Tag Archive: equestrian blogs

  1. Michael Jung wins Rolex Kentucky Three-Day (and a new watch)

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    Michael Jung of Germany and Fischerrocana FST have won the 2015 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, presented by Land Rover. Jung is returning to Germany today sporting a new Rolex watch.

    Their (dressage!) score of 39.3 trumped Tim Price of New Zealand on Wesko (40.3) and Jung on his second mount, La Biosthetique Sam FBW (44.7).

    Fischerrocana, 10, was first of the three top-placed horses to enter the show jumping arena and completed an absolutely faultless round. When Jung returned 14 horses later on Sam, 15, he brought down two poles. Still, Tim Price needed to be foot-perfect to win the $100,000 winner’s prize.

    Price also lowered fence 10 thus settling for second place of $44,000. Jung also earned $36,000 for third place.

    Jung blames himself for being too relaxed on Sam. He says that the he felt more pressure from himself than from the atmosphere.

    Price, 36, says he tried not to think about what was on the line as he cantered toward the start of the course designed by Richard Jeffery.

    “You just kind of put that to one side and think of what you want to concentrate on in the ring. My horse is really good in the ring, and I think the crowd really did help me,” he says. “I came down after the triple bar [fence 9] and rode a slightly bad line to fence 10, which I think was about the same as Michael did.”

    Jung blames himself for being too relaxed on Sam. He says that the he felt more pressure from himself than from the atmosphere.

    “I think you always have pressure on yourself whenever you compete. This is why you train at home and why you’re always thinking about how you can do better,” he explains. “After my first round I was maybe a little bit more relaxed, but then I was a little bit too fast to the triple combination.

    “Fischerrocana needs more gallop and more speed to the fences, and I didn’t concentrate enough on how to ride Sam, because he wasn’t the only horse I was riding here.”

    Britain’s Zara Philips was forced to withdraw from the horse trials just before her dressage test on Friday after her horse, High Kingdom, kicked out in his stable and split the skin on his off hind on the outside of the pastern.

    Jung, 32, had only ridden at the Kentucky Horse Park once before, when he won the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on Sam. He then won the Olympics on Sam two years later, but Sam suffered a slight injury prior to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France, so he rode Fischerrocana to the individual silver medal and the team gold medal there.

    But he says that Fischerrocana hasn’t replaced Sam as his No. 1 horse.

    “Sam is a good friend. I think no horse is better than him. Sam is my favourite. He’s a very special horse.”

    The combined team of Germany, New Zealand, Australia and Ireland won the Dubarry Nations Team Challenge, scoring 145.6 penalties. The USA was second (250.2), with Great Britain third (1,103.7) and Canada fourth (2,131.9).


  2. FEI speaks out against UAE endurance

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    At last, a positive reaction from the FEI (Federation Equestre Internationale) to the distressing happenings that are occurring in endurance events in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Practices that are seemingly acceptable during races in the UAE include: hanging on to a horses ear whilst cantering, pulling the head down in the belief it lowers heart rate, excessive speeds, the use of medication and the continual change of riders for one horse – indeed a person need never have ridden on a particular horse before they set foot to complete 100 or so miles together, which never happens in other disciplines.

    And whilst there are many practical uses for duct tape in the stable yard, taping over blinkers leaving just narrow splits for a horse to supposedly see through is not one that many of us had previously thought of.

    Today (26 February), the FEI has issued a statement to the effect that it has removed the two remaining international endurance events, scheduled to be held in the UAE in March 2015, from the FEI calendar. The FEI states: “This is an emergency measure to protect horse welfare and to preserve the integrity of the FEI rules and regulations at FEI events.”

    The removal of the events is an unprecedented move by the FEI and a public humiliation for the UAE. It also means a lost opportunity for riders and horses to qualify for international events, albeit this will not have such a huge impact.

    It’s taken time for the FEI to finally comment and act on the unpleasant goings on during races in the UAE. Perhaps the strong responses from other national federations has finally got through to them? Hopefully now they’ve realised they need to take a pro-active lead in this sorry state of affairs…  their previous line was that the events concerned took place during national competitions and therefore were nothing to do with international rules or the governing body.

    Two days ago the national equestrian federation of Switzerland, a country that is also home of the FEI head office in Lausanne, announced they were ‘outraged’ by recent events. It also reserved the decision for its riders not to compete in next year’s Elite World Endurance Championships in Dubai.

    Denmark has also imposed restrictions on her elite riders while Belgium, Australia and Germany have all also made public statements. We’re now waiting for something similar from the British Equestrian Federation or at least something reiterating that the rules should be strictly applied during races in the UAE.

    My award-winning colleague Pippa Cuckson has fought a long and often lonely battle, to improve the welfare (and life) of endurance horses in the UAE. Things came to a head with the recent world-wide postings of the horrific pictures of the horse, Splitters Creek Bundy, being pushed from behind whilst suffering two simultaneously broken forelegs. One hopes that his subsequent death has not been in vain and that Pippa’s endless campaign, which has now been swelled by the voices of many, will mean that ultimately, the so called sport of endurance in the UAE will continue on the same lines and with the same rules that apply else-where in the world.

    To read the FEI statement


  3. Horse kit junkie: The ultimate winter essentials

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    Derby House HQ would like to introduce another new blogger, amateur dressage rider and self-confessed horse kit junkie Debbie Summerfield. Debbie has ridden to PSG level and has a line-up of successful pupils. She’s passionate about equestrian kit and gadgets so we asked her to divulge her winter essentials.

