Description: This was my favorite event horse! Melody is 15.3 hand 19-year-old thoroughbred mare and compact like a race car. She loved to jump, XC machine! Great confirmation. Exceptional ground manners. Great for vet, farrier, trailer, trail rides, etc. UTD on shots, teeth, etc. Currently bare foot, has great feet. I moved out of state after retiring her from training level. I recently visited and hopped on her after who knows how long to find that she is still perfect and sound with no maintenance or injections! She needs a job and a loving home. She is so sweet and an easy keeper. Prefers to pasture alone though. No vices nor cribbing. Never bucked or rared. She is a bit out of shape and was a little thin from a family that decided not to keep her. Video shows slight weakness in LH; capped hock. I plan to do a steroid shot to bring it down. She prefers an educated rider with a light hand and light aids. If you turn your head she goes in that direction; very intuitive. She can teach you a lot and would be great for a quiet adult or experienced youth. I'm sure with fitness and maintenance she'd love to jump again too.
Tonight I present a video sent in by several of our loyal EN tipsters. The video is about a horse named Sergent Reckless, who served during the Korean War. Sergent Reckless was so heroic during battle that she was promoted to Staff Sergent in the U.S. Marine Corps. I assure you the story is just as amazing as it sounds.
I do have a dream, one that I have never voiced publicly in writing before. One of the key reasons I have never expressed this dream publicly is because of my vocal and sometimes extremely frank criticisms of the measures in place for Eventing Safety. I figure that my dream may be a great noose around my neck to help stymy my public comments in the future.
Just this week there was a document with a series of questions sent out to all Eventing Officials asking us to comment on some issues in the sport and the FEI. One area got me thinking pretty hard. Since then I have been working hard scouring the internet for data to back up my thoughts.
Below is part of the document sent out to officials by the IEOC, for a full copy click here.
5. Is there anything fundamentally wrong with the sport at present e.g:
The present age restriction on FEI Eventing officials: i.e. 'compulsory' retirement after the year of their 70th birthday?
Appointment of officials for Eventing Championships - who is responsible and is it a fair system at present ...?
Should there be a clear structure - with transparency - for these important appointments?
All three of these points interest me highly but number two, really got up my nose.
Why? Well it seems that one of the key selection criteria for appointing officials to major championships (Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games), is having been born in Europe (incl the UK). Even more so if you want to be President of the Ground Jury (PGJ), a TD or CD.
The stats show, if you have done it once, you are quite likely to do it at least twice and in some cases three or four times. What does it matter? Well, if our riders from outside of Europe can be at the top of their game and bring home medal hauls, what says our officials are not of equal calibre?
Who is the judge of that and who makes the decisions? This is the crux of one of the big questions, no-one knows or at least no-one is prepared to talk publicly about it. Work hard, be good and perhaps if you are outside Europe you may get a token role.
I note that at the recent WEG held in the USA, the President of the Ground Jury was American Marilyn Payne. Marilyn is the first non-European to head a Ground Jury at least as far back as Los Angeles in 1984. This is by no means a token role and I congratulate Marilyn for earning and achieving the role but it must be said that this is an exception to the rule.
For TDs we need to go back to Sydney 2000 to find a Kiwi TD, Jennifer Miller. The next previous occurrence of an non-European TD was Ewen Graham of Canada in 1988 and 1984.
Please note: I was unable to find any records for WEG at Stockholm 1990 and The Hague 1994.
So what do we need to do to re-balance the whole situation?
I don't know, perhaps it is a question of ensuring more officials from across the globe, get invited to do events within Europe and be exposed to the decision makers. Perhaps an independent panel representing all Continents might work? Something needs to change.
What I do know is the numbers during the period from 1984 to 2010. A total of 78 medals were awarded at WEG or Olympic Games in Eventing. Of those 25 or 32% were won by riders from Down-Under (Aus & NZ), 12 or 15% by North Americans (USA & Can) and the remaining 41 or 53% by Europeans.
During the same period if you look at the FEI Appointed President of the Ground Jury, Technical Delegate and Course Designers, then the numbers are grave! Roger Haller from the USA holds the honor of being the only non-European to have designed a cross country course for a WEG or Olympics since Neil Ayer at Los Angeles in 1984 and there hasn't been one since.
