Rarely these days do we see dressage horses competing at any level who don't belong because they can't fulfill the requirements, a fairly common occur-
rence only a dozen years ago.
Nowadays our Grand Prix horses really do know how to piaffe and passage, and if there is a problem in the piaffe and passage tour, the tempi changes or the pirouette, it's usually due to the form of the day or the riding.
Since its inception in 1997, when Linda Zang offered the North American Championships as an inaugural venue for the USEF Junior Dressage Team Championships, the program has steadily grown and matured into a true challenge and milestone for dressage riders aged 14 to 18.
Each year we're seeing increasing numbers of juniors applying for and then completing the selection procedures to vie for one of the 12 spots available. And we've faithfully moved the championships from one side of the country to the other ever since that first year.
Shortly after our new federation`s formation in December, a number of people sent emails concerning the use of drugs in competition horses to the new president, David O`Connor. These authors told him they believed that drug use has become common practice to "enhance" the performance of our show horses.
And their criticism was directed toward our federation`s drug-testing programs and toward the penalties the federation`s Hearing Committee impose whenever someone is found to have broken the rules.
The news I received about Brentina`s minor injury while judging at `s-Hertogenbosch, the season-ending final World Cup qualifier in the Netherlands on the weekend before the final, really took some of the air out of the U.S. balloon. Fortunately, the injury was not catastrophic, and we still had two good horses to start`Nikolaus, with Guenter Seidel, and Kingston, with Leslie Morse.
And I was honored to be judging them and the rest of the field at the final in Dusseldorf (see April 19, p. 96).
Now that the Federation Equestre Internationale offers contests for 5- and 6-year-old horses and the Young Horse Championships, the interest in the
training and progress of our young horses has increased tremendously.
Back in the mid-'80s, I spent several months training with Harry Boldt, who was then, and still is, one of my equestrian heroes. He had perhaps 15 horses in training at the time, and when I arrived with my Swedish Warmblood, Stockholm, I discovered I was the only foreigner in the barn.
I got a warm welcome when I walked off the van with the horse, but Mr. Boldt kept looking behind me as if he expected another person to appear. And indeed, he did.
"Where is your husband?" he inquired.
I said. He was
Our columnist attends a judge’s forum in Vienna and is re-inspired by the famous white stallions.
In the heart of Vienna a lovely fragrance of horse lingers like perfume to us lovers of horses. Your nose has not deceived you. Behind the ornate and impressive facade of the Spanish Riding School, 73 Lipizzan stallions lead lives similar to those of celebrated artists.
Grooms and students make sure every hair is polished and all tack is gleaming before they leave the barn for
Our columnist recalls her Olympic experiences and discusses the pros and cons of equestrian sports in the Games.
Now that the dust has settled from the Olympic preparations and the Games have concluded, we have a brief period of “R&R” and a year to regroup before the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, which we hope will be a great bonus for all equestrian disciplines in this country.
Our columnist provides her thoughts on the dressage action at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.
In spite of a valiant effort by all of our U.S. dressage team members to bring home another Olympic medal,
the Danes slipped a hair in front and poff, the team bronze was gone! We always look for excuses and explanations, but this time around I think we just got unlucky.
It had been a strange pre-Olympic year anyway, with our hopes rising and sinking as our horses in the running to be on the team improved or lost ground.