Flipping to the back of Equestrian magazineto see who’d been set down used to be a guilty pleasure most U.S. Equestrian Federation members indulged in first thing when their copy of the official publication hit their mailbox. Digital access to this information via the USEF website only made it easier to discover who might have been complementing their training with a dose of mother’s little helper.
Veterinarian Kathy Broaddus always dreamed of someday completing the 100-mile Western States Trail Ride, better known as the Tevis Cup. But, you know, I’ve always dreamed of competing at the Olympic Games too, and for an amateur rider with a full-time job and no magic money tree in the backyard, the odds of doing either were about as unlikely.
However, Broaddus, of Bluemont, Va., accomplished a remarkable feat this summer when she managed to not only complete the notoriously difficult endurance ride, but also to finish in the top 10 in her first attempt on Aug. 1.
A group of veterinarians and riders affiliated with the University of Bern (Switzerland) are interested in improving horse health and safety. They’re studying collapse and sudden death in horses in order to design strategies to prevent these episodes.
If you’ve ridden, trained or treated a horse that collapsed or died during or near exercise they’re hoping you’ll fill out a questionnaire.
They say you never know if your horse is a four-star horse or if you’re a four-star rider until you’ve cantered through the finish flags on the final day. We asked a number of four-star first-timers from the Rolex Kentucky CCI**** over the weekend what it felt like to achieve that monumental goal.
Forty-two horses presented at the final horse inspection on a chilly Sunday morning at the Kentucky Horse Park, and of those, 41 will go on to show jumping.
There was a bit of drama early on amongst the international group when two British horses were held—William Fox-Pitt’s Bay My Hero (sitting fourth after cross-country) and Nicola Wilson’s Annie Clover (10th after cross-country). Both horses were pass upon re-inspection. Their teammate Francis Whittington didn’t present Easy Target.
Chris Welton just moved into the corner office of the U.S. Equestrian Federation headquarters six months ago as the new CEO, but he knew coming into the USEF Annual Meeting, held Jan. 14-17 in Lexington, Ky., that that excuse wasn’t going to hold water.
For the first time in 10 years the budget was showing a deficit instead of a surplus. Federation growth and income has plateaued. And the national disciplines and breeds affiliates were feeling restless over a government restructure last year that left them with less representation on the board of directors.
It’s been 10 years since Julie Richards competed at Fair Hill, but she made a dramatic return to the event by winning the CCI** at The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International aboard Urlanmore Beauty.
“It always feels great,” she said. “The horse is so generous. He’s a super animal that way. I knew he would try. He touched one or two, which always gives you heart palpitations, but sometimes it goes your way.”
Grooms had an early start at The Dutta Corp Fair Hill International in order to have their charges ready for the 7:30 a.m. jog, but their efforts were rewarded when every horse presented passed.
Jennie Brannigan withdrew her two-star mount Henry before the horse inspection. Two Canadian horses were held in the two-star—Sean McIntosh’s Wild T’Mater and Lauren Clark’s Coolum XV—but both passed upon re-inspection.