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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

May 2, 2011

The Americans At The FEI Reem Acra World Cup Final, Leipzig 2011

Dear Rita,

When Michelangelo was asked how he would sculpt an elephant, he said, “I would start with a block of stone and take away all that is not the elephant.”

I kept this concept in my head when I rode the World Cup Final at Leipzig last Saturday night. In the end, all that really matters is the masterpiece that emerges. The pieces that you chip away are just Schrott (“scraps, bits to be thrown away” in English).

April 22, 2011

The Schultheis Chronicles, Part 7: About The Cat

Dear Rita,

I think about Mr. Schultheis nearly every day, but it has been a long time since I wrote more stories about my time with him. A reader’s comment on one of the old Schultheis blogs prompted me to tell this story about his cat.

During my time at the Schultheis stable, we had a pack of dogs (two Jack Russells, one Corgi—in this case three is a pack) that wrecked havoc on the place whenever possible. Their unruly numbers were only quelled by the cool stare of one cat: The Chef.

April 14, 2011

World Cup: Two Contests For 2011

Dear Rita,

Last year we had a fun contest on this blog site for World Cup fans! But because I think it is bad luck to vote for or against yourself going into a competition, we have to avoid speculation on the outcome of the whole starting list this year.

On the other hand, we could do some betting on other things! Eighteen pairs start in the Grand Prix on Thursday, April 28, and 15 go on to the Grand Prix Freestyle Final on Saturday night. The following competitors and horses will start in the Grand Prix:

April 13, 2011

Leipzig or Bust!

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro and I are on our way to Leipzig! This will be an exciting part of our ongoing journey together. The Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Finals will be held in Leipzig, Germany, April 28-30, and we are going to take part!

I would remind you, Rita, that W will be competing in THE WORLD CUP FINAL before he has completed his first year in international Grand Prix competition. I sit back and smile at that.

March 22, 2011

“Supersize It” Syndrome

The information in this blog will probably be my most important life contribution to the contemporary world of dressage. Be warned, my opinion comes from a school of traditional riding. It works for me, and I have witnessed it work over and over and over again, at clinics all over the world.

February 27, 2011

Gothenburg CDI-W: Dog Days of Discontent

Dear Rita,

It is not all sunshine and success on the World Cup tour! Have you ever had one of those days, or two or three, that is not quite defined by Murphy’s Law, but borders on the edge of quiet exasperation? That feeling of being pecked to death by hens? At risk of sounding whiney about my blessed life, let me tell you about my latest show adventure.

February 17, 2011

Maximus Retires


Dear Rita,

“Maximus Retires” seems like a funny title, as if he made the choice to do so when in fact, I am the one who made the choice for him. Maximus would never choose retirement if he was in charge of his own life. He is too much of a warrior for that!

I bought Maximus (who was then named “Junker”) from Daniel Ramseier in Zurich, Switzerland, at the beginning of 2003. He was delivered to my stable on my birthday in March, but our magnificent partnership was not a waltz through the rose garden from the very beginning. We got off to a rocky start.

February 8, 2011

The German National Horse Show System

Dear Rita,

I have a friend and show organizer from the United States visiting me this week. Our horse search has taken us to a few small horse shows to view some of the prospects in action, and through my friend’s many and varied questions, I began to realize that many of the things I take for granted in the German show system are not common in the United States.

January 13, 2011

World Cup: How It Works

Dear Rita,

We are in the midst of World Cup season, which is one of the most exciting times of year for me. World Cup is a winter tour that culminates in a Final held in March or April every year. The location of the Final is not fixed, and different countries vie for the privilege of holding it each year.

This year, the Final will be held in Leipzig, Germany, approximately four hours from my home in Vechta. This is the first time in the history of World Cup that the Final will include the three disciplines of jumping, dressage and driving all under the same roof!

December 20, 2010

Catherine's Christmas Picks

Dear Rita,

It is that time of year again! I love Christmas for the lively cheer of the season, but the pressure of GIFT GIVING got too extreme for me decades ago, so I just did away with it. Yep. I declared a war on ALL GIFTS and demanded that my close friends take the time to meet for a glass of wine, tell stories and jokes and just be together in the holiday cheer without all that wrapping paper and stuff.  Works wonders for me. Christmas! Bring it on!

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