Category Archives: Horses

The Commuting Equestrian

image

So for some  weeks now, I have been commuting back and forth from New York City to New Jersey to see my horse CrackerJack. Between the long train rides and my constant attempts to stay in good riding shape, it has been a huge challenge. Here are some tricks I have learned:

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Horse Dancing for Breast Cancer

Pictured: Julio Mendoza of Mendoza Dressage. Image courtesy of Friesians Direct.

Julio Mendoza of Mendoza Dressage is renowned for his talent with horses. Whether it is performing the “garrocha” or more traditional dressage maneuvers, it demonstrates a high level of professionalism and talent. On June 23rd, he will perform for the Potomac Valley Dressage Association Ride for Life’s Dancing Horse Challenge which will be held to benefit the John Hopkins Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Center. The event is set to take place at Prince George’s Equestrian Center, in Upper Marlboro, MD.

(A short clip of Mendoza’s 2011 performance has been embedded below)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Romney’s Rafalca Headed to Olympics?

Ann Romney has long been a rider to combat her Multiple Sclerosis, but it seems the Romneys may soon have a chance at Olympic stardom. Rafalca, a horse owned by the Romneys has recently made the short list for the 2012 London Olympics in dressage.

Pictured: Jan Eberling aboard Rafalca. Image courtesy of Dressage News.

Should the horse succeed, Rafalca will join the political must-see list of competitors alongside Zara Phillips (who has secured a spot in eventing on the British team). As Stephen Colbert vivaciously declared, Dressage will be the ‘official Sport of the Summer’, and it will be interesting to see how veteran dressage rider and Jan Eberling are effected by being such high-profile horses at the event.

On a less professional note, I would like to advise the New York Times that not all horse events are called “races“. In the article’s title ‘For Ann Romney, a Different Sort of Horse Race”, it is implied that Rafalca is a racing horse. This is highly inaccurate. More succinctly, what Rafalca does is compete at a “horse show“. A tennis game is a “match“, similarly a track competition is a “meet“. You wouldn’t refer to a soccer game as a soccer “meet“, so please do your homework before carelessly mis-labelling an equestrian event.

What do you think? Will we have a star-studded summer olympics?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

High Hopes For High Kingdom

Zara Phillips was nominated for the British Olympic Team this past weekend after a stellar performance at the Bramham aboard mount ‘High Kingdom’. The royal is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, and will attempt to emulate the successes of parents Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, both of whom competed for the British team previously.

Will London 2012 see a royal flush from Phillips and High Kingdom? Image courtesy of Voxxi.

As equestrian fans gear up for London 2012, we will have to wait and see what this pair of royals has in store for the competition!

Due to the fact that the olympics will be taking place soon, look forward to more great olympic riding updates!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UPDATE: Wallis Sets Her Sights on Rockville

You may remember previously that I had mentioned an ‘undisclosed’ location for the proposed Unified Equine slaughterhouse. Well, it has now been confirmed that Sue Wallis intends to end horses lives in Rockville, MO.

A horse like this one, could be chopped up and shipped to Europe sooner than you think. Image courtesy of the LA Times.

It has been alleged that Wallis has chosen this city, whose population is only 150, to reduce the chance of retaliation; the city may be too small to fight back. The building, which was once a beef slaughterhouse was formerly owned by Sharlene Mott. After being purchased by Hormel, then put out of business, it has been noted that this plant could offer up many new jobs to a town. When the original beef plant was closed down, a significant number of employees lost their jobs. Apparently, the citizens of Rockville are ‘excited’ for this business opportunity. In a public statement, Wallis stated that “We are excited to be bringing jobs and opportunity to rural Missouri” adding that they were also “even happier to provide a humane and viable option to the horse industry, decimated by misguided efforts to end humane horse slaughter.”

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Walking Horse National Celebration Scandal Rages On

You may have heard a while back about Pepsi pulling its sponsorship after controversial footage about the Walking Horse National Celebration was aired. If not, take a quick peek at the Humane Society video most of the clips were gathered from below:


After ABC aired the controversial footage, Pepsi pulled its sponsorship from the event entirely and stricter penalties were put in place to prevent further abuse of these horses. The method referred to as ‘soring’ causes these horses to step higher due to stifling pain, resulting in a more ‘fancy’ high-stepping gait. It it important to note, however, that not all Tennessee Walking Horses are trained with this method. Thus far four Tennessee Walking Horse handlers have pleaded guilty to horse abuse, and it is expected that this number may steadily rise.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Expecting Again!

