Latest News
Trailering Tips
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Thursday, 11 June 2020 21:25

Hit the road with respiratory health on board.

by Kim F. Miller

The horse world is cautiously getting back on the road as competitions re-emerge on June calendars. Productive horse people likely spent some of the pandemic doing horse trailer maintenance: checking breaks, tires, interiors, hitches and electrical connections.

Those critical aspects of safe equine transport tend to get a lot of attention. Horse’s respiratory health merits equal consideration because it can be badly compromised during trailering.


Competition itself has enough variables, notes Virginia-based two-time World Equestrian Games eventer Lynn Symansky. “They really increase when you combine those variables with respiratory issues horses can pick up while travelling. Especially when you are traveling with multiple horses in the trailer. You already have dust from shavings and bedding, plus whatever is coming in through the open windows. When each horse grabs and pulls hay from their hay net, it can be worse.”


Hay is mostly a good thing for traveling horses. Having something to munch on keeps them occupied, which helps reduce general travel stress. Chewing and digesting food keeps stomach acids at bay, lowering the risk of ulcers that often accompany that stress.     

From a respiratory health standpoint, however, hay can be harmful in the trailer or van. That’s because even hay that has good nutrient quality and looks clean can be loaded with inhalable irritants. Dust, mold spores, bacteria and other allergens are not limited to hay that looks and smells bad. These are the main triggers of conditions on the Equine Asthma Spectrum that affect a surprisingly high percent of the equine population.

Photo: Shelley Paulson

When these microscopic bits lodge in the airways, an inflammatory response to foreign objects kicks in. This can restrict the upper airway and impede the transfer of oxygen from the lungs into the bloodstream. That’s never good for the horse’s welfare or performance, and it’s especially bad when heading to a show.

Before hitting the road, Lynn’s crew steams their horses’ hay in a Haygain Hay Steamer. The high-temperature steaming process rids hay of up to 99% of the dust, mold, bacteria and allergens found in all hay. Putting clean hay in the trailer is especially important because the hay sits right in the horse’s breathing zone for the duration of the trip.
Heads Up: Not Healthy

Eating hay from an elevated position is already problematic, notes Kentucky-based veterinarian and dressage rider Dr. Wren Burnley, DVM. Eating from the ground is nature’s design for allowing the horse to clear inhaled material from its airways. They can’t do that in the trailer.

Opening vents and windows is important for ventilation during travel, although that can also disperse breathable bits further within the trailer. (Use a fly mask or other protective gear to guard the horse’s eye and face from anything that might fly in the window, Dr. Burnley notes.)  Stopping for rest breaks every four hours is the conventional wisdom for long trips. If a safe place can be found to unload the horses, letting them drink or graze with their heads lowered will help them clear their airways.

Castle Larchfield Purdy, the 2016 Olympic eventer, always travels with steamed hay, says Andrea Bushlow, who works with his rider Lauren Billys. That’s true whether they are making a relatively short trip for routine veterinary check-ups or the long haul from California to Rebecca Farms in Montana.

In the early preparation for making a second Olympic appearance, “Purdy” was diagnosed with a mild case of Inflammatory Airway Disease. This surprisingly common condition on the Equine Asthma Spectrum intensified eventing’s already rigorous physical challenges and slowed his respiratory recovery rate. Since the diagnosis, steamed hay has helped Purdy return to top form -- so much so that he is qualified for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics. “He always travels with steamed hay,” Andrea notes.

In this time of heightened awareness about airborne respiratory risks, Haygain Steamed Hay offers the assurance of greatly reduced respiratory risks for travelling horses.

For more information on Haygain Hay Steamers and Haygain’s ComfortStall Sealed Orthopedic Flooring, visit

Announcing our Exciting New ONLINE Professional Saddle Fit Evaluation Program!
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 17:34

Schleese has been fortunate that even during these past few months during this global pandemic we have been deemed an ‘essential’ company in Canada – being a manufacturer, dealing with pet health and animal welfare issues. We have had a visit from the Ministry of Health and were lauded for our exemplary measures and protocols to keep both our valued employees and our valuable clients safe.


professional online   teaser video

Although several of our staff opted to be temporarily laid off, we managed to continue working at almost full capacity with an engaged skeleton crew. Much of the time was spent strategizing on how the business model would change in the coming months and years – given that COVID-19 was expected to move from the pandemic to an endemic and become a constant part of our lives going forward. We are not alone in re-evaluating how our company would continue to survive and grow in the future, how we could stay in business, and how we could have a full contingent come back to work and continue to service our clients safely. Although travel has been restricted, we spent the last couple of months working on webinars, livestreams, and podcasts on a regular weekly basis; collaborating with industry influencers such as RaleighLink14 (check out her youtube videos!), and developing our own new instructional videos to continue to increase our followers and markets worldwide.
We have developed a new, more interactive and consumer-friendly website, which is scheduled to go live by July 1. In the interest of maintaining the new reality of social distancing guidelines (as well as reducing our carbon footprint!) we welcome you to Schleese's state of the art ONLINE SADDLE FITTING SERVICE! This service is unlike any found in the equine industry and best of all its FREE.  One of our Certified Saddle Fit Experts can work riders long-distance to assist with purchasing a new or used saddle, refit an existing Schleese saddle or assess the fit of a non-Schleese brand saddle.

