Hup!

Lee McEver, groom to US showjumper Antares, completes his round at Greenwich. How many of you were doing something similar? I go up on my toes every time a British horse jumps – movement restricted by the small clingy cat who likes to stay in my lap all day. Haven’t caught myself doing a home piaffe but it’s only a matter of time…

Here’s some great shots of the showjumps, including the Magna Carta and “Birth of Justice”. Loved Stone Henge and the Cutty Sark, and this smart clipper:

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

I was away! Things happened! But first – a round up of curious happenings in the horse world!

  • Looks like I got rid of the virtual racing stable I ran in the early 1990s far too early. An unraced imaginary horse from the Digiturf game has just been sold for $5,225. Yes, not only is it nonexistent, it’s also unproven. $5,225. You could get a real racehorse for a lot less. ESPN reports.
  • The Guardian’s dance critic was dispatched to review para-dressage: “With their tightly plaited manes and long ballerina necks, they perform tightly controlled pirouettes and piaffes with impressive finesse; they float across the arena with a silken stride that is like a horsey grand jeté.”
  • An Australian study suggests that Monty Roberts’ methods should be re-assessed. (Horse Talk). UPDATE: Monty responds with a link to an earlier peer-reviewed study of his methods from Anthrozoology.
  • A riding school in Kenya thrives, thanks to its enterprising owner. (BBC).
  • Yahoo has a mighty fine photo gallery of an Icelandic horse round up. Iceland: a nation where horse shoes are sold at garages. MSNBC has sulky racing on the north German coast.
  • The Bloggess brings us the worst example of equine taxidermy I’ve yet seen – and I love bad taxidermy. It’s meant to be a falabella.
  • Kazakhstan is shipping its own horse-meat sausages to London for its Olympic Team. (The Atlantic)
  • As a US Senate hearing calls for stricter rules concerning drug use in horse racing, the New York Times gets hold of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another’s vet sheet. The colt had been battling tendon problems and osteoarthritis for some time before he even began his Triple Crown bid. That’s an unsound horse, racing on dirt at the highest level. Since the NYT’s report, other racing figures have come forward to say this is no big deal and in fact, common and legitimate. (New York Times).
  • Meanwhile, here’s a less depressing NYT blog post on using dressage to train both competing and retired racehorses. (NYT)
  • Riding school ponies stolen in area of Florida notorious for blackmarket horse-meat slaughters. (CBS Local).
  • And so that we don’t end on a bum note, here’s North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s girlfriend, Hyon Song-Wol, singing her smash hit “Excellent Horse-like Lady” or “A Girl In The Saddle Of A Steed”. Enjoy.

Irresponsible Single Mother or BOGOF?

From the blog of the Olympic equestrian legacy fund, Hoof:

A city farm in London is appealing for help after discovering one of its seven riding school ponies is pregnant.
Pimms, a five year-old coloured Irish cob was purchased last autumn and has proved to be exceptional – even taking part in a sponsored cross-country ride earlier this month.
However, the size of her waistline was of some concern and Vauxhall City Farm’s veterinarian prescribed a low-calorie diet. When this failed, suspicions were raised and it’s been confirmed that she is due to foal in the next four to six weeks.
Director of the riding school, Linda Hinds, says, “It’s unlikely the previous owners were aware of her condition either as she’d have fallen pregnant last summer but it is no wonder she’s been so quiet!”
However the city farm is now faced with sending Pimms away to specialist care to have her foal and to rear it in appropriate surroundings.
Linda explains, “We don’t have any grazing, her stable would be too small for her to foal safely and there would be little peace and quiet. It feels like she is an Irish girl being sent away to the country to a home for unmarried mums!”

Vauxhall City Farm would appreciate any donations to help Pimms on her maternity leave.