Pennsylvania Equestrian 2009 News Archive
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News Archive 2009

November 2009 - Buck Davidson's Champion Horses Are ‘A Dream Come True' by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
Event rider Buck Davidson is having a fantastic year including the Pinnacle Trophy and Rolex/USEF National CCI**** Championship in April on My Boy Bobby, owned by Carl and Cassandra Segal. Read full article >>

November 2009 - California Business Woman and Racing Novice Stakes a Claim in PA by Terry Conway
Gayle Gerth tends to look on the bright side of life.  Sees the blue sky on the horizon, chasing the clouds away.
A native of Los Angles, she built a wildly successful business that produced electronic massage and relaxation components for use in motion furniture, bedding, executive seating, spa seating, automotive and healthcare seating. The Relaxors were even installed as seating on Emirate Airlines.  After 15 years she sold the company in 2004. Read full article >>

November 2009 - Ebony Boy Recognized as NAHRA Region 2 Horse of the Year by Christine Stewart
Ask anyone at Special Equestrians Inc. in Warrington -- they will undoubtedly tell you that Ebony Boy is the best horse in the barn and well deserving of the Region 2 Equine of the Year award from the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. Read full article >>

November 2009 - Dominating Dominguez Leads North American Riders with $14.3 Million by Terry Conway
When word spread two summers ago that Ramon Dominguez was departing for six weeks to ride at Saratoga, the jockey's room at Delaware Park was all smiles. Read full article >>

November 2009 - Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania" Paintings to Feature 50 Horses by Susan Hoffman
Earlier this year, Pennsylvania Equestrian ran an article about artist Karen Brenner and her project, "Beautiful Horses of Pennsylvania."   Her request for nominations resulted in more than 90 horse owners submitting essays about their horse(s), describing why they thought their equines are beautiful.   Karen selected 50 horses for her project.  After touring throughout the state in June, Karen is now using the photos taken on her travels to create oil paintings that capture, in her words, "beautiful moments in the lives of horses."   The series of paintings focuses on each horse's most striking feature, be it a handsomely curved neck, a glistening coat or mane and tail flying in the wind.   All of the paintings are being posted on the artist's web site—three down, 47 to go—and owners will get first dibs on purchasing their horse's painting after the entire series is exhibited sometime in 2010. Read full article >>

October 2009 - Rescued Horse, 71 Year Old Owner, Are Repeat World Champions Charlie Jones may be 71, but he sounds as excited as a teenager when he talks about his World Champion road horse Mr's Bones, the first horse he's owned in more than 40 years."I heard my name announced at Louisville,"-- the World's Championship Horse Show, the pinnacle of competition for Saddlebreds and related disciplines including roadsters -- "not just once but twice.  That's something I never thought would happen.   I don't care if I ever show again.  I still can't believe I did it," he says of his repeat World Grand Championship at the Kentucky State Fair this August.  He also won the championship in 2008. Read full article >>

October 2009 - Phillip Dutton Wins Plantation Field Plantation Field International Horse Trials drew the best horses and riders in the country to Unionville, PA to compete in one, two, and three star CCI competition Sept 18 –20. This was the second year the event hosted the FEI level classes alongside the intermediate, preliminary and advanced horse trials. Adding to the drawing power of the event was $15,000 in prize money supported by PRO (Professional Riders Organization). Read full article >>

October 2009 - EU Bans Drug Tainted Horse Meat Beginning next year European Union (EU) countries will begin rigorous enforcement of food-safety regulations concerning horsemeat for human consumption. The regulations, aimed at ensuring food safety through traceability from farm to fork, ban meat tainted by drugs commonly given to horses, including antibiotics, wormers and bute. While horsemeat is not sold in the US, it is exported from Canada and Mexico to the EU and to Japan, where it is considered a delicacy.  Many of the horses that are processed in Canadian and Mexican slaughter houses—abattoirs—come from the US, where currently there are no plants that process horsemeat. Read full article >>

October 2009 - Ryerss Barn Destroyed by Fire A 1740-era barn on the Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines in Pottstown, PA was destroyed by fire Saturday, September 12, 2009.  The barn was used to store hay and house up to 19 horses. Two horses and a potbellied pig who were in the barn when the fire broke out were able to escape.  "The main thing is that no people or animals were injured or killed," said Susan Gutshall, Ryerss' Administration Manager.  "The fire inspectors are here now, and we hope they will sign off so that we can begin rebuilding" the week of September 21. Read full article >>