Through this step-by-step online process, riders will find out exactly what they and their horse need. Riders are taken through a step by step guide on how to take complete measurements of themselves and their horse(s). This information is then submitted online for our Certified Saddle Fit Expert to review. They will then work with the rider on a solution on how to improve the comfort, fit and performance for both horse(s) and rider.
The online process allows for a fast resolution without having to attend or wait for an On-site Professional  evaluation scheduled near you – which means faster solutions to fit issues without the wait times, without having to possibly trailer in somewhere, and basically from the comfort of your own home! Of course, Schleese will still offer its renowned on-site 80 point diagnostic evaluation as before – but this will allow us to work with many more riders much more quickly, and with the same professional advice from our highly trained saddle ergonomists.  Check out the program by watching the video at this link:
Remember to stay home, stay safe, and use our hashtag #LetsRideItOutTogether with a posted picture on our Instagram and FaceBook pages to help spread the word and keep things positive in our equine community and family!

USHJA Launches Feed Aid Initiative
Written by CRM
Monday, 18 May 2020 19:10
USHJA Will Match up to $300,000 in Aid for Members in Financial Need to Help Ensure the Welfare of Equine Partners

Lexington, Ky.—May 18, 2020—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association has launched a new initiative, USHJA Feed Aid, to provide aid in purchasing feed for lesson horses as short-term relief for the businesses in the hunter/jumper community who provide lessons to non-boarders and may be suffering financially due to the impact of COVID-19. Through partnership with various national and regional feed companies, USHJA members may receive relief through discounted and fully supplemented feed purchases.

“We are pleased to offer this financial relief initiative to our members,” said Mary Babick, USHJA president. “We are committed to the well being of our equine partners and supporting our members during this unprecedented time. Our horses are the light in this pandemic, and we hope this initiative will bring much needed relief to those in need and encourage fellow equestrians to support our community during this difficult time.”

To receive aid, members must apply by June 1. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis. Feed vouchers will be made available to qualifying applicants as quickly as possible.

Individuals can also donate to help fellow equestrians in need due to financial hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The USHJA, through its Foundation, will match donations up to $300,000.

The USHJA thanks Buckeye Nutrition, Cavalor, Legends, Nutrena and ProElite for their partnership and support of this initiative. If you are interested in participating as a feed provider, please contact Whitney Allen at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For more information about the initiative and how you can help, visit

Show Schedule Update from West Palms Events
Written by CRM
Monday, 04 May 2020 17:38
The United States Equestrian Federation has extended its suspension of USEF competitions through May 31, 2020, in keeping with CDC recommendations to address the ongoing COVID-19 situation. West Palms Events intends to adhere to all appropriate USEF and government guidelines, and as such we are regretfully cancelling the following shows:
  • Sacramento Memorial Day Classic, May 21 - 24, Rancho Murieta, CA
  • Sacramento Spring Classic, May 27 - 31, Rancho Murieta, CA

We plan to kick off our season with 3 weeks at the beautiful Horse Park at Woodside: the Woodside Circuit Opener June 17 - 21 the Bay Area Festival June 24 - 28, and the Golden Gate Classic July 1 - 3.

Additionally, we will be holding 3 weeks of shows at Huntington Beach! The Huntington Beach Surf Classic is July 2 -4, the Huntington Beach Sunshine Classic is July 8 - 11, and the Huntington Beach Summer Classic is August 6 - 9. You can find the full revised schedule at

West Palms Events management has been working with local and state authorities to ensure that proper measures are in place to protect our exhibitors once we return to showing. Your safety has always been our first priority.

We encourage you to send in entries so we can get an accurate count for planning purposes. But no deposits will be processed until we have been given the green light by appropriate local officials as well as USEF.
We are still looking forward to a great show season, despite the challenges we are facing.  Until we see you again, please stay safe and feel free to reach out to us with questions or concerns.
Dale Harvey - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Adrienne Karazissis - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sara Nastri - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Top Horse Jockeys of All Time
Written by CRM
Thursday, 30 April 2020 17:51

No other sports can come even close to the excitement and thrill of horse racing. It is popular in many countries of the world and has a huge fan following. You can find many racing enthusiasts spicing up their sporting experience with, which is a great site to double the enjoyment and fun.

1- Bill Shoemaker


Bill Shoemaker is undoubtedly one of the greatest horse jockeys of all time. He claimed his first victory as a jockey in 1949 when he was only 18 years old. Before retiring in 1990, he won an incredible 8,882 races, which included victories at the Belmont Stakes (five times), Kentucky Derby (four times), and the Preakness Stakes (two times).

Though he couldn’t win the American Triple Crown, the great jockey did manage to garner several racing awards, including the United States Champion Jockey by earnings 10 times and by wins five times. After retirement as a jockey, he returned to horse racing as a trainer and achieved modest success in that field too.

2- Laffit Pincay

Laffit Pincay Jr. carved out a big name for himself in the horse racing world. He won many prestigious races during his long career that spanned five decades. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1975.

Pincay rode the famous American racehorse Sham who was the main rival of Secretariat, the 1973 American Triple Crown winner. He also rode Swale who won him the 1984 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. In total, he claimed the Belmont Stakes three times and also won the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Classic.

3- Lester Piggott

Lester Piggott is considered as one of the greatest flat racing jockeys of all time. He was marked for greatness from the very beginning of his career with his first Epsom Derby victory coming at the age of 18. The great jockey claimed eight more Epsom Derby victories on eight different horses from 1957-1983.

Due to his height, he was nicknamed “The Long Fellow.” He won the 2000 Guineas five times, Epsom Oaks six times, St Leger Stakes eight times, and the 1000 Guineas two times. He started a new style of race-riding that was widely copied by a great many jockeys.

4- Eddie Arcaro

Eddie Arcaro was one of the most successful jockeys of all time. He held the distinction of being the only rider in history to win the American Triple Crown twice. He won the Kentucky Derby five times, the Preakness Stakes six times, and the Belmont Stakes six times as well.

His success story is all the more amazing because he grew up in an impoverished background. The great jockey was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame in 1958.

