Attention horse world: A Thoroughbred racehorse was born yesterday in Kentucky. Rachel Alexandra's first foal was born at Stonestreet Farm in Lexington, KY While you ponder that momentous event and fawn over his famous pedigree (Curlin x Rachel Alexandra), stop and consider this: If this little guy doesn’t inherit his parents’ talent for speed, will he be looked after by good owners for the next 30-odd years of his life? Call me a downer, but the collective oohs and aahs and cute baby foal pictures that saturated social media feeds this morning were a reminder that only a small percentage of Thoroughbreds make it to the track, and an even smaller percentage become successful racehorses. What of the adorable foals just like Rachel Alexandra’s first colt, that don’t cut it? Without jumping into the dredges of the horse slaughter debate (that’s Lauren Gallops ‘ job), I give a nod to all the throwaway TBs of the racing industry that are somewhere out there right now. Many of them started life in a bed of thick straw on a beautiful Kentucky farm, too
Just when walking the dog past multi-million dollar mansions inside a gated country club has started to feel quasi-normal, one is reminded once again how very surreal the winter equestrian capital of the world really is. And it’s not because of the pet zebra that my horse stares at every morning while hacking around Wellington.
Monday, September 12 2011 by Editor
The scene by the ingate was tense. The crowd lining the hill grew with riders and their connections as the class went on and rider after rider came away with one rail, two rails, six rails. When Duncan McFarlane, 21st to go, finally notched the first clear round, the crowd was overjoyed. As Duncan is based in Northern California, On the Line was especially overjoyed to see a hometown rider shine on the other side of the country in this incredibly difficult class
I’ve shined boots that were not my own. I’ve cleaned the stalls of horses worth more money than I can ever hope to earn. I’ve swept the same aisle multiple times per day, and still suffered a disapproving stare for missing a single shaving along the way. Have you? If so you can relate to grooming. Being one, that is
The big news coming out of Kentucky should be all about the rounds, the rails and the leaders after day one of the 2011 Adequan FEI/North American Junior and Young Riders Championships. But these are the dog days of summer, and in Lexington, Kentucky, those days are stifling. At 97 degrees and high humidity, the juniors competing this weekend are battling each other, and the heat. Hunt coats were excused yesterday during Round 1 of the show jumping, but the heat didn’t stop Kaitlin Campbell of Zone 3, who led the day in the YR division, or Sydney Schulman, leader of the Junior division. Thanks to MacMillan Photography for sweating it out onsite at NAYRJC this week. They caught the opening ceremonies, the golf cart parade on Wednesday, and they’ll be there until the bitter (and hopefully cooler) end on Sunday
Tuesday, July 26 2011 by Editor
I met Allison Springer over the winter, while she was spending a few weeks in Wellington to get some extra show jumping mileage with Arthur. Allison was down to earth, totally approachable, and serious about her horses and their programs. She’s worked hard to improve Arthur’s show jumping style, and held an impressive ten point lead going into Sunday’s show jumping phase for the CIC3* at Rebecca Farm
On the Line just loves when things work out for the best, and few things beat a tale of a great partnership returning to the ring together after years away! Here is a great postscript to a compelling story (covered by yours truly for Sidelines and California Riding Magazine ) from over two years ago. You might remember Good Guinness, a California-based grand prix jumper that was the subject of a big cross-country horse mix up back in 2009
With all the energy dedicated lately on such gloomy matters as FEI complacency and airborne diseases , On the Line gratefully turns to a much lighter subject this week.
Who are we to judge? Really? When a subjective video spins some not so pretty riding behavior one way, and thousands of viewers create an angry uproar, does it make the rider any more guilty, or just plain unlucky? The FEI has got to be pondering this and other questions after once again finding themselves in the hotseat for allowing questionable riding to occur right under their nose. This time, it’s one of the United States’ most well known reiners that has come under major fire, due to a video by Epona tv (they’re the same guys who kicked off the rollkur blue tongue debacle last year) that has steadily gained a landslide of angry comments since it was posted on YouTube last Thursday. The video in question is of Craig Schmersal, schooling in the warm up at the FEI World Reining Final in Malmo, Sweden on May 21: He went on to win second place with Lil Miss Addy Tude, and like him or not, he is unquestionably one of the most successful reiners in the world. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to see that sharply jerking a seemingly obedient horse in the mouth with a shanked bit is not so nice.
Sunday, May 22 2011 by Editor
“If one of them have got it, then ten of them have got it now, and if one of them gets out . . . we have got a very interesting problem!” Dustin Hoffman, “Outbreak”, 1995 That very interesting problem was highly dramatized in Outbreak, a gem of a movie about an African monkey carrying a highly contagious flesh-eating disease that landed in the U.S. and caused an outbreak that threatened the existence of a small town, of the country, and of the very world we live in. Did I already say highly dramatized