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HITS Day 2

Final Summation:

  1. Crackers jumped in a ring
  2. Crackers jumped out of a ring (don’t worry he was supposed to)
  3. Crackers had a smashing good time

Skye and Nina looked fabulous

The Powers sisters, no surprise to anyone, looked fabulous

Taxicab and Abby rocked it out

Troy and Anastasia guided George and Maaaaaavelous beautifully, as expected.

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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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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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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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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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Horses In Mountain Grove Can Rest Easy

With the recent lifting of the horse slaughter ban,  horse lovers everywhere have begun to grit their teeth at the prospect of living in a town where horse slaughter plants could crop up. One such town in southwest Missouri, Mountain Grove, angrily shouted down the prospect of one coming to their town on Tuesday, March 13, 2012. After Sue Wallis and Belgian company Chevideco (please be advised that images of horsemeat are listed on this site) approached the town with the prospect of opening a plant that could slaughter as many as 400 horses for human consumption. Met with outrage, Wallis has stated that she and Chevideco will look elsewhere and look forward to starting production.

Pictured is a Missouri Fox Trotter Stallion, a smooth-gaited breed which originated from the Ozark Foothills.

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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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