New Equitopia Course Featuring Dr. Gerd Heuschmann Illuminates the Path Towards Developing Horses Into Happy Athletes
Written by CRM
Thursday, 23 April 2020 19:47

Equitopia’s highly anticipated new course is now available online.

"The Basics of Classical Dressage: Achieving Balance through Rhythm, Suppleness & Contact" provides the tools needed to understand the components of relaxed horses in true self carriage.
This course was developed with Gerd Heuschmann, world renowned veterinarian and master rider. Heuschmann is the acclaimed author of "Tug of War: Classical vs. Modern Dressage," "Collection or Contortion," "Balancing Act," and in 2009 produced the DVD that shook the horse industry, "If Horses Could Speak."

“I want a happy athlete” said Dr. Heuschmann, “I want a horse who loves me and looks forward to me as a person and wants to be ridden by me.”
Based on a lifetime of study and experience integrating compassionate training techniques for the physical and mental welfare of horses, Dr. Heuschmann examines the basics of classical riding. Focusing on the first three steps of the training scale — rhythm, suppleness and contact — Heuschmann goes through each step in detail to explain how to produce a happy horse in balance.
Grand Prix rider and trainer, Alexis Martin-Vegue, sums up the importance of the course, “I'd like to assume that all riders began their journey because of a passion, a love for horses. For the joy of being near them, watching and feeling their innate athletic elegance. To ride as one, to have a deep partnership with their horse the most attractive goal. But what I see in competition and in training often looks like a huge departure from that. Instead I see frustrated riders attempting to make grace out of a tense horse, without the right tools to do it. Dr. Heuschmann has dedicated a lifetime of study to help rider's implement the classical methods that create a supple, happy athlete, a harmonious partnership.”
This course gives an overview of the history of classical riding and the philosophies behind its evolution. By the end of the course participants will have "trained their eyes" to recognize the characteristics of truly balanced and happy horses, and be able to identify the features of a tense horse in false collection.  
"The Basics of Classical Dressage: Achieving Balance through Rhythm, Suppleness & Contact" will be of high value to amateurs and trainers who feel that they have done all of the right things — foot balance, saddle fit and rider posture — yet still feel some resistance or question whether their horse is truly lifted in the back, and light and elastic in contact.
Watch the trailer:
For more information and to sign up for this course, click here:

Premier Equestrian Announces Agreement with ArenaMend
Written by CRM
Thursday, 23 April 2020 16:18
Sandy, UT, April 23, 2020 – Premier Equestrian, Inc announced today it has reached an exclusive distribution agreement with ArenaMend LLC. The agreement allows Premier to act as the exclusive distributor for ArenaMend in the U.S. and Canada. ArenaMend is a new and unique waterless arena footing product manufactured in the U.S.
ArenaMend is a non-synthetic, non-oil-based amendment that can be added directly to existing and new arena sand to reduce or eliminate the need for water as well as improve footing quality by adding cushion, traction, grip, and rebound.1 The cost-effective sand additive requires no water for maintenance, resulting in immense environmental benefits. ArenaMend is a compound of all-natural ingredients that are safe to humans and animals; it even clears California’s aggressive Prop 65 standards.

“ArenaMend is a game changer,” said Mark Neihart, Premier Equestrian CEO. “It’s an affordable solution to a waterless product that also improves footing.”
The creator of ArenaMend, Dan Carr, stated, “I have been working for years developing this product. It can be added to any existing arena and improves all footing types while effectively reducing the need for water.”
ArenaMend is packaged in supersacks and delivered on pallets. Installation is straightforward and can be easily installed by the individual or a contractor. For the last two years, ArenaMend has been installed at The Palm Beach Masters Series in Wellington, Florida at Deeridge Farms and other high use venues. For more a free consultation, call 800-611-6109 or visit
Premier Equestrian is North America’s leading supplier of high-quality footing additives, arena groomers, base mat systems, and arena consultation. Premier Equestrian is a recognized expert in horse arena footing as it relates to equine biomechanics. This knowledge is used daily to help horse owners across North America improve arenas and footing. Premier Equestrian has developed proprietary blends of textiles and fibers used to stabilize sand. Premier arena drags have features not found elsewhere. Premier is the Exclusive North American distributor for OTTO Sport arena mats and now, ArenaMend. Premier Equestrian products are used in a multitude of venues worldwide, most recently installed in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Visit their website at
or call 800-611-6109.
1 more about that here:
SmartPak Introduces New Products to Fly Collections for Spring 2020
Written by CRM
Thursday, 16 April 2020 00:00
Refresh Your Horse’s Fly Gear Wardrobe
PLYMOUTH, Mass – April 16, 2020 – Fly season is coming, and you will want to make sure you and your horse are ready. SmartPak has everything you need to gear up for the battle against the bugs including new and exciting products that you won’t want to miss - from fly sheets to masks and boots, your horse can be protected from head to hoof.
“With warm weather comes the arrival of those pesky insects that can be bothersome to your horse,” said Danielle Franchi, SmartPak’s marketing manager for Tack, Equipment, and Supplies. “Part of a comprehensive approach to fly control is making sure your horse is protected, which is why we’re excited to be introducing new products and have also made improvements on our existing items too.”

