Tag Archives: Dressage

Official Equestrian Coverage Schedule

Instead of a news writeup, here is what you really want to read: the equestrian olympic TV schedule for NBC.

I am in no way affiliated with NBC. I just like horses. I’m not even going to waste any space with pictures. All these times are courtesy of Yahoo:

Saturday, July 28

Individual and team eventing dressage: 1:45 pm. – 2:45 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Sunday, July 29

Individual and team eventing dressage: 2:15 pm. – 3:00 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Monday, July 30

Individual and team eventing – Cross Country (LIVE): 8:15 am. – 12:45 pm. (NBC Sports Network)

Tuesday, July 31

Eventing – Team Jumping final (LIVE): 6:00 am. – 8:15 am. (NBC Sports Network)

Eventing – Individual Jumping final (LIVE): 9:15 am. – 10:30 am.

GO USA, or whoever you root for.

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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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Taking On ‘The Week’

As an avid equestrian that reads The Week, I was insulted by an article written recently in the July 6-13 2012 issue on the ridicule of the Romney’s horse Rafalca. Admittedly, the buzz around the horse has been a bit much, but that wasn’t what pissed me off. The tab that caught my eye on the top of the page, depicted Rafalca performing with Jan Eberling with the caption, “Making fun of dancing horses”. Intrigued, I turned to page 16 to read what was the most irritating posts I’ve read slandering equestrianism in a while.

Just in case you missed this especially offensive article, feel free to ask me for a copy, I’m happy to scan it with my phone and send you a copy.

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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)

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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?

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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?

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Givenchy ‘Tisci’: A ‘Sexy Take’, But Not On Horseback Riding

As Givenchy launches its new line ‘Tisci’, equestrians like myself struggle to understand how this new collection could possibly claim to be ‘equestrian’. In a recent article, the collection claimed to reference ‘sporting polos’, ‘horse blinders’, and ‘jodphurs’. In my previous article about equestrian fashion, I laid out my opinions regarding the mindless ‘equestrian fashion’ parade of unrealistic and dysfunctional fashion being produced as ‘equestrian’ garments.This new ‘Tisci’ line is no exception. Here are some ‘looks’ from Tisci’s latest runway show.

The only reference I can see in this 'Tisci' line garment are the dizzingly obvious 'riding boot' riff that seems to be abysmally popular for brands that wish to wave the 'equestrian flag' and distinguish themselves from other fashion brands. A boot, is a boot, is a boot...is not uniquely 'equestrian'. Image courtesy of Idaho Statesman.

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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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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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