It was a busy week for the equestrian world as competitors, such as event rider Marcelo Tosi (pictured below) and spectators alike enjoyed a first taste of next year’s Olympics with Aquece Rio, the warm-up event that takes place from August 5 to 9 at the Deodoro Olympic Park venue (pictured above).
Warum Nicht, the former grand prix ride of German dressage champion Isabell Werth, with whom she won the 2007 World Cup in Las Vegas, died from a colic at the age of 19. The horse had been enjoying a peaceful retirement when, says Werth, he suddenly showed colic symptoms. We have tried everything, even a surgery. But already during the operation it was clear that he was beyond redemption. We then let him fall asleep peacefully in the anaesthesia.”
Entries for the European Dressage Championships, which will take place in Aachen from August 12 to 16, are at an all-time high with 20 countries represented by 72 horse and rider combinations. Host nation Germany (shown below) is tipped to win the European title but the British team looks set to give the Germans a run for their money.
Researchers at the University of Sussex have found out that horses change their facial expressions to respond to different social situations—just like humans do. “It’s apparent that horses, with their complex and fluid social systems, also have an extensive range of facial movements and share many of these with humans and other animals,” said one of the study’s lead authors, Professor Karen McComb, while co-author Jennifer Wathan added: “What surprised us was the rich repertoire of complex facial movements in horses, and how many of them are similar to humans.”
The British dressage and showjumping teams made history this week when they both won gold medals at the FEI European Pony Championships in Malmö, Sweden. Fist on the podium, on Thursday August 6, were the dressage girls: Rebecca Bell with Valido’s Sunshine, Isobel Berrington with DHI Langar, Clare Hole with Rembrandt DDH and Phoebe Peters with SL Lucci (pictured below). On Friday 7, it was the turn of the showjumping squad with Charlotte Ash and Aughnashammer, Scarlett Charles and Aroldo, Jessica Hewitt and Ammanvalley Santino and Jodie Hall McAteer and Tixylix, plus 13-year-old Jack Whitaker and Zodianne van de Doevenbree, who was the drop score.
London Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Laura Tomlinson (pictured below) will meet at the ‘Best of British’ National Dressage Convention, held at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire, on November 21 and 22. On each day, some presenters may ride or teach as well as hold question & answers sessions with visitors. A two day ticket cost £80 for British Dressahe paid members and £90 for non-members. Daily tickets are £50 for members and £55 for non-members, all through British Dressage.
Main image by Raphael Macek, courtesy of the FEI