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Between Rounds

March 14, 2011

The Ghost Of Horse Shows Past, Present And Future

Our columnist reflects on progress, the advent of big show businesses and how to keep more riders coming up the pipeline.

Lately, I’ve heard and read about people in our sport lamenting competition years gone by. These equestrians seem to be longing for the past, condemning the present and often not offering solutions for our future.

March 6, 2011

Riders Need To Make Their Own Opportunities

Our columnist wants riders to take the time to put in the work—not just hope a big sponsor comes along to save the day.

A few weeks ago I was attending the High Performance Dressage Committee meeting at the U.S. Equestrian Federation convention in Lexington, Ky. While at the meeting, it struck me that I had known most of the people on the committee for at least 10 years and some closer to 20 years.

February 28, 2011

Totilas Provides An Inspiration For Breeders

While producing the next Totilas is every dressage breeder’s dream, closely examining the traits that make this stallion so special can refresh any breeding program.

Totilas may well be the greatest dressage horse we’ve seen in the history of the sport.

February 21, 2011

Show Jumping Means Something Different To Everyone

Our columnist sees levels and goals so disparate they should almost be made into separate sports.

Show jumping spans such a wide range of levels and participants these days that it can be hard to recognize as a single discipline. The elite athletes jumping huge obstacles with precision and grace at last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the often scary “belly to the ground” riders jumping over 2'6" at many of our shows are separated by much more than just the heights of their fences.

February 7, 2011

It Was A Year Of Many Ups And Some Real Downs

Our columnist looks back at the best and worst of the year in show jumping.

It was no secret that the U.S. team was a strong favorite to be in the running for a medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.). As the defending Olympic team gold medalists, U.S. riders have moved from strength to strength on the international stage. The team’s disappointing results at the WEG were not a reflection of the usual form of U.S. riders against strong international competition.

February 7, 2011

Our Driving Programs Are Better Than Ever

On the heels of the WEG, our columnist sees new trends and programs shaping up to improve drivers at all levels

Now that the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are over, the big question in the driving world is, “What now?” We concentrated so much of our attention and energy during the months leading up to the WEG that it was almost a letdown once it was over.

February 7, 2011

A 50-Year Retrospective On Sport Horses

In late Autumn it gets dark and cold early in Lincoln, R.I., and by the time Joe McLaughlin and I pulled into Lincoln Downs one day in early December, 1961, the track was black except for a few flickering bulbs which did little to dispel the murk along the partially deserted shed row on the back side of the racetrack.

February 7, 2011

We Worked Hard Finding Our Footing In 2010

The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games were the center of our attention, but we faced more than that.

Stormy weather and bumpy rides were the trademarks for American dressage in the first third of 2010. Accidents and poor health riddled our best and brightest, and bad luck often accompanied us.

February 7, 2011

We See Opportunities, Not Disappointments

There were certainly many highlights in equestrian sports this year, as well as some disappointments. Being optimists, we think that the disappointments often turn out to be opportunities once you get past the initial emotion of the situation.

This year we witnessed the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on our home turf. Yes, show jumping and eventing experienced some problems and did not produce the hoped-for results, but other sports such as vaulting, reining, dressage and driving really stepped up their games and proudly represented equestrian sports on the awards podium.

January 21, 2011

How Do The Winter Circuits Attract Their Customers?

My most recent article, “We Need To Strive To Better Ourselves” drew a huge reaction. Most of the article was asking the question: Do we ask our riders to strive to go to the next level? It was by no means knocking the lower height divisions. All I was saying is that we should use all the divisions as steppingstones.

I’ve always thought that a good writer presents topics that can be discussed. I’ve never thought I had all the answers, but simply many of the questions.

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