures cut deep into the mountains and many conceal ancient rock drawings etched by the peoples of the desert over millennia. Bedouin tribes still live among the mountains of Rum and their large goat-hair tents are a special feature of the landscape. Here you will be riding away from the main tourists and camping overnight under the stars with the horses tethered close by.

At the end of the ride you will transfer to Aqaba on the Red Sea rounding off the tour with yet another wonderful experience...

Read more here:

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cecilia Stråhle Engquist and the mystery man

Horsebytes -- A blog for Seattle-area horse folks

Cecilia Stråhle Engquist's journey to the World Equestrian Games began with a mysterious encounter with a man at the Houston Rodeo Arabian Days in 2005.

She asked him where she might go to do some riding, as she was new to the area.

"Well, do you like endurance?" he asked.

Cecelia was ready to answer that. "I had watched a TV program about endurance - I thought it looked really romantic being out there on the trails, and I loved running – when you get hunches you should follow them."

So she took down the name of a barn, he suggested. She never saw that man again, but he set her on a path to the 2010 World Equestrian Games, where she will be competing in Endurance under the flag of her native country, Sweden.

Cecelia Strahle Engquist and R Ts Q - photo Donna Shifflet
Of course, as with most seemingly drastic life changes, the stage had actually been set for that moment long before. Horses were not a new interest but a passion set aside for 20 years because of life's vagaries. When Cecilia and her husband, also a Swede, moved to Houston, Texas, that long-dormant seed fell on fertile ground.

Cecelia still had visions of riding bareback and bridleless through the Swedish woods on her horse Tinto, whom she got when she was 12.

"Typical Swedish," she describes her riding background, starting a six in a riding school, then learning dressage and jumping.

Tinto had done high-level dressage, and when she wasn't roaming the woods, she competed with him. "He was a great horse. He taught me a lot of things. I always loved Arabians – he wasn't an arabian, he was a welsh, thoroughbred and warmblood cross, but he had a bloody shoulder."

Unfortunately a move and life changes had ended their relationship when Cecelia was 14, but Tinto, her pseudo-Arabian, still followed her in her dreams.

...full story at

Kentucky Equine Research Welcomes Visitors During WEG

September 8 2010

Kentucky Equine Research (KER) would like to invite you to tour its world-class facility and meet with some of the equine and human athletes who are preparing for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at its research farm near Versailles, Ky. KER is housing the Australian Endurance Team and the U.S. Para-Equestrian Team prior to the Games.
There will be two opportunities to visit KER’s research farm during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games: Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday, Oct. 7 at 10:30 a.m. There will be a facility tour and an exhibition of the high-speed treadmill used in nutrition and exercise physiology research. Refreshments will be served.
Media wishing to tour the KER facility and interview members of the Australian Endurance Team or U.S. Para-Equestrian Team outside of scheduled tour hours may contact KER’s Global Marketing Manager Kimberly S. Brown at, or call the office at 859-873-1988.
KER is a long-time sponsor of the Australian Endurance Squad. The three-member team for WEG is currently housed at the KER research farm, where they are preparing for the Games.
KER is also the official sponsor of the Kentucky Equine Research/U.S. Para-Equestrian Team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. As part of its support, KER is housing the Para-Equestrian Team prior to the Games. The Kentucky Equine Research/U.S. Para-Equestrian Dressage Team consists of 10 horse/rider combinations representing the United States.
The Kentucky Equine Research/U.S. Para-Equestrian Team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games begins arriving at the 144-acre KER facility on Sept. 17, with most of the team arriving on Sept. 22.
Kentucky Equine Research is not only home to one of the most prolific private research facilities in the world, but also has a covered arena, two outdoor arenas, miles of trails, and new stabling with living quarters.
To view the U.S. Para-Equestrian Team sponsorship press release on the USEF website, visit
For more information on USEF Para-Equestrian programs, please contact Lane at
To learn more about para-equestrians in sport, visit, and to contact the U.S. Para-Equestrian group, contact Hand at
KER is an international equine nutrition, research, and consultation company serving both the horse owner and the feed industry. Founded nearly 25 years ago by Joe Pagan, Ph.D., the company’s goal is to advance the industry's knowledge of equine nutrition and exercise physiology and apply that knowledge to produce healthier, more athletic horses at all stages of life.
For more information contact Kentucky Equine Research at 3910 Delaney Ferry Road, Versailles, KY; 859-873-1988; email Kimberly S. Brown, Global Marketing Manager, at

