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JUDGE RULES FOR WILD HORSE ADVOCATES

By Bob Silbernagel
Thursday, April 21, 2011

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Sacramento ruled against the Bureau of Land Management and said a coalition of wild horse advocates can move forward with their lawsuit accusing the Bureau of Land Management of violating U.S. laws that protect wild horses and burros.

The case pertains to roundups in Nevada and California, and the judge said it's possible he could order the horses returned to the range. To read more from Associated Press, click HERE.

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GMBCH WORK DAY

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Over the weekend, I received this announcement from Terry Randall for a Grand Mesa Back Country Horsemen work day this Saturday to pick up trash in McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, near Devils Canyon.

"I wanted everyone to know that there is a work day scheduled for April 23rd. I am sorry that the 4th Saturday falls on the day before Easter but hope you can come anyway. It is a trash pick up day to get the McGinnis Cyn area spiffed up for the year. We will meet at 10:00 across from the Rimrock Adventure arena. Go No. on I 70. Take exit 19 toward the monument. Parking area is on the right about 1-2 miles down. Depending on how many people we have, we will stage at different trailheads, work towards each other. The trash situation is not too bad so we should be finished in time to go to lunch at the Feedlot if you would like."

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BRITISH DRESSAGE MAY ADOPT HELMET RULE

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

British dressage authorities are considering adopting a mandatory helmet rule for all lower-level dressage riders, just as the United States Equestrian Federation did earlier this year.

As I wrote in previous postings and articles, that action came in response to last year's schooling accident and head injury to former U.S. Olympic dressage rider Courtney King Dye, seen here in a Sharon Packer photo.

To read more about what the British are contemplating from HorseChannel.com, click HERE.

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WAR POINT TO BE IN HALL OF FAME

By Bob Silbernagel
Friday, April 15, 2011

The Colorado Springs based Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame has announced its 2011 line-up of Hall of Fame inductees. They include the legendary bucking horse, War Paint. The picture is from the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame web site. The quote is from the article on that web site, which is linked below.

"As part of the Christensen Brothers string, War Paint was voted the PRCA Bucking Horse of the Year in each of the first three years the honor was bestowed. He won it outright in 1956-57 and shared the award with Harry Knight’s Joker in 1958.

In his one appearance at the NFR in 1959, War Paint bucked off Les Johnson and took Jim Tescher to a second-place finish in Round 7. Over the course of a career that lasted nearly two decades into the late 1960s, War Paint had nearly a 90-percent buck-off rate. He died in October 1975.

“War Paint usually had guys bucked off on his first three jumps out of the chute because he was so strong,” said Bobby Christensen Jr., son of the ProRodeo Hall of Fame stock contractor of the same name. “They had us bring him out to Denver those years (1956-58) when he was bucking horse of the year, to match up with the saddle bronc riding champion. I remember Alvin Nelson getting on him there (in 1958) and getting his head stuck in the ground.”

To read more at the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, click HERE

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FUROR OVER THE GRAND NATIONAL

By Bob Silbernagel
Monday, April 11, 2011

While horse race enthusiasts in the United States get ready for the Kentucky Derby next month and the race for the Triple Crown, there is a furor in Great Britain over one of that country's most famous races — the Grand National.

Two horses died in fatal falls at The Grand National this past Saturday, and many British race fans are up in arms, demanding changes in the race to make it safer.

The Grand National is a steeplechase, with more than 16 jumps over the 2 1/4 mile course that the horses run twice. This photo is from the 1956 race.

To read more by the BBC about Saturday's race and the controversy it created, click HERE.

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WOBBLY NEWBORN

By Bob Silbernagel
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Barb Young of Montrose is shooting a photo a day for the entire year. This is the one for today, titled "Newborn, Lesson 3."

To see more, click HERE.

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GVDS PROGRAM THURSDAY

By Bob Silbernagel
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Grand Valley Dressage Society will host a meeting Thursday April 14, beginning at 6 p.m., at Sharon Roper's home on Little Park Road.

Here is the info sent from Kathy Sassano with GVDS:

"We have a very special program for you that evening. Sharon has a business called Good for Your Horse.

She will start off with scanning an entire horse identifying areas of tissue with low resistance. Then she will go back over the points with a LED red and infared light. These lights do amazing things and enter the tissue and into the cells at different wavelengths and penetration. Sharon will be demonstrating all of this on a horse and explain it all as she does it.

As usual we will have a pot luck so please bring a dish to share. Sharon's phone is 242-­‐9278 if you need directions."

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THE COW JUMPED OVER THE ...

By Bob Silbernagel
Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Okay, I thought it was impressive when Moose, my big percheron-thoroughbred cross jumps well. But I'm not sure if he's a match for Luna, the German cow, and Regina, her teenage rider and trainer.

The photo is from the British Guardian newspaper online. It is by Kerstin Joensson.

It all started when Regina's parents told her she couldn't get a horse. Not a good thing to tell a determined teenage girl.

To read more from the Guardian.co.uk, click HERE.

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Thoroughbred Retirement program still going strong

By Bob Silbernagel
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A few weeks ago, I posted a link to a story from The New York Times, discussing alleged problems with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, an organization more than 20 years old that helps care for and adopt out thoroughbreds that have retired from the racetrack.

The posting was seen by members of the foundation, who contacted me to say there were several problems with the New York Times article, and they wanted to give their side of the story. So here it is.

Earlier today I had a telephone conversation with Tom Ludt, chairman of the board of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which is based in Lexington, Ky. He pointed to three things he said were glaring errors in the article.

First, a veterinarian hired by the Mellon Foundation to inspect many of the horses in the care of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation said over 25 percent of the horses inspected needed urgent care. But another veterinarian, hired by the first vet to help with the inspections, disputed that claim. He inspected 260 horses at a facility in Oklahoma, and found only three in need of urgent care — and none of them was life-threatening, Ludt said.

Also, the first vet said many of the horses were malnourished, but again, the second vet hired by the first one disputed that claim.

Additionally, The New York Times writer reported that, as a result of these problems, the Thoroughbred Retirement Fund was in danger of losing funding that it received from the Paul Mellown Endowment Fund. But money from that fund was specifically bequeathed to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, Ludt said, and the organization continues to receive 5 percent of whatever is in the fund on Jan. 1 of each year. It drew its funds at the beginning of this year.

The endowment fund is separate from the Mellon Foundation, he said.

The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation cares for more than 1,150 retired racehorse at nine facilities operated by the organization and numerous satellite facilities — mostly private farms and ranches whose owners care about the fate of the horses. It also works with prison inmates to retrain racehorses that are sound enough to take on other jobs when they retire. It is continuing its inspections of all of those horses and expects to complete the work by the end of next week.

There are untold numbers of racehorses that retire from the track each year. Many find welcoming homes, but too many don't.

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"We need more people who care for horses," Ludt said. "We're trying to draw the industry together to come up with a more formalized plan to address a growing need."

If you want to learn more, or contribute, check out the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation website by clicking HERE.

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WINNING PHOTOS FROM THE WESTERN SLOPE

By Bob Silbernagel
Sunday, April 3, 2011

Montrose equine photographer Barb Young has won the Professional Best In Show award, with this photograph called "The Chase," in the Equine Photographer's Network Winter 2011 Photography contest.

She also won first place in the Professional Performance category, and in the Professional Black and White class.

Congratulations, Barb! To see more from the contest, click on the Equine Photographers Network link HERE. To see more of Barb's work, click on the BarbYoungPhotography link HERE.

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