What's Happenin'

A Sidelines blog

Archive for January, 2010

Debbie McDonald to Lead USEF Developing Dressage Program

January 22, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Lexington, KY – Olympic superstar, Debbie McDonald, has taken on the role of USEF Developing Dressage Coach for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). McDonald’s name is synonymous with the US Dressage program for the last decade having represented the US across the globe, winning the 2005 FEI World Cup Final and leading the US to Team Bronze at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2006 World Equestrian Games with her legendary mare Brentina.

The USEF Developing Dressage program has been restructured and the future International High Performance athletes will benefit from McDonald’s experience and expertise through a series of clinics across the US as they prepare themselves and their horses for the future.

“The Developing Program is of vital importance to the future of our sport,” said USEF Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons. “It is meant to establish the basis for the up and coming riders and horses in this country. We are lucky to be in the situation today when we are able to use our own ‘human resources’ to educate our team hopefuls.”

The Developing Program is designed to identify and cultivate future US Dressage stars.

“Under the capable direction of Debbie McDonald, we will create a nationwide program devoted to guiding our riders and their mounts from young horse classes and the small tour to Grand Prix,” said Gribbons.

McDonald, who was named the USEF Developmental Coach of the Year for 2008 for her efforts training and teaching horses and riders, has an exemplary reputation as a coach and a trainer.

“I am very excited to help the development of our sport,” said McDonald. “This is a very good time for the US, having the support of the USEF to start this program up again is exciting. I am honored to be a part of it!”

The dates and locations for the Developing Rider clinics are scheduled as follows (please note that they may be subject to change):

February 6-7, 2010 California

March 27-28, 2010 Florida

June 5-6, 2010 California

June 12-13, 2010 New Jersey

July 10-11, 2010 New Jersey

Please note that participation in these clinics is by invitation only and riders will be invited at the direction of the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee.

More clinic details will be available shortly, please contact Jenny van Wieren at jvanwieren@usef.org with any questions.

By Joanie Morris

WEF Entries Up in First Week of Circuit

January 19, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Wellington, FL – January 2010 – The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival had a very successful opening week of competition. New faces from across the country and around the world came to show at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, and close to 1,600 horses showed in the first week of the circuit. That is a 21% increase in horses showed from the same week at last year’s circuit.

–Jennifer Wood for Jennifer Wood Media.

Dubai sheikh buys Aiken County land

January 13, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

By T&D Staff and The Associated Press Wednesday, January 13, 2010

AIKEN – The ruling sheikh in Dubai has bought some land in South Carolina for a race horse training center.

The Aiken Standard reported that the sheikh’s thoroughbred racing empire has bought 360 acres of land in Aiken County to expand its operation.

The head of the sheikh’s U.S. horse racing operation, Jimmy Bell, says the new facility near Montmorenci will include a one-mile dirt training track.

The site is about six miles from the Aiken Training Track, where the horses will train until the new facility is complete. There is no time frame for the construction.

Bell says horses that have trained in Aiken have had great success.

Jafza International, a company owned by the Dubai government, purchased 1,322 acres of land near the town of Santee in 2007. It has plans for a logistics, manufacturing and distribution park.

The company says it will focus on developing the most accessible 200 acres of the Santee project first, with a focus on warehousing, distribution and office space.

Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Set for March

January 12, 2010 By: Erin Category: What's Happenin'

Venerable Competition One of the Oldest and Most Prestigious Shows in the Country

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, Houston, Texas, one of the country’s oldest and most prestigious horse competitions, has officially launched its 65th season. This year’s show will be held, once again, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy, TX starting on March 17, 2010 and will run through March 28. It was announced that BBVA Wealth Solutions would be returning as the lead sponsor of the show.

Founded in 1945 by Houston philanthropist James S. Abercrombie and his wife Lillie, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show got its start as a fundraiser for the first hospital in Houston dedicated to children, and the proceeds of the 1947 show provided a considerable portion of the initial backing that established Texas Children’s Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. To date, the show has raised close to $4 million for Texas Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House of Houston.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held over a two-week period and will feature a wide array of equestrian talent featuring hunters and jumpers, American Saddlebreds, Andalusians, Welsh ponies, Dressage and the United Mountain Horse breed. The crown jewels of the event take place throughout the two weeks. Saturday evening of Week One features the $30,000 Nordic Lights Farm Grand Prix and Championship Finals. Week Two features the $15,000 Chronicle of the Horse USHJA International Hunter Derby hosted by Valobra Jewelry and Antiques on Friday and the $30,000 Grand Prix presented by the Houston Area Audi Dealers on Saturday. This year, a USEF “AA” and THJA “A” hunter show week one will feature all Junior and Amateur Owners, Juniors, equitation and classics.

For a complete show schedule, visit the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show web site at www.pinoak.org or call 713.621.6290.