October 2009 - Mud takes a toll as Fairclough Wins Laurels At Landhope International CDE The primary peril at the 23rd Laurels at Landhope International Combined Driving Event and Autumn Celebration, September 11-13,  was not the high profile water hazard but the mud.  Torrential rains that soaked the Chester County, PA site from before the start through Saturday morning turned the 44 acre showgrounds into a sea of deep, slippery mud.  The difficult conditions were potentially dangerous to horses pointed at the national championships in Lexington, KY, just a month away, and more than half the original field of advanced four-in-hands chose not to continue after the dressage phase, held Friday, September 11. Read full article >>

October 2009 - Sheppard Looks ahead to Breeders' Cup
Famous Jonathan Sheppard story: One winter morning longtime owner George Strawbridge, Jr. is watching a group of his young horses canter around the training track. "I was really taken by a striking bay named Crowd Pleaser," confessed Strawbridge. "Well, Jonathan strolls up and says, ‘he's nice but he's better suited for heading into battle centuries ago. The one you need to pay attention to is that gray, he'll be one of your best horses.'"
Read full article >>

October 2009 - PA 4-H Horse Show Turns Fifty!
The Pennsylvania 4-H Horse Show turns fifty this year, and 4-H'ers, volunteers and leaders will celebrate throughout the three-day event, October 23-25 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA. There will be recognition of those who participated in the first show, as well as displays of early programs, early tack and other memorabilia. Donna Zang, County Extension Director in Butler County and chair of the State 4-H Horse Show 50th Anniversary Committee, said, "We want this to be a special celebration of the people who have worked hard to make the show possible for 50 years, and a recognition of the growth and expansion of the show over the years. We are especially happy to have some of the riders from the early shows coming to Harrisburg to be part of this celebration."
Read full article >>

October 2009 - Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Boasts Record Entries
The 66th annual Ludwig's Corner Horse Show and Country Fair had its biggest turnout of entrants in recent years this Labor Day weekend. Junior Riders were the focus of the show on Saturday, Sept. 5, with Beginner, Novice, Young Rider, Leadline, Short Stirrup and Shortest Stirrup divisions offered.
Read full article >>

October 2009 - Janet Elliot Humbled by Racing Hall of Fame Selection
Consider it the gold standard in the lineage of steeplechase trainers: Burley Cocks to Jonathan Sheppard to Janet Elliot. In August Elliot joined two other renowned Chester County jump trainers in the sport's most elite club, the Racing Hall of Fame. After nearly six decades of voting, Elliot also became the first female trainer inductee. Sheppard, her mentor, presented her with the Hall of Fame plaque in a ceremony held at the Humphrey S. Finney Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N. Y.
Read full article >>

September 2009 - From the Click of a Mouse to the Perfect Horse
Let's say you're a restless equestrian, who has been an enthusiastic rider for most of your life. You're a realist, but can't give up the romantic notion that the perfect horse for you is out there, just waiting for you. Somewhere. But how do you find that horse? You could read lots of books about horses. You could talk to horse experts. You could go to horse shows and racetracks and rodeos. Or you could do what Lynn Kelley did. "I went to the internet and typed in all the words that I thought would make the perfect horse....
Read full article >>

September 2009 - Saratoga Gears Up for Uncertain Yearling Market
Eighty-nine years ago a tradition began under the stately elm trees off East Avenue. The latest edition unfolds on the evenings of August 10-11 as some of the world's most expensive yearlings will come under the hammer at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale at the Humphrey S. Finney sales pavilion. Known as a "boutique" sale, Fasig-Tipton has catalogued 235 yearlings-- an increase of 21 percent over last year—but a fraction of the more than 5,300 yearlings featured at Kentucky's Keeneland Sale last September.
Read full article >>

September 2009 - Challenging Sales Season Looms for Thoroughbred Breeders
Appearance is everything. As a yearling enters the sales ring, he must be a living portrait of health and athleticism. When the gavel falls and he fetches a handsome price, it is the consummate reward for a small village of individuals that has invested countless hours along the journey to the public auction. The once furry, gangly youngsters have been transformed into sleek, muscular athletes over a three-month period through a mix of genetics, exercise, nutrition, training, farrier work and veterinary consultation.
Read full article >>

September 2009 - Bob Key Succeeds with His Standardbred Homebreds
s 48-year-old Bob Key walked into the restaurant back in 1981, the last thing on his agenda was becoming involved in harness racing. He was meeting Billy Haughton, one of the sport's foremost figures and a Hall of Famer, to secure him as a witness for one of his upcoming cases. Haughton eventually steered their conversation to horses and Key, intent on accomplishing his goal, humored him when Haughton began discussing ownership possibilities. Haughton, who was killed in a driving accident in 1985, got the last laugh.
Read full article >>