New and improved for this season is the SmartMesh Ultimate Fly Sheet. It is the smartest way to protect your horse from the bugs because it is made from a breathable, fine mesh, that allows for maximum airflow to keep your horse cool and comfortable as well as protected. Don’t let the lightweight mesh fool you, because the durable ripstop material is designed to resists tears. You can have peace of mind that this sheet will last because it is backed by a three-year durability guarantee. With up to 40 percent UV block for sun protection, as well as the belly band closure and removeable neck cover, your horse will have the ultimate coverage.
SmartPak is also pleased to introduce a selection of new colors to two collections – the Deluxe Fly Collection and the Classic Fly Collection. “We’re launching a selection of new color and exclusive pattern options to each of the collections,” added Franchi. “These colors are perfect for the season and add a fresh new look to some of our customer’s favorite products.”
The SmartPak Deluxe Fly Collection offers head-to-hoof coverage with an improved design for a more ergonomic fit. The entire collection is available in new colors that coordinate perfectly and tie back across boots, masks, and sheets for staying stylish and protected. The deluxe items are durable, plus the sheets and masks offer UV protection from the sun.
In addition to new colors, SmartPak is also introducing a new product to the Deluxe Collection – the Relaxed Fit Fly Boots. These are a great solution if you find that traditional fly boots do not stay on your horse. The innovative design of these boots includes soft, comfortable elastic at the top and bottom to keep them in place and a relaxed fit design that allows your horse to move freely. To view the entire Deluxe Fly Collection, visit
The SmartPak Classic Fly Collection provides economic fly gear with cool new colors and patterns. The sheets and masks are made of a breathable light weight fabric that also offers UV protection, and are offered in coordinating colors. Along with new colors, the newest item added to the classic collection is the SmartPak Classic Patterned Fly Sheet, which provides everything the classic sheet has to offer in a beautiful limited-edition pattern. To view the entire Classic Fly Collection, visit
No matter which collection you choose, SmartPak is here as a trusted resource to help you battle the bugs. In addition to new products, SmartPak is also partnering with customer-favorite brands including Horseware, Kensington, and Absorbine (just to name a few!) to bring you the Bugs Be Gone Giveaway! From now through the end of May 30th, the Bugs Be Gone Giveaway will feature different fly gear and sprays prizes. Keep an eye out on SmartPak’s Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on how to enter.
To view SmartPak’s entire offering of fly control solutions, visit www.SmartPak.comor call 1-800-461-8898 and speak with a horse health expert who can help you find the right products for you, your horse, and your barn.
About SmartPak
From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness. With the success of this simple and convenient feeding system, SmartPak has continued to expand its offering of quality products, including its own line of more than 55 supplement formulas called SmartSupplements, and a wide variety of tack, equipment, and supplies. The company has grown rapidly each year and is one of the largest retailers of equestrian products in the United States. SmartPak’s success has been powered by a passion for delivering an unbeatable customer experience, and the company has been recognized with a Bizrate Circle of Excellence award eight years in a row, as well as receiving an “Elite” rating from STELLAService.

Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Cancels Remaining Competitions
Written by CRM
Monday, 13 April 2020 19:28
Columbus, Ohio (April 13, 2020) – The IEA Board of Directors and Staff have been extensively reviewing factors and options related to Covid-19 and the remainder of the IEA 2019-2020 season. With much disappointment, we announce all IEA competitions for Hunt Seat, Dressage and Western disciplines are cancelled for the remainder of this competition year, which was originally scheduled to conclude on June 14th.

As always, human and equine welfare are of the utmost importance to IEA and lie at the heart of this difficult decision. The Coronavirus continues to be a health danger ross the Country for all—every age; everywhere. We all should follow the guidelines of our Government and Health officials and because IEA has members in 46 states, the rules vary extensively from state to state. It is expected the Coronavirus guideline variances will widen over the next few months, complicating parent and coach decisions regarding health, travel and expenses. Among other items going into this difficult decision are:

  • Riders not able to practice
  • Horses not in working condition
  • Concerns from horse providers
  • College partners shut down since March and mandated through July
  • Travel turmoil and cancellations
  • Conflicts with other shows once we pass usual calendar season

Roxane Durant, IEA Co-founder and Executive Director stated, “As an organization that is based in community, we must consider the needs of our entire membership base across the country and across disciplines to make our decision that assures the safety and welfare of all IEA members and our equine partners. This was an unbelievably hard decision because it disappoints so many, especially our senior riders. To lessen the setback, we are revising some rules and making changes relative to this decision so current riders have more options for next season. In addition, we plan some special surprises for our riders, including providing a scholarship for every senior.”
Gary Carpenter, IEA Board Member and National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Commissioner stated, “The NRHA and IEA are affiliated organizations and for many years the IEA has held its Western Finals during the NRHA Derby in June. I agree the IEA needed to make a decision at this time. Currently, we still plan to hold the Derby. Unlike the IEA, our competitors ride and transport their own horses. Of course, come June, we will abide by all Coronavirus guidelines and act accordingly.”
The 2020-2021 IEA show season is scheduled to begin September 1, 2020 with membership opening early May for new and returning members.
For more information, visit

Genay Vaughn: Accomplished African American Equestrian Speaks Up
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 10 June 2020 18:55

Young dressage professional Genay Vaughn shares her perspective on Black Lives Matter and how it relates to equestrian sports and individual responsibilities and opportunities. Genay is the assistant trainer at her family’s Starr Vaughn Equestrian Center in the Sacramento area’s Elk Grove. USDF Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are among her accomplishments.


Genay at a protest in Sacramento last weekend.


Q: In the overall Black Lives Matter movement, how important is diversity in equestrian sport? Why does it matter? How do the two connect?

I consider myself fortunate to be a member of the international community of dressage. I’ve heard criticism lately about how elitist equestrian sport is, because of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and racial injustices and prejudice in the United States. These conversations are happening all around the world right now, with 20 countries taking to the streets to show their support for black people. Equestrian sports should welcome conversations like these, because we have an opportunity to distinguish ourselves in the sports world as a community that embraces diversity and provides opportunity to experience all that equine culture has to offer. Equestrian sport is about the high-performance connection between humans and animals, and, like our horses, that connection knows no color.

