Friday News & Notes from World Equestrian Brands

Welcome, Fiona! Photo by Sally Crane Cox.

Big congrats to Ellie and Alex O’Neal who welcomed their first child, daughter Fiona Quinn O’Neal, on Tuesday of this week. She was born at 5:48 p.m. in Ocala, weighing in at 7 pounds, 9 ounces and 22 inches. She had her first tour of the barn yesterday afternoon and met Ellie’s four-star mare, Zeta, pictured. Fiona has actually already “ridden” Zeta, when Ellie and Fiona competed Bromont last summer!

Can’t wait for photos of Fiona and her first pony later this year! Another little champion eventer in the making — watch out Kentucky Three Day Event 2040!

National Holiday: National Hot Chocolate Day

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Galway Downs Winter H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Sporting Days Farm H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Three Lakes H.T. at Caudle Ranch [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

News From Around the Globe:

Our new girl crush is Mount Saint John Freestyle, and we’re not afraid to admit it. Don’t mind the fact that she’s a fancy dressage lady, “Mrs Valegro” was purchased as a foal by her owner, Emma Blundell, and partnered with Charlotte DuJardin in 2015 after Emma did young horse classes with her. According to reports, she’s the Mary Poppins of horses, Practically Perfect in Every Way. [9 Things You Never Knew About Mount Saint John Freestyle]

Let’s talk about poop! More specifically, fecal transplants. Diarrhea is an inconvenience for humans, but can be deadly for horses, with 30% of affected horses dying. In the diarrhea therapy, called fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), veterinarians take manure from a healthy donor horse and put it in the gut of the horse with diarrhea. Although exactly how FMT works has yet to be determined, the hypothesis is that it repopulates a patient’s depleted gut bacteria to restore its natural species richness, normalizing the gastrointestinal microbiome. [The Scoop On Poop]

Why do horses nicker? Contrary to literally every horse movie director, it’s NOT when a horse sees another human, or experiences some kind of emotion, or the camera pans to them. Please. Somebody send this to Hollywood. PLEASE. [Why Do Horses Nicker]