Tag Archives: 2012

Modern Pentathlon: What Did I Just Watch?

Perhaps its because I rode in the IHSA during college, and have witnessed similar “oh crap” moments when riders pull ‘that horse’ whose description reads something to the tune of “hold on and Jesus take the reins”, but after watching a clip sent to me by a friend of the 2012 riding portion for the Modern Pentathlon…I am genuinely curious to know why the riding is that horrifically bad.

Um….What…The….Shit? Image courtesy of VC Star.

If you are offended by pictures of terrible riding and some foul language….yea just keep reading anyway.

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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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Atrocities At Aqueduct

Since last year, the Aqueduct casino and racetrack in Queens, NY has been experiencing a staggering rate of horse injuries, deaths, and equine contestants are reported to have a staggeringly high number of injections previous to hitting the turf. On March 3rd, three year-old hopeful Wes Vegas took to the track only to break his leg in the first turn and be euthanized. A week previous, four year-old Coronado Heights suffered a fatal breakdown, largely attributed to an ‘early degenerative disease’. Horses like these are reported to have received as many as 13 drug injections, many of which are used to mask pain and help sore horses run more comfortably. However, these practices often come with disastrous results.

Pictured: though not a victim of Aqueduct, Eight Belles suffered a fatal injury at Churchill Downs in 2008. Image courtesy of Tuesdays Horse.

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Dixon Rocked By Equine Scandal

UPDATE: Rita Crundwell has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the fraud charge against her.

Of Glitz And Bling And Embezzled Things

In the quiet town of Dixon, Illinois, long-time comptroller Rita Crundwell is alleged to have embezzled over $30 million to fund a private horse farm, a lavish motor home, and expensive jewelry. The horse farm in question, Meri-J Farm is well-known for its high-quality quarter horses that were predominantly local champions in the western riding scene. Crundwell was well-known for her elite horses, most recently praised for her mare ‘Pizzazzy Lady’, who won the 2011 American Quarter Horse Association World Championship Show in Oklahoma City.

Pictured: Rita Crundwell and one of her horses. Image courtesy of The Atlantic.

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Zone Champions; Goucher Gallops To Nationals

In the April 7th Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Zone 4 Championships (the equivalent of conference championships for equestrian), the Goucher College equestrian team finished first with 45 points overall ahead of St. Andrews’ 43 points, Bridgewater’s 34 points, and University of Delaware’s 30 points.

The full 2011-2012 Equestrian Team. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Kellogg.

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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!

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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.

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Save The Date!

Hello! Anyone following this blog might remember me mentioning that there there is a major fundraiser coming up in April. Well, Goucher Unbridled would like to encourage all of its Maryland-based readers to save to date! Click the following image below for more information! Thanks!Image

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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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