AAEP Enters Global Spotlight During 2010 World Equestrian Games

September 8 2010

Students, members and staff take on a variety of roles to promote equine health care
When elite equestrians compete for world titles this month, the American Association of Equine Practitioners will be working behind the scenes and before the cameras to ensure the health of equine athletes. 
The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™, held Sept. 25-Oct. 10 in Lexington, Ky., is anticipated as the largest sporting event to take place in the United States this year.  As the nation’s leading organization dedicated to equine health care, the AAEP and its members will participate in many ways during the three weeks of the Games. The AAEP will actively promote the equine veterinary profession to an international audience, involve its student membership in learning opportunities and provide crucial equine medical information to the numerous media outlets covering the Games.
The AAEP’s participation during the Games includes:
Veterinary student volunteers. Thirty-three fourth-year veterinary student members of AAEP student chapters will monitor biosecurity, help assess competition horses and provide general veterinary care alongside the Games’ official veterinarians.
The AAEP On Call program. AAEP members Drs. Alan Ruggles and Larry Bramlage will be prepared to respond to equine medical emergencies and answer equine health care questions as part of the AAEP’s award-winning On Call program. Events will be telecast on NBC Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10.
The Equine Village. AAEP staff and member volunteers will be on hand to offer equine health care resources and help promote the AAEP at the Equine Village, a unique venue for equine industry groups.
AAEP Headquarters. The AAEP’s home office is conveniently located at the National Horse Center on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park. Members are invited to stop in the office during the Games for hospitality and business assistance.
In addition, the AAEP, Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital and Alltech are sponsoring a Veterinary Sport Horse Symposium held Sept. 22-24 in conjunction with the Games. A Sport Horse Owner Workshop will be held Friday, Sept. 24.  For more information about the two educational events, visit
The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., was founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse.  Currently, the AAEP reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 10,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

Sept 7th Shaker Village - Heather's Blog

Reynolds Racing Blog

Tuesday, 07 September 2010
Today was pretty tame. We all met for a 7:30 breakfast at the dining hall of Shaker Village. There were candles on each table as well as pitchers of juice. It was a buffet. Very pleasant, Ellen and my favorite part was the perfectly crispy bacon. It is rare to find it done the way we like it.

After the breakfast we had a brief meeting and headed to the barn. We put the first set of horses on the walker.

After the walking, all of the horse/rider combos went one at a time in 15 min increments practicing bullet hand offs. (This is where you get handed a jug of water to pour on your horse as you fly by on horseback). That was fun and time well spent. It was windy so we all got fairly wet.

Jeremy and I rode Sam and Smitty after this. They were great. We did a really nice 12 miles at a rapid clip. They are both looking fabulous!...

Read more here:

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

EEE: New York Confirms First Case in 2010

by: Edited Press Release
September 02 2010, Article # 16899

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker announced the state's first confirmed equine case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) this year on Aug. 27. The affected horse was a 2-year old gelding kept in Oswego County. EEE is a rare viral disease of horses and humans that is spread by infected mosquitoes. To date, there have been no reported nor confirmed human cases of EEE in 2010.

"New York's abundant water sources and humid climate unfortunately make the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and the EEE virus," Commissioner Hooker said. "Therefore, we highly encourage horse owners to protect their animals and consider vaccinating for EEE. The EEE vaccine has proven to drastically reduce the incidence of the virus in horses and can be easily administered by a private veterinarian."

