Quote of the Week
“At that time, I really had no idea what was going on—all I could think about was her. I didn’t realize anything was wrong with me until the medic said I needed to go to the hospital.”
—U.S. rider Catherine Tyree reflecting on the loss of her mare, Freestyle vh Polderhof, who passed away suddenly following a pulmonary aneurysm four years ago. Tyree was riding the mare at the time and broke her foot in eight places. She shares the full story and her thoughts on horses, the sport, and North Run trainers John Brennan and Missy Clark here.
Roy Wilten Puts Andy Kocher On Blast
Just days after Andy Kocher & Carollo’s biggest career win to date in the 1.60 ATCO Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows, horse dealer, trainer, and partial owner of Carollo, Roy Wilten, called the American rider out on social media after he entered and rode the horse to 28 faults in the Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ 1.45m Derby the following day.
Sounds like things got nasty.
They did. Wilten published a video of Kocher’s team teasing a tired-looking Carollo—who had jumped three, consecutive 1.60m rounds to win the class the day before—then struggling on the derby course later on Sunday, with Kocher continuing to ride through without retiring. “After clearing and seeing how tired he was the next day and making fun of him for being so tired and still being so greedy and wanting more over the health. They should be your best friends. I am disgusted and so should everyone else,” Wilten says. “We should all be willing to stand up for our animals. We are their voice. Grow a pair and stand up and share this post so this does not happen again!!” Natch, Wilten even started his own hashtag: #StandingUpForCarollo.
Yikes. What was the response?
Ugly, generally speaking, and critics were quick to rally on both sides. In Kocher’s corner, fans are calling the charges unjustified, pointing to the fact that the rider is a self-made, hardworking horseman who made an error in judgment, and noting that other riders in the past have competed the same horses in back-to-back derbies at Spruce with successful results. In the Wilten camp, outraged supporters are calling for Kocher’s sanction by the FEI, pointing to the fact that he has had horsemanship infractions in the past, and was motivated by greed to not only enter but finish the course. Kocher, for his part, published this apology.
Where does the FEI fall on this issue?
Good question. While 2019 FEI Veterinary Regulations state that, “Horses must be allowed a suitable rest period between training and competitions,” there are vast differences in competition demands from show to show and from course to course on any given day—not to mention differences in the ability of the horses, themselves: what may be "suitable" for one certainly isn't for all. Though some keyboard warriors have claimed that Spruce Meadows offered a bonus for placing (or winning) in both the ATCO Elizabeth II Cup and the Sun Life Financial ‘Reach for the Sun’ Derby—thereby shifting some of the responsibility to show organizers for the added incentive to compete in two big classes over consecutive days—according to Spruce Meadows, that’s simply untrue. “The only ‘championships’ awarded for the 2019 Summer Series were that of the Alberta Power Speed Challenge, Alberta Power Young Horse Challenge (7 & 8 year olds), and the Alberta U25 Challenge,” a horse show representative told PonyApp. “These were over the duration of the whole summer series, not just one tournament.”
According to Kocher’s team, Carollo was examined by a veterinarian following the derby and was physically uninjured. But whatever camp you happen to land in, it seems we can all choose to view this particular incident, if nothing else, as an important wakeup call for the sport. While the FEI’s stance on issues such as doping and “the blood rule” as it pertains to spur rubs, etc., are clear, things get more fuzzy when it comes to gauging a horse’s fitness and competence to compete in multiple classes on a short timetable.
What’s easily within the scope of fitness for one horse may not be marginally appropriate for the next, and it often falls on the rider—and failing that, a raised awareness in the court of public opinion—to make sure that athletes are making the right call for their equine partners, especially when those partners cannot speak for themselves.
If You Can Only Watch One Round...
Watch Darragh Kenny & Balou du Reventon Conquer the Castle at LGCT Chantilly
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny has officially earned his ticket to the Prague Super Grand Prix—not to mention his fair share of a $300,000 purse—this weekend at the LGCT Grand Prix of Chantilly aboard Balou du Reventon. Kenny has been a top-finishing bridesmaid in the big classes throughout the first half of the 2019 LGCT season, but never the bride—that is, until this weekend, when his flat-out gallop to the last paid off in spades.(Featured Photo cred: Stefano Grasso/LGCT)
Catching Up With Super-Groom Lauren Roberts
Working for the likes of Ellen Whitaker, Jane Richard Phillips, and now, as a key member of Rodrigo Pessoa’s team at Amethyst Equestrian, super-groom Lauren Roberts knows a thing or two about turning horses out for competition. Here, Lauren shares her top tips and tricks for helping your pony be the best he or she can be.
In the Headlines...
Teenage Eventer Dies in Schooling Accident in Pennsylvania
This week, news broke of the tragic death of Ashley Stout, who passed away on July 11 following a schooling accident with her horse, Avant Garde, in Halfmoon Township, Pennsylvania. The pair suffered a rotational fall while training on cross-country; Avant Garde was also fatally injured and was euthanized on site. The talented junior had recently been chosen to ride on the Area II Young Rider Training three-day team at Rebecca Farm this month. PonyApp joins the US Eventing Association (USEA) in sending our heartfelt condolences to Ashley’s family and friends. You can the read USEA’s full statement here.
**Watch This Space**
Beezie Madden & Hannah Are Your Newest #GirlPower #PowerDuo
Steve Guerdat & Hannah (c) Jenny Abrahamsson/World of Show Jumping
American rider Beezie Madden has added a new wonder-mare to her string: Hannah, the 12-year-old former ride of Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat, who seemed (understandably) less-than-thrilled about losing her back in March. Together, Guerdat & Hannah previously won the CSIO5* Grands Prix of Lummen and Falsterbo, as well as the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ of Slovakia in 2018.
It’s All Fun and Ping Pong Games Until Somebody Breaks the Horse Trailer
Who says horses don’t have a sense of humor? And if that sense of humor includes throwing down over a game of trailer door “ping pong”, like it did this week for Insta influencer Franziska Gerber (@fg.horses), be prepared. This is a game you or your trailer are 100 percent destined to lose, Franziska. You've been warned.
View this post on Instagram
Ping Pong Party 🏓 Die Hoffnung stirbt bekanntlich zuletzt! Und so hoffe ich einfach auf ganz viele weitere lustige Momente mit diesem Crazyfrog 😅 Die Kontrolle der Zysten letzte Woche war nicht ganz wie erhofft. Die rechte Zyste ist komplett weg 💪🏼 Links ist aber immer noch oder wieder eine, das kann man so genau nicht sagen. ☹️ aktuell lässt sie sich damit aber normal reiten. Wir werden sie jetzt einfach - soweit sie das schmerzfrei mitmacht - normal reiten. Sollte sich zeigen, dass sie wieder mehr Probleme hat wird sie nächstes Jahr besamt. 🐴 Auch wenn der Gedanke an ein Fohlen von meiner Maus zuckersüß ist, wünsche ich mir sehr, dass alles gut ist und sie noch ein paar Jahre sportlich an meiner Seite bleibt 🙏🏼♥️ ——————————————————— #guapa21 #guapdate #fghorses