Zenyatta prepares for her second foal!

Zenyatta, the incredible mare that won the 2008 Breeder’s Cup Ladies’ Classic and Breeder’s Cup Classic in 2009  is expecting again! This time, owners Jerry and Ann Moss bred Zenny to Tapit, a race horse who is the sire (father) of 2011 juvenile champion, Hansen. On Tuesday May 8th, an ultrasound revealed that the mare was pregnant at that Zenyatta’s unnamed colt would soon have a sibling. It will be interesting to see how these superstar foals fair once they hit the track, and if they will be able to fill their mother’s very heavy shoes.

Pictured: Zenyatta in her racing days. Image courtesy of BloodHorse.

As mentioned in an earlier article, Zenyatta boasts a very veritable pantheon of achievements, most notably 2008, 2009, 2012 American Champion Older Female Horse, 2012 American Horse of the Year, 2010 Secretariat Vox Populi Award, 2011 William H. May Award. Additionally, Zenyatta also won the 2008 and 2009 NTRA Race Moment of the Year Award, Has since had a stakes race at Santa Anita named in her honor, and made the top 10 list of Sports Illustrated Female Race Horses of All Time.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

IHSA Zone 4 Championships; GO GCET!

Tomorrow morning at 6:30 AM, the  members of the Goucher Equestrian team will head down to the college stables to prepare for a varsity horse show, just as they always have. But tomorrow, it’s not ‘just another horse show’: the team will be facing the top riders of their conference.

Making a bid for nationals, selected riders will represent the team as a whole as the official ‘zone’ team. Several individuals who have qualified for this event will also represent their college as individuals.

Goucher will be facing off against Bridgewater College, St. Andrews University, and University of Delaware as a team, but those riding as individuals will also face tough competition from other individuals from schools in the region like Sweet Briar College, University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University.

The competition will begin at 10 AM, and will be held at the Goucher College stables (this link will take you to a campus map)

Click ‘Continue Reading’ to view to Goucher College lineup for tomorrow’s competition!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Work to Ride: Transcending Boundaries

Pictured: Most people's first impression of a 'polo player'. Image courtesy of CapMiller.com

When we traditionally think of polo as a sport, sometimes we conjure up images of the upper crust of society sipping flashy drinks whilst celebrity polo players charge across the field on expensive ponies, met with polite golf claps. Work to Ride, a program based out of the Chamounix Equestrian Center near Fairmount Park, focuses on making this traditionally bourgeois sport more accessible. Work to Ride program’s mission, as stated on the website, is to :”promote discipline, self-esteem, motivation, social development, life skills, academic achievement, and physical fitness through year round programs that encourage long term participation.” This ideology is better explained in the video below:

The Cowtown/Work to Ride team, which has been active at Chamounix Equestrian Center since 1994, is notable for being comprised of mostly black players. In a sport so dominated by mostly white teams, it is refreshing to see a diverse program successfully establish itself. When the team won the National Interscholastic Championship in 2011 against Baltimore, every member of the team was African-American, making interscholastic history as the first-ever all-black team to win.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

All My Daddy’s Horses: Wealth In The Showring

It should be no surprise to anyone in the equestrian sport that being a participant in the show ring comes with a lofty price tag: between the cost of equipment, horses, horse care, show fees, veterinarian bills, shoeing, and show clothes, you are already looking at an annual bill that would make the lease of a ferrari look like chump change.

Pictured: Moorlands Totilas, one of the dressage world's most expensive, and most talented performers. Image courtesy of Telegraph.co.uk.

In a recent article in Forbes, high-profile riders such as Georgina Bloomberg and Jennifer Gates are mentioned, both of whom compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival. An unnamed source mentions that because these girls are pampered and given tutors and funds, that riding is often “the only part of their life that they care about”. As an equestrian I take a lot of offense to that statement, and find it highly unprofessional that a journalistic source of information like Forbes would not name whoever made such an inflammatory remark. Furthermore, I highly doubt than any equestrian, celebrity or otherwise, only cares about riding competitively and nothing else.

So then they don’t care about charity work, the welfare of animals, or anything else except spending daddy’s money on their horses? Really?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: