Category Archives: Famous Equestrians

Rafalca Jokes Aside?

Ann Romney and her horse “Super Hit”. Image courtesy of Washington Post

In an article in the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire, it was released that a recent ad featuring Rafalca was pulled from the air. The ad, which featured criticising remarks about Romney’s tax return statements also showed footage of Rafalca competing in dressage events. It’s no secret that horseback riding is an impressively expensive sport, but in a statement by President Barack Obama, it was mentioned that he considered the ad was in bad taste and said he was against personal attacks on family members. In an interview with Good Morning America, Mrs. Romney’s hurt reaction caused concern that the ad hit too close to home: Mrs. Romney uses dressage to combat her multiple sclerosis and has spoken about its benefits in public before. Have we had the last laugh about the Romneys?

Ann Romney and Rafalca, who will be competing in the London 2012 Olympics. Image courtesy of The New Yorker.

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The Olympic Long List Welcomes Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden

Fans of show jumping will be pleased to hear that two more familiar names will join the long list before the Selection trials set to run from March 21st until March 24th at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Joining previously announced competition McLain Ward, Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut will join the hopeful contenders to represent the United States in London this coming summer. Joining these ladies on the list will be their respective mounts: Kraut aboard Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric, and Madden aboard Coral Reef Ranch’s Coral Reef Via Volo.

From Left to Right:Will Simpson, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden and McLain Ward
who won the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games. Image courtesy of Zimbio.

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Its A Rough Week To Be A Horse: HBO’s Luck and History Channel’s Full Metal Jousting

Still shot from HBO's 'Luck'. Image courtesy of The Atlantic.

HBO’s horse racing series ‘Luck’ faces an unprecedented number of horse deaths on set, raising questions about the treatment and well-being of animals being used in filming. In previous productions, even one horse death was extremely rare, the last known horse to be euthanized during a productionwas in “3:10 to Yuma” from 2007: Luck has lost three horses.As a result, Luck will end its first season abruptly on March 25 after HBO has decided to pull the show entirely. Whether this was due solely to the loss of life, or in combination with its low ratings is still unclear.

Full Metal Jousting competitor,Landon Morris, having just struck the black horse pictured in the face. Image courtest of Warming Glow.

CLICK ‘CONTINUE READING’ TO READ ABOUT A HORSE GETTING PUNCHED IN THE FACE

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Looking a Gift Horse In The Mouth: The Rebekah Brooks Incident

In a bizarre twist events unfolding in England, Rebekah Brooks, the first female editor of The Sun, is facing criticism for ‘poor treatment’ of a former Metropolitan police horse named ‘Raisa’ after reports that the animal was returned to Scotland Yard at the age of 24 in ‘poor condition’.

Rebekah Brooks, and an image of a current in-service Metropolitan Police horse. Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk

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Equitation: What People Think I Do

In the wake of the highly popular meme trend of “what ___ thinks I do” images that have been appearing across the internet, I decided to write my own opinion piece of what non-horse people think I do. To provide an example of what I mean, here is an example of one of those images:

Image courtesy of Horse Forum.com

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Equestrian Sports And Safety: Concerns For Future Olympics

As equestrian Olympians prepare for the London 2012 games, there has been some concern over the safety of the sport and whether or not it should be retained as a summer sport in the olympic games after London. In recent remarks made by International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Princess Haya, “Anyone who thinks equestrian sports are secure for London is mistaken”(reference). Haya goes on to say that due to low-interest in the dressage discipline, show jumping may also be in jeopardy, as it is highly unlikely that show jumping would be allowed to remain as a standalone equestrian sport in the olympic games. Because cross country requires so much space and very specific location requirements, it too could be in jeopardy.

Sad but true: we may never see legends like Steffen Peters and Ravel at olympic tournaments if what Haya is saying is true. Image courtesy of La Times

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Equestrian Star James H. Fairclough II ‘Goes Medieval’ in History Channel Premiere of ‘Full Metal Jousting’

James H. Fairclough II is aboard the white horse. Image courtesy of Zach Dilgard via NJ.com

James Fairclough, an acclaimed equestrian and Drew University Alum traded jumping for jousting on the February 12 premiere of History Channel’s ‘Full Metal Jousting’ show. Noted for winning the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Cacchione Cup in 2008,   and has been the co-rider of renowned equestrian Mary Chapot’s horses Starquest (resulting in a performance good enough to ride into the 2011 Six Year Olds Circuit Championship) and Zealous ( who was awarded the 2011 WEF Circuit Champion for the Seven and Eight Year Olds, as well as Horse of the Year for the Seven and Eight Year Olds in 2011). Fairclough is the owner of Cavalier Show Jumping out of Seahorse Stables located in Water Mill, NY and is optimistic about the upcoming season of FMJ.

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Equestrians Lose a Legend: Mourning Jack Fritz

Image courtesy of Equisearch.com

Capt. John H. “Jack” Fritz was well-known in the equestrian community for being a founding member of what is now the United States Eventing Association, and serving as a chair during the founding meeting of the United States Dressage Federation. Fritz was also acclaimed for playing a large role in the creation of The United States Pony Club and the United States Equestrian Federation. An avid promoter of equestrian sports, Fritz was awarded the USEF Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, and  ‘Horseman of the Year’ in both 1968 and 1969. He was inducted into the United States Eventing Association’s (formerly Combined Training) Hall of Fame in 1999 as a ‘non-riding’ member, and is currently recognized by Chronicle of the Horse as one of the 50 most influential people in this century. In addition to his monumental contributions to the equestrian world, Fritz was also deeply involved with American History Studies: he was a notable professor of history at Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and was also a Dean of Arts and Sciences at the University’s Madison campus.Additionally, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees and Officer Trustee of Centenary College. Responsible for drawing up many of the founding guidelines that make each of these organizations what they are today, Jack Fritz will be sorely missed. He is believed to have passed away on the morning of February 9th at the age of 87.

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