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Between Rounds

December 18, 2009

Make Your Own Informed Opinion Of The FEI’s Progressive List

Our columnist asks Dr. Tim Ober to provide more background about what this contentious change could mean for our horses.

It seems to me that our primary concern as horsemen must be the horse.

Dismay is the only word that comes to mind when I witness many of the goings on in our sport. The politicizing by many factions in the process of the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s recent adoption of the Progressive List of therapeutic drugs, to say the least, makes me incredibly sad. Honest, informed disagreement is fine and even important.

November 20, 2009

Our Lost Generations

Our columnist sees a void in our system for discovering and developing talented young dressage riders.

Close to 40 years ago, dressage was introduced to this country as a “new” concept in riding. Slowly the discipline was accepted, adopted and embraced by American riders.

We have the event riders to thank for the initiative of being the first to bring dressage over here, and once it took hold, its growth in popularity has been rapid and rewarding. That is, for adult participants.

April 17, 2009

What Makes A Rolex Team?

Our columnist explores the qualities necessary for a horse and rider to tackle eventing’s highest level.

Four-star events are their own little world. Thousands of riders ride thousands of horses in hundreds of events all over the world every year, but most of them will never in their lives gallop down to an advanced fence, and only a fraction of the advanced riders who do will ever tackle the four-star challenge.

January 19, 2009

What Happened To Manners And Sportsmanship?

Now that all five winter circuits have come to an end, it's time for all of us to reflect on what we've done this winter and where we're taking the sport in which we all participate all year long.

I was a part of three of the circuits since I judged at the HITS Desert Circuit in Indio, Calif., and the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Fla., and my barn showed at HITS Ocala, Fla. We have a variety of customers, from young children to adults to pre-green and working horses. In other words, we have hunters and jumpers of all levels.

February 28, 2008

Bravo America!

When Mariette Withages, chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee, arrived in Jerez, Spain, for last month's World Equestrian Games, the International Olympic Committee members who were there had but one question for her about dressage: "Is the same old gang going to medal?"

No great friends of equine sports in general, they obviously view our activities as superfluous, concluding that the outcome is given. Mrs. Withages informed the IOC officials that there are new, strong forces on the move in dressage and suggested they "stand by" until after the awards.

August 24, 2007

Let's Make Our Hunters Special Again

Over the past six months there have been many articles written in the Chronicle and other publications about the future of our hunters and what changes need to be made. New divisions, new jumps, handy classes added to most rated divisions and a High Performance Hunter Division, an idea formulated by George Morris, have been considered.

The U.S. Hunter Jumper Hunter Task Force, the USHJA Junior Hunter Task Force and the USHJA High Performance Hunter Committee are having a two-day retreat in early September to work on these ideas and

May 11, 2007

Retirement: When Do You Know The Time Is Right?

We’re involved with show hunters because we love horses, and when a truly great one walks into your life, you hope you’ll manage his career correctly and know when to stop when the time is right. I always want to have each horse under my training team retire at the top of his or her game.

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