Q: Compared to the general world, how much systemic racism have you experienced in the horse world?

In my experience, and I can only speak for myself, I have not personally experienced overt racism in my sport. However, we must acknowledge that racial bias is an unfortunate part of the history of equestrian sport.

For example, when horse racing saw its height in America at the end of the 19th century, 13 out of 15 of the top jockeys were African American. The ability to make a significant earning as a jockey led more white athletes to enter the sport. Around this time, at the dawn of the Jim Crow era, institutionalized racism crept into the world of horse racing. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled with the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson decision that segregation was legal. Due to that ruling, white jockeys during the 1900 racing season used intimidation tactics to keep black jockeys from competing. Even though the Supreme Court overturned the 1896 decision in 1954 with Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. did not see another black jockey in the top level of competitors until 2000.   

It is hard to discuss issues of race without discussing the intersection of race and class. As a biracial African American athlete, I was fortunate to be exposed to the sport and to have the opportunity to participate. Equestrian sport is expensive, by its very nature, and so it is inherently exclusive and predominantly accessible to those who can afford to participate. An athlete who doesn’t own a horse needs to have access to one, and to have the opportunity to be near a place where one can train, usually some place that has land.

Although I personally have not experienced overt racism, I have witnessed looks of surprise when others come to find that I am a rider and not a groom at competitions. In other similar sports, athletes at the height of their career have spoken publicly about more overt forms of racism. In tennis, black athletes such as Serena Williams have experienced mistreatment by fellow athletes, fans, and commentators for their race and have spoken about it in interviews. And such stories are commonplace in other exclusive sports. Lewis Hamilton has spoken about his disappointment that the Formula One community did not condemn racial inequality at a time when so many other sports organizations like the NFL and NASCAR have.

The truth is, as a person of color, when you walk into the room, even if you walk in wearing the uniform that communicates that you’re there to compete, people will see you differently. This is even more so if you’re black and you’re really good, because you are defying expectations of what black people can do. We are an affront to some people’s limited world view. Such a sentiment has no place in an international sport, where the goal should always be to respect one another, no matter our color, our culture, or what country we call home.

Q: What can equestrians of all colors do better?

I think it’s great we’re having these kinds of conversations, because it is a necessary first step to taking action. This is what BLM is all about. Dressage is an international community, and we have a particular interest in valuing social equity and fairness. Two words that come to mind are exposure and opportunity. Exposure means knowing what the sport is. Opportunity means having the chance to pursue the sport, something my family afforded me. In other words, if you never encounter the ocean, or pond, or pool, how would you ever learn how to swim? There are opportunities out there that provide exposure and equitable access to horse riding, but there could be more. Things like scholarships, after school programs, and equine-assisted therapy, are ways in which equestrian organizations have already worked to create a more inclusive community.
One premier example is the equestrian leader Lezlie Hiner, who founded the polo organization Work to Ride in 1994. Work to Ride exposes inner city kids of West Philadelphia to polo. These are kids who have never previously had the opportunity to ride a horse, let alone compete in polo. What’s even more incredible is that they have turned out stars, simply by providing the exposure and opportunity to learn and enjoy the sport.

The BLM movement is a call to action for individuals as well as organizations. It challenges us all to be better. Now is the time for the equestrian community to seize the opportunity to distinguish ourselves, by working harder to provide more exposure for those who would not otherwise be able to enjoy horses. Inclusion is an important value on its face, but if people are unclear why it is not only the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do, one need only look to the work of economist Scott E. Page, or all the moves Fortune 500 companies and educational institutions are making on this front. Our most profitable corporations and brightest universities have recognized the value in enacting institutional change. This is not just because of BLM, as research shows organizations perform better with a more diverse makeup. BLM is a catalyst to necessary progress.

The sky is really the limit for what we can do when we put our minds to it and commit to inclusion as a common value.

West Palms Show Updates
Written by CRM
Monday, 08 June 2020 18:42

Pending Shows: Woodside Horse & Pony Show, Silicon Valley Equestrian Festival 1 and 2, and Huntington Beach Surf, Sunshine, and Summer Classics

At West Palms Events we've been working hard to gain approval for upcoming horse shows, and wanted to provide you an update of where things stand today for shows on our calendar in July and August. We are anxiously awaiting more information from the relevant counties but are holding out hopes that the events below will go forward.

Horse Park at Woodside
As you know, we regretfully cancelled the Woodside Circuit Opener, the Bay Area Festival, and the Golden Gate Classic. However, we are excited to add a new show, the Woodside Horse & Pony Show, July 14-18, 2020. This show is pending approval and the prize list and entry blanks will be made available once approved. For more information, reach out to Adrienne at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Additionally, our Silicon Valley Equestrian Festival 1 and 2 are pending approval and entries for both weeks have been filling up fast.

To recap, these Horse Park at Woodside Shows are pending approval:

  • NEW Woodside Horse & Pony Show, July 14 - 18, USEF rating pending
  • Silicon Valley Equestrian Festival 1, August 19 - 23
  • Silicon Valley Equestrian Festival 2, August 26 - 30 including CPHA Medal Finals

Huntington Beach
Our 2020 calendar includes three weeks at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, and we are optimistic that we will gain approval for these shows. We should have confirmation this week and will announce as soon as we possibly can.

Huntington Beach Shows pending approval:

  • Huntington Beach Surf Classic, July 2 -4
  • Huntington Beach Sunshine Classic, July 8 - 11
  • Huntington Beach Summer Classic, August 6 - 9 including LAHJA Medal Finals

West Palms Events hopes all are staying safe! We are excited and hopeful we will see you at these upcoming events. We will keep providing you with as much information as we have. Until then, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.

