It’s been awhile since I last updated my Horse Happenings Around the Country column. My many travels at the end of 2011 kept me very busy both during and after. I was at Gladstone for the Selection Trials, the Pan American Games, the Washington International Horse Show and the National Horse Show writing and photographing the action. So, my time was consumed with keeping up with that workload.
Now I’m back with an update as we head into the new year with 12 months of horse happenings ahead of us. So now onto some horse happenings!
The Pan American Games were a home run. Our U.S. teams set records in all the disciplines winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. We were truly a force to be reckoned with. Our Show Jumpers qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games as well.
While some of our top Show Jumpers missed the Washington International Horse Show because they were representing our country at the Pan American Games, the show still showcased some of the nation’s finest athletes. Among those was British Olympic medalist Nick Skelton, who won the WIHS President’s Cup, Puissance and Leading Rider title (for which he was presented with a Rolex watch). There was an impressive list of sponsors for the show, including Nikon, The Boeing Company, Animal Planet, Chevron, Comcast, Honeywell and others. Mark your calendars now for October 23-28, 2012. This show is worth the visit and while there you can spend time touring DC. To find out more go to their web site: www.wihs.org.
I received this note from 24-year-old Elizabeth Eaton, Woodbine, MD about her Washington International memories. She remembers going to WIHS as a spectator with her parents growing up. In 2003, she qualified for the Local Weekend Children’s Jumper class and won the final at the Verizon Center on her horse, Sophie. She says her favorite part was the novelty of stabling the horse on the street and having a crowd cheering her on. Now a young professional rider, Elizabeth presently rides Peace of Blue, an 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood. Elizabeth sold two horses to buy “Blue” as a 4-year-old (a very young age for a jumper) while she was a college student. Blue is Elizabeth’s top mount, and he is a tyrant in the barn. Blue has a companion Shetland pony named Harley Davidson to keep him company, and he strikes his stall door in protest if Elizabeth walks by without stopping to pay him attention. The pair only began competing in Grand Prix classes (which contribute to the rankings used to qualify for the Open Jumper division) last summer. Currently, Elizabeth is first on the waiting list to compete. She hopes to one day compete at the sport’s highest level in a hometown venue with a horse she has brought along herself. Maybe we will see her at WIHS 2012.
Now is the time to think about taking extra special care of your horses and that’s what Healthy Horse Boutique is all about. Owner, Marian Nilsen, calls her shop a “Health Food Store for Horses.” She does all the research to find the organic (truly pure) products you should be feeding and putting on your horse(s) and those are the only types of products she sells. If it is sold at her store, you know it’s all about GMO free, standardization and all those other great things we worry about for ourselves. Her shop features Cookies with a Clue, with only the best ingredients. I love the Stress Busters, especially for horses that need a little natural calming before getting on a trailer or spending the day at a show, and they are drug free so legal for competition. She’s also got KAM Animal Services products for the more serious conditions, Emerald Valley’s beet pulp and most recently HHB’s Lotions & Potions, which have been receiving some incredible testimonials. And last but not least, she’s doing a final special on her 70% off European Fashion with names like Anky Technical Casuals, Cavallo, HV Pollo, Iris Bayer, Kyra K, Pikeur, and Schockemoehle. If those names peak your interest then hurry and email Marian because there are a limited number of items for sale. So, take a moment now to go to www.healthyhorseboutique.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are an adult amateur Event rider than I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about Southern Eighths Farm, located in Chesterfield, SC. Owner, Brad Turley, began with the idea of building something for him to practice on and now he’s opened it up to other amateurs like himself, who are content riding at the Beginner, Novice, Training levels. The place is amazing with everything built to spec, from the expansive Dressage and indoor arenas, to the full-fledged Cross-Country course and more. He’s gone so far as to showcase a recognized event there. The first one took place in 2011 and the second annual So8ths/Nikon Three-Day Event will be May 3-6, 2012. In between there will be schooling opportunities and more. Visit the web site at www.so8ths.com and while there be sure to watch the videos and friend/like their Facebook page. You can also go to www.tinyurl.com/presslink-so8ths to see photos from last year’s event. So, now you have another event to put on your calendar for 2012.