Simply there were 33 PGJ, TD or CD roles in the 11 Championships I could find details for. Of the total 33 only six were non-Europeans. One from Down-Under and five from North America. A stunning 82% of the most senior official roles in our sport were held by Europeans. I have not done an analysis on the four star events but I am confident that these findings will hold true with a wider base.
Please don't think I am bashing on Europeans, in fact I am half English and half German. What I am criticizing is an obvious imbalance and priority given to European officials over all others. Whether deliberate or not, it is real.
As for the compulsory retirement at the age of 70 years old. Personally, I believe this is essential. Not because I believe that people are necessarily past their used-by date, but purely we must find more ways to encourage the new generation of officials.
I am in my thirties and one of the few FEI officials under 50 let alone under 40. To be a TD costs me and my family both in money and time. I get a little support from Equestrian Australia and have been lucky enough to have the support of the FEI as part of the Global Education Program, but it still is not a cheap pursuit to be a volunteer.
Our older and more experienced officials are often retired or semi retired. Time and money is easier for these guys and girls. Many can afford to cover their own costs, which is great for events but not so good for us younger and less financially independent officials.
So what is my dream? Simple, I want to be the TD at the Olympic Games. Unfortunately now that I have written this story, I probably have a higher chance of winning an individual gold medal at an Olympic games.
Pretty sure I won't get one of those red or blue jackets now.
Here is a copy of the table I prepared on the list of Officials for all the events I could get info on.
Relationship to Eventing: NoviceRider -- hoping to move up to Training Level this spring
Favourite Eventing Moment/Story: Since I grew up just north of Lexington, Ky, Rolex and the Kentucky Horse Park were a big part of my childhood. So I was intimately familiar with eventing, but I thought that it was something only crazy brave people did with very fancy horses. Being terrified of jumping downhill or galloping too fast (bad runaway experience), I stayed safely in the hunter and dressage arenas. But in 2007, on the urging of a friend, I did a 3 day long eventing clinic with the legendary Scot, Ian Stark, down in Aiken. My horse, Solo and I had never even jumped a log together. Solo is my first horse after a lifetime of longing, purchased out of a backyard in 2006 as an ex-track-pony and rejected hubby horse. At the time, I didn't even know if he could jump and he wasn't sure what a circle was. I think Ian cried inside when he asked me, "So what have you done with this horse?" and I replied, "Pretty much nothing." But everything changed for us at the second or third jump we worked on. It was probably a Training level (we were in BN) question: jump up a big bank, one or two strides on top, then jump off the equally big other side. My eyes bugged out when he told us to do it, and my heart pounded cantering towards it as Ian called out, "Don't let me down, now!" But perhaps being clueless helped; Solo hopped up and off like he'd been doing it all his life. I galloped away with a ridiculous grin on my face and by the time we splashed through the water jump at the end of the day, I was hooked. Even the bystanders commented, "Hmmm, I think we have a new eventing convert!" That day, I knew that this was our sport and every day since, I've been able to think about nothing else. I still thank the great Ian Stark for showing Solo and I that we could do this together and giving us the confidence to believe in ourselves and our relationship, putting us on this fantastic journey of which I wouldn't trade a second.
If you had to pick one reason why you love Eventing, what would it be? The journey with your horse, wherein your partnership and trust grow every day as you try to tackle three disciplines at once and not lose your mind!
Overall Goals in the sport: Complete the Training 3-Day at Waredaca in 2012
Biggest Role model (could be anyone-- a famous rider, course designer, vet etc): Most recently this would be Becky Holder. I rode in a clinic with her in the fall of 2010 and I was blown away by her grace, professionalism, character, humour, strength, and talent. Although I appeared to be unable to talk to her without saying something incredibly stupid and embarrassing, I learned an incredible amount in just three days and have a huge amount of respect for her as a person and as a horsewoman.
Link to blog or website, if applicable: http://www.teamflyingsolo.com
If you'd like to submit an Eventing profile, follow this link for more information, fill out the form, and send it to annieyeagerEN@gmail.com.
