Reports are coming out of Germany that La Biothetique Sam was found to have a heart murmur during a prepurchase exam performed by the German Olympic Committee (DOKR). Several German equestrian sites, including Reiter Revue are reporting that negotiations for the purchase of Sabine Kreuter's 60% share of the WEG Champion took a turn when the German team vet Dr. Carsten Rohde discovered a heart murmur in Sam, which was apparently confirmed by a specialist. The article explains that the murmur does not necessarily prevent Sam from competing internationally, but it could possibly be the precursor to complications.
The DOKR reportedly responded to this finding by proposing a lease-to-own agreement to Ms. Kreuter which would involve the payment of 230,000 Euros to Ms. Kreuter for half of her shares at the end of 2011 and 230,00 Euros for the rest of her shares at the end of 2012 if Sam was at least able to make the long list. However, Ms. Kreuter rejected the agreement, claiming that she wanted to get rid of the risk of owning Sam and that her vet didn't feel there was any problem with Sam's heart. So, the Sam situation rolls on without resolution, and one of the world's best horses still has an uncertain future. [Reiter Revue via LD via Google Translate]
Incidentally, the proposed arrangement would value Ms. Kreuter's 60% share of Sam at 460,000 Euros and therefore the entire horse at around 760,000 Euros--not a bad deal for buying an 11 year old WEG champion if you ask me. Furthermore, it appears that the DOKR and Ms. Kreuter were a lot closer to an agreement than previous reports had suggested. I do think it is very suspicious that word of the heart murmur reached German media, and I wouldn't put it past the DOKR to leak the information in order to put pressure on Ms. Kreuter or deter potential purchasing competitors. The German reports are unclear as to when exactly the prepurchase exam was conducted. For what it's worth, I know several advanced horses who compete with heart murmurs and they have never had an issue. Now for some other eventing news and notes:
--Our good friend Fran Jurga writes that the horse slaughter debate creates strange bedfellows. Interesting enough, Fran's article quotes the FEI Veterinary Director, Graeme Cook as saying "The FEI is not opposed to the slaughter of horses (for human consumption), but believes that slaughter should be as close as possible to the place of origin, and that slaughterhouses must remain open." Fran is one of the only equestrian journalists who really knows her stuff and I regularly check her blog. Fran was also kind enough to chime in with a comment on our Thursday Reader post--I always like it when people aren't afraid to jump into the conversation.
--Police in England are defending the use of 18 shots to kill a stray loose horse in September of 2010. According to the Horse and Hound, an eyewitness said at the time: "It should not have been dealt with in the way it was -- like fun target practice." After a review of the incident, police have said that no police rules were broken, that the incident only took 5 minutes, but that there are "lessons to be learned." Yeah, lessons like figuring out a way to not spend 5 minutes shooting a horse 18 times. [Horse and Hound]
--John Lechner, know to Eventing Nation as "ESJ," has written a great post on his blog about two important eventing safety meetings in the next two weeks. The first is an FEI meeting of select UK, European, and US experts about creating industrial standards for frangible fences, and the second is a gathering of all the National Safety Officers at Greenwich. ESJ's hope, and mine, is that the findings and plans made in meetings will be made more transparent to the eventing public. [EventingSafety Blog]
--Thursday at the George Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions [COTH]
--A new high-speed rail line in England will cut through Stonleigh Park, home of the British Equestrian Federation, as well as the cross-country course at Aston-le-Walls. Dozens of hunts would also be affected by the proposed route and they are banding together in protest. High-speed trains and horses don't mix but so far the government seems to be taking the side of the trains. [Horse and Hound]
--Badminton 2011 is expecting a big Easter crowd. The event will run during Easter weekend (April 21-25) this year because Easter is uncharacteristically late and because Badminton and Rolex reworked their schedules to avoid occurring on the same weekend. [Badminton Blog]
--Let's send some EN Karma to clb, a longtime EN reader and commenter, who is having a tough week. Hang in there clb. [clb's blog]
--World Equestrian Brands has posted a job opening for a territory manager position on SHN. The job description says: "Interest in or knowledge of saddle fitting a must. Must be computer savvy and have good phone skills. Position holds plenty of variety, limited travel to various shows and customer visits. This is a great opportunity for someone interested in working with some of the top brands and top riders in the US." Speaking of SHN, 4 horses were sold through the site in December alone--and that's just the ones we heard about. [Sport Horse Nation]
--Cavalor has added a new feed store for our readers in the Aberdeen, NC area. I spent some time riding with Holly Hudspeth in NC a few years ago and I consider that Southern Pines area one of the top 5 places for eventers in the US. Aberdeen Supply will be offering Cavalor's great products starting soon. [Cavalor Dealer Directory]
--I realized yesterday that another problem with being a guy and liking Firework by Katy Perry occurs when you are driving in a car, the radio volume is turned all the way down, and the radio display shows that Firework is playing but you don't want to show the person you are driving with that you like the song by turning the radio up--it's painful. I'm just saying. I really do have a good taste in music, I promise, but Firework is my one weakness.
With that, I think it's time to wrap up what is probably the longest News and Notes post in EN's history. Congratulations, you have nearly survived the first week of 2011. Just 51 more to go before 2012. I'll be back soon with more insanity and, until then, put your game face on. Go eventing.