With gratitude,
Dale Harvey - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Adrienne Karazissis - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Sara Nastri - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Press release provided by West Palms Event Management.

USEA Recognition of Educational Activities to Resume After May 13
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 06 May 2020 19:08
The United States Eventing Association (USEA) Board of Governors held a conference call last week and voted to resume recognizing educational activities after May 13, 2020. All educational activities must follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as federal, state, and local guidelines.

Educational activities scheduled to be held after May 13 that will be eligible for USEA recognition include clinics, camps, and cross-country schooling. All other activities applying for USEA recognition will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis until further notice.

If the educational activity is able to be legally held, then the USEA strongly recommends the organizer follow the US Equestrian (USEF) guidelines for safely hosting an educational activity or event. The USEF has indicated that those guidelines will be released as a USEF Action Plan later this week, and in the interim, we recommend that organizers view the USEF Webinar: Planning for a Safe Return to Competition which is available here.

The USEA is continuing to mirror the USEF’s suspension for recognizing competitions – the current suspension period lasts until May 31, 2020. The USEA will announce as soon as possible if recognition of events can resume after May 31.

“With all of us staying at home for the last few months, we felt that educational activities are very important to knock some of the dust off in anticipation of the potential June 1, 2020 start-up to competitions,” explained USEA President Max Corcoran. “Attending an education activity is a really good way to ensure that horses and riders are fit enough and still have the skills to safely start competing again. The Board hopes that everyone takes great care in resuming competing and we look forward to seeing you all out there soon. Stay well, stay safe, and keep those hands washed!”

Questions about educational activities? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Questions about the USEA’s decisions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic? Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

COVID-19 Updates from USEA

Press release provided by USEA.

HMI June Classic and Junior Hunter Finals Updates!
Written by CRM
Saturday, 02 May 2020 18:07

Dear Exhibitors,

As of May 1, we are very hopeful that we will have our HMI June Classic, June 10th – 14th. Entries close May 19, 2020.
Entries sent in will not be pre-charged for any fees and checks will not be deposited until the start of the show.
Entries for the HMI June Classic, USEF Junior Hunter National Championship-West and the Gladstone Cup Equitation Classic are available on showgroundslive/headlands, Equestrian Connect, Sonoma Horse Park and Headlands Management websites.

New qualifying criteria for the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship-West
A maximum of 200 horses will be accepted to compete, however USEF reserves the right to adjust this number to ensure fair and consistent point qualification standards and a safe competition environment. The number of entries accepted per section will be determined based  on the current qualified numbers and past years’ entries.
Entries for the USEF Junior Hunter National Championships will be accepted based on the following:
Katie Kotler and Splendid, Junior Hunter Finals 2019 © Alden Corrigan Media

3’3” Junior Hunter:
Spaces will be first filled with horses that qualified by winning a Championship or Reserve Championship in a “A”, “AA”, “B” or “C” rated Junior Hunter 3’3” section between June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020, OR being in the top-10 of the USHJA Junior Hunter 3’3” Zone standings sections for competitions with a start date from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020. Horses that are champions in their respective sections at the previous year’s USEF Junior Hunter National Championships may return without qualifying.
If there are still open spaces, additional horses not otherwise qualified may be eligible to compete in the national championship based on National Horse of the Year (HOTY) points in their respective sections. These horses shall be accepted based on the National HOTY points earned by horses in their top 15 competitions starting on or after June 1, 2019, through competitions starting on or before May 31, 2020. Points from both the younger and older Junior Hunter 3’3” sections shall be counted.
3’6” Junior Hunter:
Spaces will be first filled with horses that qualified by winning a Championship or Reserve Championship in a “A”, “AA”, “B” or “C” rated Junior Hunter 3’6” section between June 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020, OR being in the top-10 of the USHJA Junior Hunter 3’6” Zone standings sections for competitions with a start date from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020. Horses that are champions in their respective sections at the previous year’s USEF Junior Hunter National Championships may return without qualifying.
If there are still open spaces, additional horses not otherwise qualified may be eligible to compete in the national championship based on National Horse of the Year (HOTY) points in their respective sections. These horses shall be accepted based on the National HOTY points earned by horses in their top 15 competitions starting on or after June 1, 2019, through competitions starting on or before May 31, 2020. Points from both the younger and older Junior Hunter 3’6” sections shall be counted.
Each junior exhibitor may show one large and one small entry on both coasts.

We thank you for your patience and support during these difficult times.


Stay safe and give your horse a hug,
The Sonoma Horse Park Management Team
Horse Show Entries
Sally Hudson
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

VIP, Concessions, Sponsors
Sarah Appel
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Press release provided by Sonoma Horse Park.

GGT Footing™ Continues to Support Equestrians and Horse Shows During the Pandemic Season
Written by CRM
Thursday, 30 April 2020 16:25

GGT-Footing has always been a strong supporter of equestrian athletes and facilities. Recently we have added a couple new locations and events that we want to share.

Along with our partner John Anderson from Rocky Mountain Horse Show in Canada, we now have partnered with Angelstone Tournaments – in Ontario. This is the tenth anniversary for the Angelstone Shows.
We have a large presence in Canada…Spruce Meadows, Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, Wesley Clover arenas, Bromont and many more.
We are continuing to sponsor the wonderful shows that West Palms Event Management in California produces.