Guess what word has the consonants 'S', 'Z', 'T', and 'R' in a row without any vowels between them. If you guessed "Strzegom," then you win. Your prize: EN Karma. The Strzegom Horse Trials and CCI*** World Cup was held the 23rd to the 25th of June in--you guessed it--Strzegom, Poland. The event hosted numerous other three-day divisions as well as the CCI3*. Elaine Pen of the Netherlands won the CCI3* with Vira, finishing on her dressage score. The CIC3* results were interesting. WEG champions Michael Jung and La Biosthetique Sam were second on a 46.1, just behind Michael Jung and his other ride, Leopin. [World Cup Recap]
Description: "Felix" is a 5 yr old 17h bay gelding out of a TB/Trakehner mare and by a Belgain Draft stallion. Currently walk/trot/canters well in a frame, 3 correct gaits with a lovely canter. Leg yields and beginning to learn other lateral movements. Started over fences and loves to jump. Very careful and scopey. Quick learner and loves to work! Hacks well alone or in a group. Started and ridden up to this point by a young rider, very easy to start! Easy keeper; currently barefoot and gets minimal grain. An absolute sweetheart with good ground manners. Very sad sale only reason is owner is attending Vet school in Ireland in the fall.
Good Morning Eventing Nation! I hope you have been taking the time to enjoy one of the most prime times during the summer. The classic American summer holiday is approaching (Fourth of July of course), the weather is as cool as its going to be until September, and the days are their longest. The only thing I don't like about this time of summer is the lack of news filing into the headquarters. Maybe its because the pulse of the nation slows down during the summer and the news follows that pattern. Did you know that compared to other times of the year, productivity in the office slows on average a whopping 13 percent during the summer months? I read that in Cosmo the other day. I don't know how to solve the lack of productivity, but here's my solution for the lack of news: do something interesting, write about it, and send it to me. Emphasis on the interesting part, but seriously, if you come across some person, thing, or event in the coming months that fellow EN readers would enjoy hearing about, don't hesitate to send it on in.
Anyway here are some lazy summer's day notes for you this morning:
--This year's Hickstead Derby was as big a success as it ever has been for many reasons. A female rider winning for the first time in many years is a big deal. Hickstead recently revamped their international arena, putting over Â£500,000 into the construction. The improvements were highly praised by the competitors, many saying the going this year was the best it's ever been. The third tier of the Hickstead success was an increased number of spectators. Ticket sales were up to 38,000, 1,000 more than last year. I think its safe to say that on every level this year, Hickstead was a success. [Horsetalk]
-- The Jurga Report has published an in-depth report on the prognosis of Miner's Frolic. For those that may have missed it, Miner's Frolic was entered in Badminton this spring, but ended up withdrawing from the competition due to a mysterious swelling on the horse's withers. The problem never resolved but rather turned into a series of life-threatening complications, and last week the horse was admitted into the Arundel Veterinary Hospital. The update on his condition as of June 27th states he is "stable but seriously ill."
-- Ruthie Mathieson, a British rider who was seriously injured in a local event earlier this spring, is slowly but surely taking steps to a full recovery. She is now in what is surely the hardest part of recovery-- the physical therapy and all the time spent relearning the muscle function and regaining strength. Ruthie has been a good patient through it all and has become an avid 'tweeter' in the wake of her injury. We wish her the best in her recovery and hope to see her back in the saddle soon. [Horse and Hound]
--Our friends at FLAIR are sponsoring the Pony Club Festival July 18-26. In addition to providing financial support, they are also providing Strips to the winners in Eventing, Polocross, and Show Jumping and they will also be doing 4 seminars (July 25th and 26th) on equine respiratory system and the how FLAIR Strips work to keep horses healthy. The Festival is held at the Kentucky Horse Park once every 3 years, and it includes the USPC National Championships.
That's all for now, Eventing Nation. Enjoy your day and be sure to keep it tuned to the greatest site in Eventing!
Description: Rainz is a turning 6 year old, 16.3H Holsteiner gelding who is ready for his own person. He has competed sucessfully through Novice, consistently with 30 or lower in dressage. He is a neat horse with loads of personality and a big work ethic. He is straight forward to ride in all three phases and will be ready to move up to Training by end of summer. He has three correct gaits. He is brave cross country, doing ditches, banks, water, etc with no hesitation. He is quite easy in show jumping and has his changes. Will be easily able to go above Preliminary in time and would make an adult amateur/young riders horse. He will be the type for someone to go far on!