I just heard from one of my dear friends, LA Pomeroy. She told me about Ray Petterson, Havana, FL, president of WhinnyWarmers/Socks For Horses, which is partnering with Nikwax of Seattle, WA, to waterproof older styles of Socks for Horses and donate them to equine rescues. Nikwax has been making the donations even better by ensuring that each donated set of Whinny Warmers® stays warm and dry through an environmentally-friendly waterproofing that is safe against equine skin. Nikwax Waterproofing has a green-friendly equestrian line of wash-in, sponge-on and non-aerosol spray-on treatments to clean and waterproof tack, blankets, clothing and horse gear. “We really agonized about this for a long time. We thought, what if all these people who see the old Whinny Warmers® think this is what our product is today? We’ve spent so much getting the word out about the new style that it could be a step back. But as we heard from these groups and the stories about the horses that need them, well, that concern melted away. We are prepared to take it any way it comes. If it means a whole lot of horses in great need are going to have warmer winters and happier lives,” commented Petterson.
The 39th Intercollegiate Horse Show Association National Championships will be taking place at the Gov. James Hunt Jr. Horse Complex, Raleigh, NC, May 3-6, 2012. “Billy managed the IHSA Nationals the last time they were at Harrisburg. I felt it was important to have someone familiar with both the Hunt Complex and our IHSA format, and when I started looking for recommendations, his name kept coming up,” commented St. Andrews University Equine Program Director and IHSA coach, Peggy McElveen, about Billy Yeager, of Partridge Run LLC, Warrenton, VA, as 2012 IHSA National Championships show manager. Yeager and McElveen met earlier in 2011, at the IHSA Nationals at the Kentucky Horse Park, where Yeager provided the jumps for its hunter seat division. “We spent a day together and I came away from it saying yes, this is the guy I want,” she added. “He knows the Complex inside and out.”
Brotherhood of Working Farriers Association (BWFA) of Lafayette, GA forwarded me some information about their group noting, “The BWFA is dedicated to public awareness that the farrier is the most important individual to the overall health of the horse. We open our conventions to the public to attend.” Ralph Casey, President & Executive Director opened up this alternative farrier association in 1998 to include horse owners. It has become a success with 5,000 + members in the U.S. and abroad. Visit their web site at www.bwfa.net.
I heard from Carol M. Aldridge, owner of Progressive Business Solutions, Georgetown, KY. “Progressive Business Solutions is celebrating their First Anniversary of servicing clients with a professional Administrative Business Support Specialist. It’s like having your own personal business assistant to help manage that next big project, or on a regular basis for a few hours a month or more. There often just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially in the horse industry, and office tasks can keep getting put off until tomorrow. We can quickly and effectively manage your contacts, update your website, create and distribute an e-newsletter, format a horse show booklet, manage your business calendar, maintain your social media presence or write your next promotional article or press release,” states Aldridge. And one of her clients, Lisa Derby of Blue Ribbon Consulting, had this to say,“Carol has provided me with excellent administrative assistance that enables me to accomplish more in my consulting work. She is very professional in her work, and produces quality results in a timely fashion. Carol has also been part of the horse industry for years, which adds even more value to the services she provides.” To learn more about how you can finally have the business support you’ve been looking for, visit www.ProgressiveBusinessSolutions.netor call (859) 361-9416.
Carrie Strange wrote me as well about moving to a new state. As Carrie explained, “I was born and raised in central Illinois and have been employed by Advanced Biological Concepts for the past 7 years. My husband and I were offered a chance of a lifetime in February to move to Tennessee for him to be the host of the new show on Spike TV-Search and Restore. Once in Tennessee, I quickly fell in love with the area and knew this was our new home. I also identified the fact that I have a lot of the same interests and love for animals as many people in Tennessee. I have noticed a great desire from the animals and people for the Advanced Biological Concepts, Helfter Feeds and Kam Animal Services product lines. Thus, Helfter Southern Store came about. Providing animals with the best nutrition through the latest technology is what is important to me. I am very eager to get things moving in Tennessee. Education is the key – and the challenge – I feel, ABC’s Plus, Pro Bi/ KLPP are the ‘must have’ items for any horse owner – everything starts with the gut.”
There is so much that is happening throughout the United States that it would be impossible to cover it all but this regular feature will give those of you in the horse world a chance to be heard. It will be a rambling of whatever horsey news you care to share. If you would like your news included in my next column, email email@example.com and put Horse Happenings Around The Country in the subject line. Happy Trails!