September 2009 - Top Driver Dave Palone Nominated to Living Hall of Fame
Throughout his twenty years of driving, 47-year-old Dave Palone has captured some of harness racing's most prestigious events, piloted many of the sport's top horses and garnered various accolades, but what he achieved out of the sulky is what brought him the most joy. "I've been fortunate that I've never had to leave my family like some of these guys that had to go East and I feel bad for them," explained the Waynesburg, PA, native. "I know it's a great opportunity; they are doing well and racing for a lot of money, but I know how hard it would be to stay away from my kids day in and day out. I couldn't imagine not being able to come home from the races and be with my family...."
Read full article >>

September 2009 - The Laurels at Landhope CDE Combines International Competition and Family Fun
The Laurels at Landhope International Combined Driving Event, one of the most prestigious events of its kind in the US, will be held in West Grove, Chester County, PA September 11-13, 2009. Combining family fun with international equestrian competition in a beautiful country setting just 40 miles from Philadelphia, the event hosts the best drivers from Canada, Mexico and the United States, who compete in a series of three events with combinations from single horses and ponies to four-in-hands. It features competition in Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced Divisions and it is a US Equestrian Federation World Championship selection trial.
Read full article >>

September 2009 - 66th Annual Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Will Entertain Families This Labor Day Weekend
Cap off the final days of summer with a weekend of family fun at the 66th annual Ludwig's Corner Horse Show and Country Fair. The family event, held Labor Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday, September 5-7, at the Ludwig's Corner Horse Show Grounds, Glenmoore, PA, has been a Labor Day tradition for generations of families for more than a half century. 
Read full article >>

July 2009 - Young Rider Critically Injured in Car Crash
Sadie Albright, age 14, who was included on page one photo of Pennsylvania Equestrian's June issue, was critically injured in an automobile accident on June 1. She was being driven to school by family friend Steve Verbeck when a deer, struck first by another vehicle, jumped in front of his truck. This resulted in a head on collision with another vehicle. Sadie was ejected from the vehicle she was riding in. Sadie suffered two broken legs and major facial/skull fractures. All three people involved in the accident were critically injured. Surgery on her legs was performed on June 1. Several days later she underwent 11 hours of surgery for facial and head injuries. She was kept heavily sedated for several weeks to prevent swelling of the brain.
Read full article >>

July 2009 - It's West Nile Virus Season -- Budget Woes May Affect State Program
With summer comes the threat of West Nile virus, spread by mosquitoes and capable of causing West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain, in both horses and people. Horses are particularly susceptible to the disease. A West Nile virus exists for horses, which should be vaccinated before mosquito season starts and receive a yearly booster. Vaccination of horses is not a guarantee of protection against infection, and does not offer any protection for other animals or people.
Read full article >>

July 2009 - It's Thunderstorm Season -- How to Protect Your Horses in Bad Weather
by Suzanne Bush
"Everyone talks about the weather," Mark Twain once said, "but nobody does anything about it." Nearly a century after Twain's death, we still can't do anything about the weather. Storms rage. Winds blow. We still talk about it, worry about it, get angry about it, celebrate it. But we can't change it. If you are not compelled by a job or an avocation to be outside, the weather is likely only an occasional nuisance. But if your life includes horses, weather's importance rises like the temperature in August. Likewise so does the importance of protecting horses in bad weather. In summer, thunderstorms pack the biggest bag of worries for horse owners. They can be deadly to people and livestock. And they can quickly destroy barns.
Read full article >>

July 2009 - Equine Rescue Organizations Face Challenging Times
by Suzanne Bush
The recession blah-blah-blah. That seems to be the starting point for virtually every news story coming out of the nation's capital as well as the 50 state capitals in the nation. The recession has become the leitmotif of our days. Blamed for thousands of problems ranging from the ridiculous ("recession blamed for decreasing number of women willing to go topless on French beaches") to the profound ("recession blamed for increase in shooting sprees"), the recession has morphed into a global public enemy number one.
Read full article >>

July 2009 - State Budget Cuts Threaten Future of State 4-H Show, KILE
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
Do you fund a police officer or a horse show?
That's the question state legislators are addressing in this year of financial chaos.
Read full article >>