We are still supporting our original first Horse Show Facility the Fieldstone Show park in Massachusetts. All arenas at Fieldstone are GGT -Footing.
We are a major sponsor at The Great Lakes Equestrian Festival in Traverse City, Michigan. All arenas are GGT Footing. Silver Oak jumper tournament has been a long-standing sponsored client of GGT Footing. Now they have moved their event to Great Lakes location in Traverse City.
GGT Footing continues to support athletes in all disciplines.
We are excited about our new partnership with Jordan Chase and Olivia Loiacono-Putrino at their new facility in San Marcos California.
GGT-Footing was contacted by Hillary Ridland from Blenheim, California to see if we would support her event, “The No Show in California.“ Event info and contact shown here: This unique event was inspired by the need for ways to educate young horses and riders who we consider to be the future of the sport. The No Show replicates the best show standards, minus the weighty costs and fees. The courses are designed by USA Chef, Robert Ridland. In keeping with our relaxed and non-competitive spirit our motto is “No Winners, No Losers, No Problem.”  There are NO rules! If a horse needs 3 or 4 attempts at a scary obstacle, then 3 or 4 is what you get. Each round is only $30, and a rider can enter as many times as they like over beautifully crafted courses ranging in height from .70m-1.30m. for jumpers and 2’ -3’6” for hunters. To make the experience even more enjoyable we provide complimentary breakfast and lunch as well as entertainment with live music.  For further information, feel free to contact Hillary Ridland at 949-633-4040 or Kimberly Alexander 619-823-8234.
We are excited about a couple very well-known Olympians who are getting their new location prepared!
Stay tuned for more info. Sign up to receive our newsletter!
GGT Footing textiles have been used worldwide in Arena recipes for over 23 years. Kentucky Horse Park including the World Equestrian Games at Kentucky and Tryon, Winter Equestrian Festival, Tryon International, Omaha International including the World Cup Finals, Menlo Charity Horse Show, LA Masters, Old Salem Farm, Saratoga at Skidmore, and many more!

Press release provided by AHP.

Horse Show Statement from Ali and Francie Nilforushan, Founders of Nilforushan Equisport Events
Written by CRM
Thursday, 23 April 2020 18:59
To all in the equestrian community,

On behalf of the entire Nilforushan Equisport Events team, we are immensely disappointed to report that the remainder of the scheduled weeks of the Temecula Valley National Horse Show will have to be cancelled. Planned for May 13 - 17, May 20 - 24 and May 27 - 31, the dates of the events fall within a county-wide mandate related to short-term lodging restrictions through June 19. Put in place by Riverside County at the direction of health officials, the order "limits short-term home rentals, hotels and motels to restrict business to novel coronavirus response only." This restriction will make it almost impossible for many of our exhibitors, trainers and staff members to find local housing.

We held out on making this decision for as long as we could because we so badly wanted to run the competitions and knew you felt the same. Our entire team has worked hard to bring you incredible events in 2020, and we kept the shows on the schedule for as long as possible. We had hoped that the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) would have slowed by the time the shows were slated to begin in order to ensure a safe environment for our participants, but unfortunately it appears that scenario will not be possible. Although we are saddened by this turn of events, public health must remain the priority and we are committed to doing our part to keep all equestrians safe.

Any individuals who already submitted entries will receive their deposits back in full. Thank you for your patience while we sort out this matter.

Although we can not confirm anything at this time, we are planning to apply for new dates later in the year and are hopeful that we will receive the proper approval.

We appreciate and thank you for all of your support during these trying times, and we hope to see you soon.


Ali Nilforushan and Francie Nilforushan
Founders of Nilforushan Equisport Events

Wanted: Horses In Transition
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 20 April 2020 18:38

Equine welfare organizations come together for horses in need.

by Kim F. Miller

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a boom in dog and cat adoptions from shelters throughout the country. Horses haven’t been so fortunate. Being a bigger money, time, labor and land undertaking than a small animal, horses face harder times now and likely well beyond the pandemic’s effect on human health.


But the news isn’t all dire. April 26 is the ASPCA’s designated Help A Horse Day and this year its focal point is The Right Horse Initiative. This relatively new ASPCA program embodies positive trends in the equine industry coming together for the good of the horse. The Right Horse campaign encourages those able to foster or adopt a horse in need, opening up spaces at shelters where more horses may be surrendered or wind up due to COVID-19 related economic hardships.

Emphasizing adoptions and fostering is the crux of the program, following the example of small animal welfare groups dating back about 15 years. “If I can keep 10 horses forever, I can help 10 horses,” says ASPCA Vice President of Equine Welfare Dr. Emily Weiss. “If I can take in 10 horses and get them re-homed, I can help a lot more horses.”

Akkadia. Adoption Organization: Love This Horse Equine Rescue - Mojave, CA.

“The world is a different place for equines now,” Dr. Weiss says when comparing the COVID-19 impact to that of the recession that started in 2008. “Back then, we heard a lot about places where horses could find a safe refuge, but much less in the way of re-homing. Today there is much more sophisticated support and much more coordination of industry support.”.  

To help individuals more easily connect with horses in need of temporary foster homes, the ASPCA is updating its online adoption platform,, to spotlight horses available for fostering. The site, previously focused solely on encouraging adoption, now includes a re-branded homepage, opportunities to inquire about specific horses and resources about fostering.

Those unable to foster or adopt are encouraged to get involved by sharing an available horse from on their social media channels to help spread the word and find a home.

Darkwood. Adoption Organization: Hope for Horses – Galt, CA.

Lost In Transition

The language surrounding horses in need has helped prompt a positive sea change. While the term “unwanted” still lingers, it’s been emphatically replaced with “in transition” wherever possible. A major example is the multi-organizational effort, spearheaded by the American Horse Council, and originally called The Unwanted Horse Coalition. Last year, its name was changed to The United Horse Coalition.

Gio. Adoption Organization:: Love This Horse Equine Rescue - Mojave, CA.

