Approximately three years ago, the U.S. Equestrian Federation launched the Young Horse Championship initiative with the intent of showcasing young horse development pipeline programs within each of the disciplines under the Federation umbrella by uniting their efforts in a single-venue championship event. A USEF Young Horse Championship and Festival was planned for the fall of 2014 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
Biko, Karen O’Connor’s former four-star eventing partner and a fan favorite, died Jan. 29. He was 30.
With O’Connor, Dick and Vita Thompson’s Biko helped the U.S. team to silver at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. He also finished third at the 1995 Badminton CCI**** Horse Trials (Great Britain) and fifth in the 1998 Rolex Kentucky CCI****.
Australian horseman and performer Guy McLean appeared at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival to much acclaim. His shows are not only entertaining, but also an amazing display of horsemanship. The Chronicle's Lisa Slade went behind the scenes with Guy to find out more about Guy.
"Horses have been my life as long as I can remember. I said to my Dad when I was 5 or 6, 'Everybodys asking me what I want to be when I grow up and I want to be a world class horseman,' " Guy said.
Riders brought their mounts out in front of Steffen Peters and Scott Hassler for the second day of the Succeed/USDF FEI-Level Trainers’ Conference. And, no surprise, the concepts discussed were similar, though most horses showed improvement in all the work since yesterday.
The bill funding the government for Fiscal Year 2014—which includes language that would de-fund inspections of horse slaughter plans, effectively banning slaughter in the United States—has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate and was signed into law by President Obama Jan. 17. The budget bill doesn’t allocate funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections of equine slaughterhouses.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., added the language to the FY2014 Appropriations bill, which funds the Department of Agriculture, in June.
For the final day of the 2014 Robert Dover Horsemastership Clinic, riders got to put all the skills they’d learned throughout the week to the test—literally. Each rode a test at her own level and then was judged by either FEI four-star judge Janet Foy or FEI five-star judge Linda Zang.
While the judges still found plenty that needed improvement, wanting the riders to strive for 8s, 9s or even 10s instead of being comfortable with 7s, Robert Dover noted the different in each young rider from the beginning of the sessions.