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Pennsylvania National Horse Show Presents the Equine Comeback Challenge
The 69th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 9-18 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, will host the first-ever east coast Equine Comeback Challenge (ECC). Ten trainers from across the mid-Atlantic region will be paired randomly with ten mature, never ridden rescue horses for 90-days of training. Skills learned will be demonstrated in a trail class in which competitors are judged on how well they navigate 10 obstacles intended to display the horse’s willingness and performance.
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American Horse Publications Award
Pennsylvania Equestrian Honored for Editorial Excellence
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2013 WIHS Media Partnership: Print

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Readers Honor the Mentors Who Never Gave Up on Them
by Crystal Piaskowski - July 2014

From the very first lessons about grooming tools, to posting the trot, to raising the jumps by fractions of an inch, trainers and instructors are the teachers of not only the basics of horsemanship and care, but also of the fundamentals of life. These mentors nurture their students, blind to age or ability, and make their life’s work their students’ successes.

Horses are a responsibility not to be taken lightly, and poor care or lack of instruction can produce grievous results. Professional horsemen and -women need to not only have the ability to transfer the depths of their knowledge, but also be able to connect with their students and understand their learning receptivity. A ten-year-old riding for three years will need different instruction than an older rider returning to the arena after “life” happens. True mentors bridge the age gap, maintaining authority while cultivating an atmosphere of approachability. They raise self-esteem, instill compassion as well as discipline, and support all riders as they journey down the road of horses—and life, whatever it may bring.

Humans emulate their mentors, and what better example to follow than that of a thoughtful, genuine person who truly cares about horses and students? Readers submitted their favorite instructors and stories about confidence-building, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and mentors who never gave up on their students. Enjoy.

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Boyd Martin Finishes Third at Luhmühlen,
Local Riders Named to U.S. WEG Team
by Jenni Autry - July 2014

Boyd Martin and Phillip Dutton will represent the U.S. at this summer’s World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, thanks to putting in good performances at Luhmühlen CCI4* in Germany, the final selection trial for the Games.

Martin, Cochranville, PA, finished in third place on a final score of 48.8 with the Shamwari 4 Syndicate’s Shamwari 4, his mount for Normandy yet still a relatively new ride that only just came in to his program in January after he purchased the horse from Sweden’s Ludwig Svennerstal.

A 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shamwari has a plethora of international experience — having competed on the Swedish team at the 2012 London Olympic Games — but not with Martin, who only competed the horse at one Intermediate horse trials before Luhmühlen due to breaking his right leg at Carolina International in March.

That’s where his fellow WEG teammate Dutton stepped in, and “Mr. Miyagi” — as Martin has taken to calling him — competed the horse instead. The team effort — and the fact that Dutton was there in Germany to see the successful outcome firsthand — made the top-three finish that much sweeter, Martin said.

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Paul O'Shea and Primo de Revel Win
$100,000 Grand Prix of Devon
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson - July 2014

Ireland's Paul O'Shea and Primo de Revel jumped to victory in the $100,000 Grand Prix of Devon Thursday, May 29. In his first time competing at the Devon Horse Show, which celebrated its 118th year May 22 to June 1, O'Shea took the victory gallop in front of thousands of cheering spectators in the highlight event of the week.

Of thirty-one entries, nine clear rounds advanced to the jump-off. Four riders--USA's McLain Ward and Laura Chapot, and Ireland's Paul O'Shea and Kevin Babington-- qualified two horses each; five entries had clear second rounds.

O'Shea set the pace with the first double clear round aboard Gotham Enterprizes' River Dance Semilly in 43.63 seconds, eventually finishing fifth. Last year's winners, McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms' Rothchild, upped the ante in the next round, stopping the clock in a blazing 40.79 seconds to place third. Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince, who she owns in partnership with Ward, put in the fourth place round in 41.95 seconds.

O'Shea went next with his second mount, Primo de Revel, and raced to the winning time of 38.95 seconds. The final clear jump-off round belonged to Todd Minikus and the Quality Group's Quality Girl, who jumped into second place in 39.63 seconds despite breaking a rein on the third to last jump.

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PA Para-Equestrians Finish One/Two
at National Championships
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson - July 2014

Rebecca Hart, Unionville, PA, claimed her sixth USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship June 5 at the USET Foundation Headquarters in Gladstone, N.J. over a field of 24 entries.

Hart and her own Schroeter's Romani, who she has only been riding since November after purchasing the mare in Europe, closed out the week scoring 76.917 for her Freestyle to finish on a championship score of 74.642. The two-time Paralympian rode the 11-year-old Danish Warmblood to her familiar "Classical Gas" melody, increasing the level of difficulty by adding lateral movements.

"When I first rode her, I knew she was very special," said the Grade II rider of Schroeter's Romani. "She was really willing to work with me, and her body and my body worked right away, and mentally we were right in sync."

Hart, who has enjoyed seeing the sport of para-equestrian dressage grow in the United States, believes that all the riders in the program are inspiring each other to reach new competitive heights.

"I think that pressure is always there," said Hart of her quest to capture her sixth National Championship. "To see the growth (in the sport in the U.S.) from where it was when I first started is amazing. The pressure is always there, but that is a good thing."

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Hot Weather Tips from New Bolton Center
by New Bolton Center - July 2014

Summer heat can be dangerous for horses, resulting in dehydration, lethargy, and general malaise. Severe heat stress may cause diarrhea, or even colic. Owners can take important steps to keep horses safe and comfortable during the hot days ahead.

Janet Johnston, DVM, Emergency and Critical Care veterinarian at Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center, offers the following tips for the hot days of summer:

  1. Choose cooler turnout times. If your horse has a stall, but is turned out for part of the day, provide turnout during the cooler hours. Overnight is ideal, but if that’s not feasible, then have the horse go outside as early as possible during the day.
  2. Provide shade. If your horse lives outdoors, or if it must be outside during the day, provide relief from the sun. A run-in shed is best. Trees are a source of shade, but as the sun moves, so will the shade. Make sure that regardless of the time of day, available trees are offering shade.
  3. Move the air. Fans are a great way to help keep the air moving in the barn, but use them wisely. Your horse will benefit most if the fan is pulling the hot air out of the stall, not pushing air into the stall. And always ensure that your horse cannot reach cords and plugs.

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Discord over Race Day Medication Reform
by Terry Conway - July 2014

Tick, Tick, Tick. It could be the sound of the countdown for the Feds jumping into medication oversight and tough enforcement.

But in the run up to the Belmont Stakes, that sound was actually the scathing "60 Minutes Sports" segment that aired on the Showtime network on the pervasive drug problems in Thoroughbred racing. 

Travis Tygart-- the man who dropped the hammer on professional cyclist Lance Armstrong-- stated the use of performance enhancing drugs in American horse racing has reached a critical point. Tygart heads the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has been approached by both Congress and the racing industry to clean up the sport. Will he take action?

“I think it’s down to the wire,” remarked Tygart.

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Look what’s coming up in the Pennsylvania Equestrian September 2014
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