Again, small animal welfare trends led the way. “We found with cats and dogs, about 15 years ago, that shelters were not the place to go for an adoptable animal,” Dr. Weiss explains. “Somehow those animals were considered ‘broken.’ With horses, we found that people thought of horses in shelters as somehow different from the horse in their backyard. The vast majority of them are not any different. Instead, we think of them as ‘lost in transition’ because they are transitioning between careers or homes.”

“There are horses that need to be ‘rescued,’” she clarifies. “They have medical issues, have been the victims of cruelty or are at the end of their lives.” These horses need to live out their lives in the specialized care of a suitable rescue or shelter. The majority of horses in need, however, are well suited to being transitioned to new homes and jobs. “Most horses coming through shelters are ready for their next adventure,” Dr. Weiss says.

The Thoroughbred Incentive Program, Retired Racehorse Project and the BLM and Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Mustang Makeovers are among the industry and breed-specific programs leading the way in popularizing and proving the merits of transitioning horses into new lives. “Efforts like these have provided the runway for what we are doing,” Dr. Weiss reports. “These are organizations committed to supporting their horses beyond their sport. It’s an exciting time for these horses in transition and those who could be at risk.”

Ivey. Adoption Organization: Hope for Horses – Galt, CA.

Organizations’ willingness to set aside philosophical differences and come together for equine welfare has also played a big part, she continues. The United Horse Coalition and the The Right Horse program both reflect groups “setting aside our differences” to work together. Laws regarding horse slaughter and the Horse Racing Integrity Act are among the “big emotional” topics on which participating members may passionately disagree, yet progress for horses in transition is possible by focusing on points of agreement. Even as the wider political culture seems more divided than ever, horse welfare advocates are finding and positively exploiting their common ground.

Mouse. Adoption Organization: Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc. - Sylmar, CA.

Right Horse Partners

The ASPCA program works with horse helping organizations in two phases, the first of which is the “Warm Up Ring.” In this phase, facilities must meet 13 vetting criteria, then are visited by a Right Horse rep for a site visit before onboarding as a partner program.
Right Horse Partners in California include:
•    Love This Horse Equine Rescue in Acton:
•    Hope For Horses in Galt:
•    The Monty Roberts Institute in Solvang:

Prospective Partners in the Warm-Up Ring include:
•    Win Home Place in Canyon Country:
•    Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc. in Sylmar:

COVID-19 Updates and Assistance from EquiJet
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 14 April 2020 18:57

Califon, N.J. - Apr. 14, 2020 - As COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to affect the equestrian industry across the world, EquiJet is keeping a close eye on things for its customers. Although some restrictions have been put in place and proper logistics planning is more important than ever, equine air travel, both within the United States and internationally, is still taking place.

EquiJet is happy to report good news for horse owners that need to ship equine passengers through Newburgh, N.Y. or Miami, Fla. Previously under temporary closures, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Import Centers in both New York and Miami are now reopened. Throughout the United States, normal commercial equine traffic is operating normally.

Unfortunately, there are currently no flights to Canada for horses and locations in the Middle East are harder to reach than normal.

If you haven't already, read through "Equine Air Transportation During COVID-19: What You Need To Know," featuring EquiJet's own Molly Smith as she answers some of the equestrian industry's most frequently asked questions about equine air travel and the spread of COVID-19.

As part of the CARES Act passed Mar. 27, 2020, many equestrian businesses qualify for government stimulus funds or a small business loan. If you need help navigating this process, please contact EquiJet as their team can connect you with the proper personnel and channels. They have already done the research for you. During this trying time, EquiJet is committed to helping the broader equestrian community, even through unconventional measures.

Taking care of every detail, EquiJet specializes in the transportation of horses both domestic and internationally. The team at EquiJet offers an all-encompassing service, including the flight itself, quarantine logistics and necessary paperwork, allowing owners and trainers to send their horses with peace of mind. With over two decades of experience in international shipping and an extensive network of transportation partners, EquiJet prides itself on making each horse's travel - whether to a local show or across the world - as stress-free and comfortable as possible. EquiJet offers unparalleled customer service by horse people for horse people.

To learn more or request a quote, please visit

Pony Club Offers Education Through Lunch ’N Learn Online Series
Written by CRM
Thursday, 09 April 2020 17:06
April 9, 2020 (Lexington, KY) – The United States Pony Clubs, Inc., is pleased to offer online education through a special Lunch ’N Learn series launched in late March. Activities and content currently publish every weekday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Eastern time on the USPC Facebook page. All are welcome to participate at

“Learning with Pony Club is one thing that can keep us connected during this time when we are apart,” said Connie Jehlik, USPC Instruction Services Director. “Our program has so many educational resources, and we wanted to make those easily available. We created the Lunch ’N Learn series to keep our members engaged through fun, interactive education and activities.”

Online content created for the Lunch ’N Learn series includes videos, live Q&A sessions with experts, quizzes, scavenger hunts and more, plus tips, tools and resources for equestrians of all levels.

“While the global pandemic we are experiencing continues to affect all of our daily lives, Pony Club remains committed to delivering education to our members and the entire equine community,” said USPC Executive Director Teresa Woods. “Especially when social distancing may prevent some equestrians from riding or seeing their horses, these virtual horsemanship lessons are a way that we can help.”

About Pony Club – The United States Pony Clubs, Inc. (Pony Club) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1954. Pony Club is the largest equine education organization in the world, with more than 10,000 members in the US, and over 500 clubs and riding centers nationwide. USPC is proud to provide education to youth and equestrians of all ages, with instruction and competitive opportunities in more than nine English and Western riding disciplines. Pony Club’s educational standards continue to be instrumental in curriculum development for schools, universities, equestrian professionals and organizations across the United States. Many of the nation’s top equestrians, including Olympic team members, as well as successful business professionals and government leaders, have roots in Pony Club.
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