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Horseplay


Draft horses looking for a home

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, June 25, 2010

Two aging draft horses from the Front Range are looking for a good home. The matched team -- Teeny and Tiny -- are well-trained for pulling, but their owners have fallen on hard times and need to find a new home for them. They would like to give the pair to someone who can provide a good home for them.

Harmony Horseworks, a horse sanctuary based in Conifer, is working to help find them a new home.

To read more about Teeny and Tiny and their situation, click HERE.

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Top dressage rider on road to recovery

By Bob Silbernagel
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Courtney King-Dye, one of the top dressage riders in the United States and a former member of the U.S. Olympic team, says she is on the road to recovery and plans to ride again, according to an article in Horsetalk.co.nz.

Courtney was severely injured, fracturing her skull, during a freak accident while training last March. The horse she was working stumbled during dressage excercises and fell on her.

Even before that incident, the FEI and other dressage organizations had been allowing compeitors to wear safety helmets in dressage shows, where top hats and tails have long prevailed. Now there is an even greater push to have competitiors wear safety helmets during training and warm-up, and in shows if they choose.

The photo shows Courtney King-Dye on her horse, Mythilus, prior to the accident. To read more from Horsetalk, click HERE.

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G-Men and W-Horses

By Bob Silbernagel
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Now some wild horse advocates want the FBI involved in the dispute over wild horse roundups in Nevada.

According to the Associated Press, a Las Vegas woman has asked the FBI to enter the fray and halt the sale or transport of nearly 2,000 wild horses that the Bureau of Land Management removed from from the Calico Mountains north of Reno last winter. The BLM did not leave enough horses behind to sustain a herd, the woman said.

To read more, click HERE.

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Wild horse count

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Officials with the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada and Oregon on Monday initiated an effort to update their recorded numbers of wild horses in roughly 4 million acres of the two states.

For comparison, the Grand Mesa, Gunnison and Uncompahgrea National Forests cover just over 3 million acres.

There is no official number listed for wild horses that roam the area in question. Throughout the West, the BLM estimate there are more than 38,000 wild horse and burros. It's efforts to trim the size of the herds through roundups have sparked controversy and protests from wild horse advocacy groups. Representatives of some of those groups praised the BLM for underaking the new census effort.

The photo here is of a mare and foal in Montana's Pryor Mountain herd. By Carol Walker for the Cloud Foundation.

To read more from the Associated Press, click HERE.

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How many horses in Mesa County?

By Bob Silbernagel
Monday, June 21, 2010

The question of how many horses reside in Mesa County has come up in a couple of conversations recently. Although I recall seeing an estimate many years ago, I haven't been able to come up with a more recent number.

The American Horse Council Foundation's 2007 study called "The Economic Impact of the Colorado Horse Industry" estimated there were 265,000 horses in the entire state. Those horses, and the activities their owners and trainers engage in, generate a total economic impact for the state of $1.6 billion, the study found, and produce $21 million in state and local taxes.

But the study did not include a break-out of estimated horse populations by county. If anyone has a current estimate for Mesa County, please e-mail it to me at horseplay@gjsentinel.com.

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Mustang Makeover Reflections

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, June 18, 2010

The following are some thoughts from Andrew Bowman, of Master's Hand Training in Olathe, regarding his participation in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition in Fort Collins last weekend. The photos show Bowman and Little Joe preparing to compete, and working without bridle. Thanks to Andrew for sending this and congratulations on his placing.

"After competing in Trail, Reining, and Working cow horse classes, the scores were added up and I came in 8th place out of 38 trainers.

"I was very happy with the performance of my horse and feel I did a good job showing him. A couple of really good trainers who were paired with really good horses, made for some tough competition.

"Little Joe was adopted by Joyce and her daughter from Eastern Colorado for a steal at $500. Prices at the adoption varied greatly and overall were quite low."

"I was honored to be picked by World Champion trainer Al Dunning to be on his team, as this was also a team competition. Each of the trainers on Dunning's team had several opportunities to ride with and receive instruction from him. I learned a lot from him and was pleased that he complimented my riding and training abilities. Although I did not work directly with nationally known clinician Ken McNabb, I did have the opportunity to visit with him about training techniques. He said that while watching me ride, he could tell by Little Joe's responses that I train well. Working with these top horsemen was the highlight of the competition for me.

"I was very happy to reach that level (among the top 10 finalists). It came as a relief after all my hard work."

To read more about Andrew, Little Joe, and Master's Hand Training, LLC, click HERE.
 

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Food for thought — and 700 horses

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, June 18, 2010

Here's something we don't tend think of when contemplating a major horse event. When the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games get underway at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington this autumn, an estimated 700 horses from 60 different countries will be participating.

And most of them will be bringing their own feed with them.

But the U.S. Department of Agriculture has rules on what sort of organic material may be imported to this country. And all of it must be inspected before it is allowed into the United States.

This story in AllAboutFeed.net explains how federal officials and those from the state of Kentucky are preparing to handle the onslaught of imported horse food.

To read it, click HERE.

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Poor judgment, indeed

By Bob Silbernagel
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Take two Nevada rednecks. Add alcohol, an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and wild horses in an isolated area north of Reno, and the horses end up the losers.

Five wild horses were killed last November near the California-Nevada border. On Wednesday, the two men accused of doing the shooting changed their pleas from guilty to not guilty in federal court in Nevada.

"We'd been drinking a little," said Todd Davis, one of the two. "We saw some horses and used poor judgment and shot a few of them."

Most people who love horses -- wild or domestic -- would probably call it something other than poor judgment. But at least Davis and his shooting companion, Joshua Keathley, 36, will now face justice for their actions.They could each spend a year in prison and face fines of up to $100,000.

To read the Associated Press story on the case, click HERE.

The photo of wild horses is from the Cloud Foundation, which works to protect wild horses. It's website is HERE.

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Olympic disqualification

By Bob Silbernagel
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A panel of the FEI — Federation Equestre Internationale — has disqualified a German rider in the 2008 Bejing Olympics for allowing his horse to be treated with a banned substance. This photo from FEI shows Marco Kutscher riding Cornet Obolensky, the horse and rider accused in the medication case.

The ruling would have stripped  Kutscher of any medals he won in Bejing, except he didn't win any. He did win a Bronze in Athens in 2004, but that wasn't taken from him. Nor was he suspended from future competition. More significant was the large fine assessed against him of 15,000 Swiss Francs, or nearly $10,000.

The decision was an indication of the FEI's ongoing effort to eliminate doping from international equine sports. To read the press release from the FEI, click HERE.

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Zenyatta sets record for race victories

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Zenyatta, the six-year-old filly that won the Breeder's Cup Championship last fall — taking on and defeating all the young studs in the process — established another mark of her dominance Sunday.

She won the Vanity Handicap at Hollywood Park, notching her 17th straight win, with no defeats.

In winning 17 in a row, Zenyatta bested the winning streaks of such great Thoroughbreds as Citation and Cigar, who each had 16 straight victories.

For a time Sunday, it looked like Zenyatta's streak might also end at 16. But she lengthened her stride in the home stretch to speed past St. Trinians and win by a half length. That's her pounding toward the finish line, with Jockey Mike Smith aboard in the torquoise silks, in this Associated Press photo.

To read more from the Associated Press, click here.

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