The infected horse was purchased at a New York auction earlier this year. The young horse had an unknown vaccination history at the time of purchase and was not vaccinated after purchase. Last week, the gelding was showing typical signs of EEE, including loss of appetite, circling and leaning against the stall, and after examination by a private veterinarian, was euthanized. Brain samples were sent to the New York State Department of Health's Wadsworth Laboratory and tested positive for EEE. To date, the other horses on the same premises are not showing any signs of EEE and have since been vaccinated.

EEE is found mainly along the East Coast, affects the central nervous system of horses, and usually results in death in horses. Symptoms in equines include staggering, circling, depression, loss of appetite and sometimes fever and blindness. Humans cannot become infected by handling an infected horse, nor can a horse acquire the virus from another infected horse; however, the presence of an infected horse in the area indicates that mosquitoes carrying EEE are present and infected mosquitoes pose a threat to both humans and horses.

While there is no treatment, nor cure for this disease, vaccines are available and found to be effective in protecting horses from this virus. The vaccines are effective for six to twelve months, so horses should be vaccinated at least annually. In an area where the disease occurs frequently, such as Oswego County, most veterinarians recommend vaccination every six months. For the vaccine to be effective it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus.

Other methods of preventing EEE in horses and humans is to control mosquito populations, which can be done by destroying standing water, using insect repellents and removing animals from mosquito-infested areas during peak biting times, usually dusk to dawn. Horse owners and caretakers are also advised to wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants when tending horse in areas where mosquitoes may be present.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Shaker Village - Reynolds Racing

Reynolds Racing - Heather's Blog

Monday, 6 September 2010

We have now been in Shaker Village for a week. Almost all of the riders are here. Meg has not arrived yet but both of her horses have been here and Michelle Roush and her horse arrived yesterday and we got to see Emmit, the ride manager for the World Championship.

Jeremy went straight to work on assembling the Supreme Horse Walker the first day we were here. There was a problem with the fencing as they had not been arranged for. Jason Stasuk fixed that problem with a few phone calls. We are in full operation with the walker going for two sets a day.

The housing we have is nice. All riders got a room and each room has a full bathroom. Jeremy and I got two rooms so Deborah's crew, Emilio is staying in our extra at the moment. Something we were not expecting is that we are on our own for meals and there isn't a place to make food unless you can cook everything in a microwave and store enough stuff for 14 people in one hotel room size fridge!

The horses are healthy and things are looking good. All of the people here are getting along well...

Read more here:

Great Britain: I Think She's Ready!

Beccybroughton's WEG Countdown Blog

Sunday, 5 September 2010

So I think my little Java is ready to get the job done. So we cantered on Friday. The plan: 16km canter @ approx 22kph. MMmm. Miss Java started very nicely and we trotted around the 3km stubble field which has become very sandy since combining. However from that point it deteriated. She wanted to go faster and I wanted to start at around 18kph building up to a finishing pace of around 24kph. But Oh No... we should obviously be starting at 24kph!

So Java being quite difficult to ride on occassions, and so it bagan- The Clash of The Titans!!!!!! After the 3rd loop of riding with all my mite trying not to use my hands and instead ride her from my backside I decided it was safer for everyone if we went back to school so picked a corner and did exactly that. Round and round in circles, changing reins and half halting, Java chomping at the bit getting crosser and crosser but I finally got her back in work mode and managed to get a nice canter back around the field and decided to call it a day. Mind you we went round and round in circles for so long that we still did 16km!...

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Monday, September 06, 2010

Shaker Village - "The Machine"

FEIRedhorse Blog - Story and pictures

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The first few days were spent putting together "The Machine". Very nice variable speed, 6 horse exerciser. We had some horse panels donated, just to use, by a local TSC store. It went together pretty nicely and at one point had about 10 people working on it. Usually all 6 slots are filled, both for the AM and the PM works. Quite a few people on the team have these type of walkers and use them extensively. MONK has been in one before but only maybe for a total of 2 hours and two separate times. They seem to take to it quickly and hopefully are relatively safe. Some of the fancy ones I saw at the big barns are enclosed with shredded rubber for the surface and you can customize the workout. This one is a basic model that you do everything manually on.