    1. My Musto Suffolk long riding coat. Total protection from cold, wind and rain. With its generous skirt it keeps my legs and the saddle completely dry when riding. I wear it with a fleecy headband to keep my ears warm when I’m teaching in all weathers.

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    2. My Laube mini clippers. So quiet that even the most sensitive horse usually accepts them. Great for heads, elbows and all those tricky areas. Powerful enough to clip a whole horse if necessary. They are 20 years old and still going strong!

    3. My Equilibrium massage pad. Excellent value and great for warming up cold back muscles before riding and soothing to relax the muscles after work. Great for human backs too if you lean against it in a chair or in the car seat driving home from a show.

    4. Hot Horse Shower. So much nicer for horse and groom to wash down with warm water in the winter! Runs off butane so you don’t even need an electric supply.

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    5. A  medium weight stable rug and liners of different thickness – all set for whatever the temperature.

    6. A couple of value lightweight NZ rugs to use as top rugs. One for over the stable rug – thus keeping it stain free. One for over NZ’s. Saves having to wash bulky winter rugs so often. Easy to wash in a standard washing machine and will dry overnight. Plus just take the top rug off and horse is looking clean and smart in his main rug.

    7. A Mark Todd Autumner 150g NZ with separate neck cover for wet days. Can always use a liner if chilly or the l/w on top.Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.22.21

    8. A Mark Heavyweight Combi NZ for the thick of winter. I love the design feature that the neck has a gusset where it attaches to the rug so that it stays right up to the ears when the horse has his head down eating. The nylon linings to the MT rugs keep the coat shiny and is really warm to the horses skin. Its lovely to warm frozen hands under the rug over the rump!

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    9. The MT fleece quarter sheet, cosy for hacking and for warming up and cooling down in the school. I also wouldn’t be without my fluorescent quarter sheet which I put over the top when hacking in the Winter. Drivers can see the Yellow Peril at a distance!



    10. My gorgeous, thick and warm MT Deluxe fleece rug. Great for drying off after washing, for travelling or as an under rug.

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  4. Vittoria Panizzon: 10 things I can’t live without

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    In a new series, we’re asking the top names in equestrianism to reveal their most treasured pieces of equestrian kit. Our inaugural guest blogger is talented event rider Vittoria Panizzon who represented Italy at the 2012 London Olympics riding Borough Pennyz. She lives in the Cotswolds and runs a busy yard with 16 horses. Read on for Vittoria’s most coveted equestrian kit…

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    1. My grooming kit
    I’ve had exactly the same things in it since Pony Club: a dandy brush, a hoof pick, a body brush, a metal curry comb, a mane comb and a rubber curry comb for teasing out the winter coat in spring. Oh, and baby oil to shine up noses, knees and the area around the eyes. Just don’t use too much, it can make the coat rather sticky! £13.50 from Derby House


    2. Canter conditioning spray
    The ultimate horsey hair product for silky, tangle-free manes and tales. I even spray it on my own hair at competitions when I haven’t had time to wash it. £14.80 from Derby House


    3. Equissage massage pad
    I think I’d be bucked off a lot more without my Equissage massage pad! It helps loosen up a ‘cold back’ by delivering powerful cycloidal (three-way) vibrations to the whole body, which have been scientifically proven to improve local blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, relaxation and joint mobility. It’s rather like a good sports massage, warming up a horse before a competition or cooling them down after hunting, breaking down the excess lactic acid and chilling them out.

    4. Pariani saddles
    These elegant, close contact saddles are made in Italy from beautiful, soft leather ensuring they are extremely comfortable for both horse and rider. They’re more technical than many saddles out there, helping me to balance in the correct position and communicate effectively with the horse.


    5. Ariat glovesariatgloves
    I like wearing thick, warm gloves in winter but these Tek Grip ones from Ariat are super grippy and still have plenty of feel. I can wear them to fasten a bridle and do up a rug although admittedly I still struggle to send text messages! £22.50 from Derby House

    6. My new lorry
    My long-awaited Empire horse box arrived this year and is absolutely brilliant. It’s not an enormous monster – it only takes four horses – but it has storage for feed and rugs underneath and, crucially, a large fridge and big, comfy beds in the living accommodation.

    7. A really good quality broom
    I didn’t know what a good broom was until I saw the ones the Americans were using at the World Equestrian Games this year. A good broom gets the yard looking pristine in seconds and is kind on your back. The Derby House Equestrian broom costs £20.62.

    8. Pure feeds
    I truly believe that my horses have been more chilled out since I discovered The Pure Feed Company. The mixes are low sugar and low starch so they don’t fizz them up too much and they’re fortified with optimal levels of vitamins and minerals. For more information see here
    9. A quality turn out rug 

    Good turnout rugs are very important to me as I like to keep horses out as much as possible all year round. It must be warm, light, easy to put on and well designed to prevent rubbing on the shoulders or mane. I’m a fan of the Derby House medium-weight standard turn out and I also love H-Zone turn out rugs. I came across the brand at Olympia and have been seriously impressed by the quality, the warmth and the extremely reasonable prices. And they don’t rub! See here for more information.

    10. Ariat Grasmere boots
    I wouldn’t usually choose a boot with laces but these are utterly amazing, padded the whole way up the leg, very stylish and warm as toast. I haven’t had cold toes once! £245 from Derby House


    ariat grasmere



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