July 2009 - Keystone Activator, Purchased for His Color, Becomes Hambletonian Contender
by Kimberly French
It took co-owner and trainer, Jim Raymer the entire summer and part of last fall to get Keystone Activator on the right track, but once he did, the colt trotted a world record mile, finished second in his Breeders Crown elimination behind champion Muscle Hill. After capturing five of nine starts this year, he is a top contender for this year's Hambletonian.
Read full article >>

June 2009 - Augustin Stable Females On Top Of Their Game
by Terry Conwayne Bush
The name says it all.
Charging five paths wide, Forever Together swept to a convincing victory in her first race of the year, the $200,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland Racecourse. The five-year old gray mare picked up right where she left off. Last October Forever Together captured the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park.
Read full article >>

June 2009 - It's Been a Tough Year for Equestrian Events: Is the Worst Over?
By Suzanne Bush
Just in case there are still some placid souls who have been unaware of the economic storms raging across the globe, here's some news. In the world of equestrian sports and equine expositions, the news is…well…not so bad, and okay. Those wishing to decamp in a zone that's not so squishy might have a problem. This is not so much a case of the glass being either half full or half empty. It's more like the glass is twice as large as it needs to be; and therein is the story. Because looking at the first months of 2009—and the opportunities for the economy to whack equestrian sports—you will find victims. But you will also find victors.
Read full article >>

June 2009 - Showing at the Fair? Prepare to Pony Up to Meet PDA's New Requirements
By Stephanie Shertzer Lawson
Showing at the FEI North American Young Riders Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park, against teams from across the US, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean? You'll need a Coggins and a 30 day Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.
Read full article >>

June 2009 - Longshots Rule the Radnor Hunt Races
By Marcella Peyre-Ferry
There were a few unexpected faces in the winner's circle at the 79th running of the Radnor Hunt Races, May 16th.
Going into the featured $75,000 National Hunt Cup for Grade II Novice horses, The Price of Love (owned by William Pape) and Dictina's Boy (Riverdee Stable and Thomas McCarron owners) were expected to be the main rivals for the Cup as they were in the Georgia Cup April 25, where they went head and head to the wire.
Read full article >>

May 2009 - Jody Petty – A Day in the Life of a Willowdale Steeplechase Jockey
by Kathy McKenna
Being a steeplechase jockey in the eastern half of the USA is like being a bull rider in the west. It is not a matter of if you're coming off, it's a matter of when. And when you fall off and crash on the ground, break your collarbone and have a horse step on your face ...if you are Jody Petty you get up, say you are okay -- sincerely -- and walk back to the jocks' tent to get your equipment ready to ride the next horse. Or you may go to the hospital for a week-long visit while your spleen heals from being rolled on by a horse.
Read full article >>

May 2009 - Magna Bankruptcy Leaves Fate of Preakness Uncertain
by Terry Conway
On a warm and muggy Tuesday afternoon in 1873 a lively crowd of 12,000 swarmed onto the grounds and stands of the Pimlico Race Course to watch Survivor's runaway victory in the inaugural running of the Preakness Stakes.
Read full article >>

May 2009 - Despite Her Looks, Buck I St Pat Can Trot a Hole in the Wind
By Kimberly French
She might not catch your eye in the paddock or the field, but 6-year-old Buck I St Pat, the 2008 Dan Patch and Nova Award winner for aged older trotting mare, certainly commands attention when she steps upon the racetrack.
Read full article >>

May 2009 - Disposing of a Dead Horse is About to Get Tricky
by Stephanie Lawson
Vultures. Hyenas. Maggots.
The opposite of warm and fuzzy, more likely to inspire disgust than gratitude, scavengers nonetheless have an important role to play in the circle of life.
Read full article >>