National equestrian championship to be held at H Cooper Black - full article

by Matt Smith

The H. Cooper Black Jr., Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area will have a chance to showcase some of the best equestrian riders on Oct. 10-17 as the local park hosts the 2010 American Endurance Ride Conference (AERC) National Championships.

The event will pit almost 200 riders from across the country in a 55-mile and 100-mile race to name a national champion.

This is the first time that the AERC has held their national championships in South Carolina.

The national championship festivities will officially kick off on Oct. 12 when race participants register at H. Cooper Black recreation facility. A potluck dinner will be held for racers and their teams before a pre-race veterinary inspection of the horses is held on Oct. 13.

Cheraw Tourism Director Phil Powell said that the event could have a positive impact on the town’s economy.

“It’s a national event that will have riders and support people from over 30 states,” said Powell. “This is an opportunity to introduce the Cheraw community to the riders and their teams. By having them utilize shops, this event will have a positive economic impact on the area. We hope to continue to have events here at H. Cooper Black and have them prosper here because there are economic ties to the city from these events..."

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Head for Sand Hills! - Full Article

Story by Genie Stewart-Spears

With a combined 46,000 acres of rolling hills, long-leaf pine forests, and open fields, Sand Hills State Forest and H. Cooper Black Jr. Memorial Field Trial and Recreation Area is a top Southeast destination for trail riders. Located in north-central South Carolina, between Hartsville and Patrick, the H. Cooper Black in particular is the ideal staging and camping spot for your horseback excursion.

"You can ride all day and not see a human being, just forest creatures - beautiful black fox, squirrels, deer, turkey, and, if you have a keen eye, the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker," says Patsy Gowen, an endurance rider and American Endurance Ride Conference ride manager who developed a unique trail system there.

"The entire area is beautiful," Gowen continues. "In the spring, iris, dogwoods, yellow jasmine, and other wildflowers are in bloom. Sand Hills is also a working forest, with logging pine-needle harvesting. With the underbrush cleared out, you can see far into the forest."

The South Carolina State Park Service, which is extremely horse-friendly, manages H. Cooper Black. There are three entrances, and you can arrive anytime; there are no gated entries. And you don't need a permit to ride on its 7,000 acres and 20 miles of marked trails...

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Horse-rider partnership endures through grueling 24-hour race - Full Article

Jennifer Garreau Special to the Journal | Posted: Saturday, September 4, 2010

On July 24, Paschal and Deb Karl saddled up to attempt the 55th Annual Tevis Cup Western States 100-mile, one-day endurance ride. In one of the most challenging and technically difficult endurance rides in the world, horse-and-rider teams are tested through grueling terrain through the Sierra Nevada Mountains in hot, July temperatures.

Riders and their mounts have 24 hours to complete 100 miles of narrow, rocky and slippery shale trails with sheer drop offs into the abyss and treacherous, hoof-sucking bogs. Teams must ford rivers, cross high mountain bridges, negotiate rocky climbs and 105 switchback descents.

In June, Time magazine listed the Tevis Cup as one of the top 10 endurance competitions in the world, along with the Tour de France bicycle race and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, among others.

“Half of all endurance riders are afraid of the Tevis,” Paschal Karl said. Statistically, only half of the riders finish it. This year, 96 riders, or 52.7 percent, completed the ride. To date, 9,102 riders have started the ride since its inception in 1955 and 4,946 have completed it...

Read more here:

Back in Illinois - Heather Reynolds' Blog

Reynolds Racing Blog - Full Article

Sunday, 29 August 2010
On Sunday the 22 of Aug I went to Yosemite and stayed overnight to hike Half Dome with my parents and sisters and some friends. We hiked on Monday and then drove home that night. Jeremy had too many horses to shoe so we sadly went without him. He has done the hike a few times already so it wasn't too horrible for him, although I am sure he would have loved to have gone.

