This Week in Horses – September 26, 2014


Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s what’s been happening in the horse world this week.

  • All the Championships. The start of fall means the bulk of show season is behind us, but there are still some big competitions and year-end championships ahead of us. This week brought the American Eventing Championships, which run through Sunday in Texas; Dressage at Devon, which you can watch live this weekend on; and Arabian Sport Horse Nationals, which is in Idaho this year but will move to North Carolina next year. Hopefully the new location will mean live streaming for them, too.
  • Sport Horse Nationals
    A rider practicing in between classes at the 2009 Arabian Sport Horse National when it was held in Kentucky. I, for one, think Kentucky is the ideal location for all championship equestrian events.
  • Larry the Cable Guy. What’s he got to do with horses? This week, his Git R Done Foundation donated $250,000 to build a therapeutic riding facility in Nebraska.
  • Here’s an inspiring story about a British woman whose love of horses and riding motivated her to lose weight. She had reached the point where she was too heavy to ride, but once she made the decision to drop the weight, one of the ways she got more physically active was by taking her horse, Rocky, on walks in-hand. With exercise and improved diet, she has lost 20 stone, which meant nothing to my American brain until Google converted it for me: 280 lbs. Wow!
  • I have no connection to New York City, but I’m oddly fascinated by the stories of horses in that metropolis. So here’s your NYC horse news roundup for this week.
  • I always thought it was strange that Canadian Olympic dressage rider Ashley Holzer’s base of operations was in the Bronx. Apparently it isn’t anymore, though, as the former Riverdale Equestrian Centre, which Holzer ran with her husband, American dressage rider Rusty Holzer, has been transferred to new concessionaires. Their vision for the stable, which is owned by the Parks Department, includes a more community-focused atmosphere with public riding lessons. Makes sense.
  • Ashley Holzer
    Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
  • Another story out of the Bronx, this one weird and a little sad. A developer has purchased a dilapidated old barn that once housed horses. Soon-to-be former owner Buster Marengo will have to move off the property and take the last remaining horse, Bronco, along with him. It seems like that property was no place for a horse, but it’s still sad. I hope they end up somewhere better. An apartment complex is planned for the lot.
  • And back to the carriage horse debate. Horsemanship clinician and past Road to the Horse champ Guy McLean has weighed in, saying the NYC carriage horses are just fine. I’m still refusing to take a side on this topic, but I will say I’m far more likely to listen to McLean’s opinion of the horses than Liam Neeson’s.
  • The FBI will begin tracking animal cruelty cases in their own category—in the past they had been cataloged as “other offenses.” Animal welfare supporters are calling this a victory and a sign that cruelty and neglect are being taken more seriously by law enforcement.
  • And on the topic of taking cruelty cases seriously, a serious case of neglect in Colorado made headlines this week for several terrible reasons. First off, the severity of the situation was appalling: eight skinny horses were found on the property along with the remains of 12 dead horses, covered in tarps. One of the neglected (but living) horses was Dual Peppy, a champion cutting horse and sire, the kind of valuable animal no one expects to find in such a state. Worst of all? The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office seemed to take their sweet time removing the surviving horses, stating that the scene in the barn wasn’t enough to warrant seizure. Twelve horses are dead and the others are emaciated…I’m not sure what constitutes “enough” here. Fortunately, they did finally remove the horses after three days, along with four llamas, from the barn. Dual Peppy’s previous owner has said that he will take the horse back and give him a home for the rest of his life.
  • Let’s move on to something lighter. Much lighter. Here’s a first-person account of a non-rider taking his first ride (aboard a pretty darn nice horse.) I don’t know the whole backstory, but it’s an amusing read anyway.
  • That’s it for this week. Have fun with your horses this weekend, everyone!

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    1. That is so sad, about the neglected horses in Colorado. They give so much and then left to die, that is worst than terrible. God will help dish out the punishment. No reason for that.


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