Wednesday News and Notes from MDBarnmaster

Good morning EN! Can you believe this year’s show season is officially over? The year-end 2013 USEA Annual Meeting and Convention kicks off today in Cincinnati with a full-day show jumping workshop taught by Richard Jeffery. The main event begins tomorrow with the official convention registration and more workshops and meetings, including USEF Active Athletes Open Forum and a class called “Safe Sport” led by Sonja Keating. Friday is another full day of meetings and classes, including one that sounds particularly interesting called “Eventing MBA.” Everything wraps up Saturday evening after the USEA Awards Dinner and Dance. In addition to meetings and the awards dinner, there will also be a large trade fair sand several parties to keep the festivities going. [Official Webpage] [Schedule]

The 2014 dressage tests have officially been posted on the USEA website. A group of riders, judges, and trainers consisting of Wayne Quarles, Loris Henry, Sally O’Connor, Brian Ross, Gina Miles, Jon Holling, Kerry Milliken and Lilo Fore worked together to create the new tests. According to a statement from Quarles, many of the tests retain their basic elements. “In general, the test patterns have not changed significantly, however we feel they are correct for our sport at this time,” he said in the statement. [USEA]

More trouble for FEI President Princess Haya’s husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: Top French rider Morgane Payen claims that she was offered €150,000 for her mobile phone after she filmed the handlers of a Maktoum stables-trained endurance horse, Eclipse, caring for the horse in the vet box at the Young Riders World Championships at Tarbes. The horse finished second with rider Saaed Ahmad Jaber Al Harbi but was subsequently disqualified for lameness and euthanized two days after the competition.  Payne claims she has no video of illegal activity, but that she witnessed Eclipse’s handlers injecting the horse’s leg underwater while the leg was in a bucket of ice. A second horse ridden by Eclipse’s jockey Al Harbi died one month later in Sardinia. [The Telegraph]

Former U.S. Equestrian Federation executive director of sport programs Jim Wolf has announced the formation of Wolf Sports Group LLC. Wolfe left his position with the USEF on December 1 after more than 20 years on the job and will pursue his new venture, a sports marketing and event management firm. The company will focus mainly on equestrian sports and will be based out of the USET office in Gladstone, New Jersey. The USEF is Wolf Sports Group’s first client. [The Chronicle]

What do Omaha and London have in common? Both are in the running to host the 2017 World Cup Finals for both dressage and jumping. London has proposed hosting the finals in the stadiums that were built for the 2012 Olympic games, while Omaha has volunteered the Century Link Centre, which recently hosted the The International Horse Show. The Centre has also hosted Bon Jovi and Justin Beiber this year, but apparently that will not be swaying the search committee very much. While neither city has submitted a formal bid to host the finals, both have filed an expression of interest. Final bids will not be submitted until next year. [Horsetalk]

This week on SmartPak’s “Ask the Vet:” The facts on feeds. This week’s question probes the question of feeding grain feed even though horses in the wild do not eat feed. Dr. Gray points out that horses dependent on hay instead of high-quality pasture probably will not get enough nutrients without feed. Click to read her breakdown of the feeds that are the most natural and healthy for horses that need the extra addition to their diets. [SmartPak Blog]

Today from HN: Do you remember the moonwalking #danceponydance video that took the internet by storm? The Scottish pony “Socks” is back just in time for Christmas with a dose of holiday cheer, complete with Christmas sweaters. Ever wonder how exactly one dresses a pony in a sweater? Click the link to see a behind-the-scenes video of how they managed it and find out how to enter for your chance to fly to Scotland to meet the adorable dancing pony yourself.

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