We got back on Monday night around 11:45 pm and then I packed up my bag and got everything ready for my 10 am flight for Tuesday morning. When our tickets to fly were booked, we booked them round trip from the time trial in Illinois to CA and back. Originally I was going to go with Jeremy to Deborah Reich's house and then to home. Unfortunately her dogs got mange from the local fox and I had my ticket changed to go directly home as Merlin was traveling with us. Because of this, on our return trip Jeremy and I were on two separate flights at different times on different airlines from two different airports.

Tim drove Jeremy to San Francisco for a 7 am departure and my Mom drove me to San Jose for a 10 am departure. We meet up in Chicago and drove to Jan and Grace's house. It is about 2 and 1/2 hours from their house. We landed on the 24th and I have yet to see my baggage... it is the 29th today! Delta.

Our horses were great when we arrived with the exception of a sunburn on Smitty's nose. Poor guy, it was bright red and cracked. It looks a lot better now. Their weight was both good though and they were in good spirits...

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Italy: Endurance, let me introduce you to ISHA and to her story of love and horses - Full Article

Pubblicato il 03 settembre 2010 in Endurance

Among many encounters experienced in the world of horses, there is an important one… a person who left me a special impression.

Isha Judd is Australian but can be considered “daughter of the world” due to her trips in many countries. She decided to bring her horses to Italy, in the region of Abruzzo where they will be trained.

The choice fell on the new born stables “La Divina” property of Mirco Mazzocchetti and of Oscar Bacot owner of the farm Aras de l’Alma in Punta de l’Este together with his wife Veronica Koncke, a well known rider in Italy too.

His horses will start training in Italy and then they will depart to different destinations attending Italian races first...

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Friday, September 03, 2010

Great Britain: West quartet prepare to show their grit in test - Full Article

September 3 2010

On the one hand, Christine Yeoman is a lucky lady. She lives in a huge house, with lots of land and custom-built equine facilities for her string of eight or so top-class horses. She has a very supportive husband and she is shortly to fly to the USA to represent Britain at the World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky.

On the other hand, she has multiple sclerosis (although it is not bothering her at the moment) and her chosen sport is so punishing on her body that it has so far led to three operations.

But the Christine I met certainly wasn't complaining. Bright and smiley, she has the air of someone both comfortable and confident in who she is and what she does. And justifiably so. A stalwart of the British team for several years, Christine is next month heading to her fifth international championship – and has high hopes of success.

This will be her second WEG; the first was four years ago in Aachen, Germany, when she was 17th. This time she's hoping for a team medal. "I think we have a very good chance," she said. "We have a very, very good team and it is achievable."

With that longed-for medal in the bag, her highest personal goal would be achieved. Along the way she has travelled the world, competing in Asia and in Europe, where she has won and come second in 120km races in France...

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Moraffee, a table top bronze sculpture by Lisa Sharpe, has been accepted to the prestigious American Academy of Equine Art juried show and will be on display during the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, USA.

Moraffee was inspired by the infamous Cougar Rock climb encountered during the Tevis Cup endurance race in California. She is depicting a playful working Arabian mare dreaming about the fun of the climb. The sculpture is a new release and is limited to an edition of 10. The piece is approximately 11 ½” tall by 11” long and 3 ½” wide and will be available for purchase for $4100 USD.

The American Academy of Equine Art was established in 1980 by a group of ten distinguished artists, individually famed for their work on equine subjects. Their aim was to maintain a degree of excellence within the genre, and to promote the academic representation of the equine form in drawing, painting and sculpture. Each fall the Academy hosts a Juried Exhibition of original equine art selecting from the many applications.

This year the show will be held from September 17, 2010 to October 22, 2010 at the Scott County Arts and Cultural Center/Gallery located only minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park in Georgetown. Gallery hours will be extended hours during the World Equestrian Games from September 25-October 10, 2010. Come by and meet Lisa Sharpe at the gallery reception on Friday September 17 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm or Saturday at noon.

If you are unable to attend please contact the Artist, Lisa Sharpe before the show at for more information on acquiring a piece of this limited sculpture.

For more information on the AAEA contact:
American Academy of Equine Art 
Frances Clay Conner, Executive Director
, PO Box 1364
Georgetown, KY 40324
Tel: 859-281-6031