When Lisa Marie Fergusson won the Jersey CCI2* this spring, I will admit my ignorance and say that I didn't know much about her. Fortunately, I solved that problem by asking her to become an Eventing Nation guest blogger for her trip to Fair Hill and a chance at the $15,000 Bit of Britain Challenge. So, I'll let Lisa take it from here and Annie will be around late tonight with your morning news and notes. ----
A big shout out to all EN loyal/addicted followers. It is, for me, a little odd being on the writting side of the experience but I can say how much I love Eventing Nation and what a thrill it is to put this together.
As winner of the Jersey Fresh CCI 2* I am now afforded the opportunity of participating in the "Bit of Britain Challenge". For those not familiar with the challenge, the challenge is this, win Jersey Fresh and the Dansko Fair Hill International CCI 2* And receive a check for $10,000 Or if you win the 2* and choose to upgrade to the 3* at Fair Hill, and win, It's a cool $15,000. I know, easy right! Let's just say that having been fortunate enough to have won the 2* at Jersey, on my amazing pony Smartie, AKA Smart Move, and that we do plan on running at Fair Hill. We will just have to see what hard work and fate has in store for us.
Smartie is a 7 year old Chestnut Welsh Sport Horse who I started and have had him since he was 4. His recent wins at the CIC 2* at Fair Hill and the CCI 2* at Jersey have garnished him a little attention, which he loves by the way, but he really is one of those honest horses that gives you his all. He truly loves his job. You don't have to go further than the paddock gate and look at the disappointment on his face as you take other horses for training while he is on break. Smartie is still young and has his baby brain moments, but he is tremendously talented, hard working and I really feel he has great potential. He really does get better with every ride.
It was great to get back to Jersey Fresh. This was Smarties first show at The New Jersey Horse Park so I was interested to see how he would respond to taking on the challenges of an often tough but fair cross country course. Dressage day was interesting to say the least. Smartie put in a very accurate test and although the judging took a lot of heat for some inconsistent scoring, all 3 judges scores were relatively close and at the end of the day I was happy with our fourth place score. My dressage coach Betsy Steiner made a surprise visit for warm up and I'm sure that Smartie put in an extra special effort for his Auntie Betsy. We had been down in Wellington, FL working with her for the winter, and it has been great to see the improvement and progression in the dressage ring! We had also stopped by Jeanne McDonald's enroute to Jersey Fresh for a Fix-A-Test, what great help that was! Cross country was awesome and Smartie ran around like a star. There were a couple of sticky fences but for the most part he was foot perfect and ended up being 1 of 10 double clear rounds in the CCI 2*. Smarties clear round moved him into first place but with less than a rail between first and fourth we would soon see how tired he was on sunday after his first 9 minute xcountry. No pressure, right! Smartie struggled a bit in show jumping last year so we spent the winter with Frankie Chesler in Wellington, FL trying to create an allergy to wood! After hearing that both Caitlin Stilliman/Catch A Star and Arden Wildasin/Totally Awesome Bosco jumped clear rounds, I guess we would see if our hard work would pay off. Thankfully Smartie jumped fantastic and clear. I was so proud of my pony, and still am!
So our plans, as much as you can make them with horses, is to get Smartie out of the field he'd been mowing for several weeks and get him back to work. He is very happy to be back at work! I am very fortunate to be a 5 minute hack from Phillip Dutton's barn so as much as schedules permit we will continue to work with Phillip. I am also hoping to spend some weekend trips in New Jersey with Betsy Steiner, that way she can help Smartie continue to "pull his pants on" in the dressage! We will also travel to Jeanne McDonald's to continue to improve our test riding...she is a master at Fix-A-Tests! Our plan is to come out after the break, do one intermediate and then do Smartie's first Advanced. From there we will just take it one event at a time and see how it goes. We will be sure to keep you posted along our Bit of Britain Challenge journey towards Fairhill. And as for Smarties recent success, he would like you to know that he credits and greatly appreciates all the help from his Aunt Betsy Steiner, Jeanne McDonald, Frankie Chesler and of course Phillip Dutton. Thank you all and yes.... Go Eventing.
No, not that kind of trailer. Since we haven't reached our weekly EN quota of 100 videos yet, here's one that has been circulating around the internet today--the movie trailer for War Horse, which is due in theaters January 2012. The movie is about a horse named Joey who is separated from his owner Albert during the First World War. The movie follows Joey throughout the war as he journeys throughout different sides and meets different people.