May 2009 - AAEP Focuses Attention on Vets, Farriers Working Together for Good of the Horse
By Suzanne Bush
No foot, no horse. It might be one of the most over-repeated and under-appreciated axioms rattling around in the cluttered subconscious of every horse owner. These days, the equine foot is getting a lot of attention, and will be the headliner at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Focus on the Foot seminar in Columbus, OH in July. Last December, the AAEP convention in San Diego featured a session on the science of farriery. At the heart of all this attention to the equine foot is the recognition that the partnership of farrier-veterinarian-horse owner is essential to every horse's health. The goal of perfecting that partnership has attracted advocates from every discipline.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - CEM Returns to US; Three Exposed Mares Quarantined in Pennsylvania
By Suzanne Bush
Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) has reappeared in the United States after the disease had been virtually eradicated here for 30 years. A serious venereal disease, CEM was first diagnosed in England in 1977, according to the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Although CEM is not fatal, it can become a chronic condition and can wreak havoc with breeding programs, causing infertility in mares, or spontaneous abortion.
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April 2009 - It's All Thoroughbreds -- for Race and Show -- at Cochranville, PA Farm
by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
Within one barn in Chester County, Thoroughbreds can get their start as youngsters before heading to the track, then return for intensive training to go from racing to a new careers as jumpers, eventers, or hunters.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - Get Your Giddy Up! PA Will Rollout Plan to Market Horse Racing to Tourists
by Suzanne Bush
When slot machines arrived at Pennsylvania's racetracks, patrons embraced them as if they were family. It seemed as if the state had captured lightning in a bottle, creating a reliable funding stream for the tracks' purses while bringing new patrons to the racetracks. It was hard to argue with the numbers.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - Boyd and Silva Martin: Q&A with an equestrian dream team
By Jennifer Autry
Boyd and Silva Martin have taken the horse world by storm since moving to Pennsylvania in 2007 and establishing their training operation at Phillip Dutton's True Prospect Farm in West Grove.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - Friesan Fire Claims Top Spot Among Derby Contenders
by Terry Conway
Undefeated, the Derby favorite and a media darling. Not anymore.
It was a stunning reversal of fortune. After a torrid opening half-mile Old Fashioned (the 2-5 favorite) was run down in the final 100 yards of $300,000 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park on March 14. He collared pacesetter Silver City midway on the final turn, but 56-1 long shot Win Willy, who was last headed into the far turn, came rolling down the middle of the track, and won by 2 ¼ lengths.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - Barbaro in Bronze To Be Unveiled in Kentucky April 26
by Terry Conway
Close your eyes for a minute. Imagine the scene. Barbaro is roaring down the stretch in his 6 ½-length runaway victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
Read full article >>

April 2009 - Local Pacing Champion, Mister Big, Will Shoot for More Records in 2009
He enjoys toying with his rivals on the racetrack, but what 6-year-old pacing champion Mister Big really relishes is his recreational time.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - Fairbanks is Northview's Pennsylvania headliner.
For a lot of racing fans the turbulent year of 2008 couldn't have ended soon enough. Still, if there is a one sure winner in the racing industry-- it's Pennsylvania. Horsemen are reveling in the record purses dished out at the state's three racetracks and its thoroughbred breeding program is absolutely the best in America.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - EEE Hit PA in 2008 -- Vaccination Urged
By Suzanne Bush
Okay, there may be icicles hanging off the barn roof, but that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about mosquitoes and all the problems they bring. Last September, a Warren County, PA horse developed serious neurological symptoms and was euthanized.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - Sally Cousins, of Oxford, PA, Wins USEA Lady Rider of the Year
by Marcella Peyre-Ferry
The southeastern corner of Pennsylvania is home to some of the world's best combined training riders, including the US Eventing Association's Lady Rider of the Year for 2008, Sarah "Sally" Cousins.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - Dickenson College Student Is Friesian Reserve World Champion
By Jennifer Autry
As a life-long patron of the hunter ring, 22-year-old Nichole Fernandez never thought she would ride a Friesian, much less trade in her close contact saddle for the flashy world of saddle seat riding.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - Ahead of the curve: Standardbred farm honored for dedication to horse welfare
By Jennifer Autry
With the number of unwanted horses in the U.S. rising each year – recent estimates hover at 100,000 neglected equines – the burden now more than ever rests with breeders to ensure their horses avoid a trip to the slaughterhouse, or worse, lives of abuse and abandonment.
Read full article >>

January 2009 - Steeplechasing (and Life) Lessons Learned from the Legendary Paddy Neilson
by Paul H. Langner, VMD
Louis "Paddy" Neilson is an exciting rider to watch, with his artful style and intense athletic competitiveness. But beyond that, Paddy is a trainer of horses and riders, a sire of riders and trainers and a developer of timber racing events. As a whipper-in for the Cheshire hounds of Unionville, PA, he continues in the tradition of fast chases over tall fences for which that pack is known. This kind of foxhunting is the womb which incubates outstanding timber horses and their riders, as well as cross-country eventers. Paddy's experience in this environment, which includes the Maryland circuit and his favorite race, the Maryland Hunt Cup, (with 21 rides he holds the record), has given him a breadth and depth of hard-won lessons to pass on to his aspirants. Like Mikey Smithwick before him, Paddy instructs by example.
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