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April 2021 - Starr Vaughn Equestrian: Home to a Galaxy of Stars
Written by by Nan Meek
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:12
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by Nan Meek

Starr Vaughn Equestrian in Elk Grove, California, is home to horse and human stars alike.

There’s the spectacular breeding stallion Donarweiss GGF, formerly Genay Vaughn’s dressage star during her Young Rider and Grand Prix years with him, and all the babies that carry his genes into the future.

Gold, silver, and bronze United States Dressage Federation medalists Michele and Genay Vaughn apply the best mother/daughter mind meld to training their own horses and teaching clients and their horses.

Starring in shows this season are Fürstin P, Fleur Noir, and Gino 642 with Genay in the saddle.

Starr Vaughn Equestrian hosts six CDS/USDF/USEF dressage shows annually, including the LEGIS League special awards program, and the 2021 CDS Regional Adult Amateur Competition for Northern California – plus numerous breed inspections and keurings.

For more information, please visit and follow Starr Vaughn Equestrian on Instagram @svequestrian and on Facebook @starrvaughnequestrian.



April 2021 - Angie Taylor
Written by by Cheryl Erpelding
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:05
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Saddle Fitter for Trilogy Performance Saddlery

by Cheryl Erpelding

Angie Taylor has been riding dressage for over 30 years and has ridden in almost everyone of the leading brands of dressage saddles. The first time she sat in a Trilogy saddle 10 years ago, she bought it right then and sold her saddle the next day. She was so impressed with the quality of the saddle and the company, that two years ago she completed the extensive 5-day training program owner Debbie Witty requires of her fitters. Debbie follows up with “On-the-Job Training,” coaching the saddle fitters every step of the way. She also has annual training which is required to be a fitter for Trilogy.

With her knowledge of dressage riding and training, the step into saddle fitting made perfect sense for Angie. She got into saddle fitting, because she was having a hard time finding a good fitter and getting help in a reasonable amount of time. A good saddle fit is one of the most important keys to helping horses move better and help riders to sit better. The training includes learning how to use the saddle fitting tools, what kind of wool to use, how the saddle panels affect the horse’s back and how the shape of the horse’s back impact’s the saddle fitting, and more. Angie is excited to be a part of the fitting team, as Debbie is always there to consult with the fitters via FaceTime and give every customer the customized fitting they need to help their horse’s perform at their best.

One of the most important concepts Angie wants to get across is that many people don’t realize that they should check their saddle fit every 6-8 months. Dressage horses, as they move up the levels, change the shape of their backs. Also when a horse gains or loses weight the saddle fit changes. Saddles need to be reflocked and make sure the transitions of the saddle panels are smooth and have even contact. There is more to saddle fit than just checking to see if the saddle clears the withers. Every saddle is different and every horse is different. Angie highly encourages all riders to read Debbie Witty’s “Seven Saddle-Fit Points that Every Rider Should Know” article which is on her website

Trilogy also offers saddle repair and Angie can ship the saddle to be repaired by Josh who is an expert on the Trilogy team. Angie does saddle fitting for all brands of wool flockable saddles, and not just the Trilogy line. If a saddle is new and under warranty, those normally can not be reflocked by a fitter.

Angie also has demo saddles for riders wanting to try one of the Trilogy lines of saddles which in addition to their Classic and Monoflap dressage lines, they are offering a jumping saddle. Customizing the saddles is part of the services offered by Trilogy including block sizes, length of flaps, colors, textures and more.

Angie is on a nationwide team of 12 fitters. She covers the southern part of California from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Angie began riding as a teenager and trained with some of the industries top trainers. She began her training program 24 years ago and now has a small clientele that she combines with her saddle fitting business. To reach Angie, call or text 858-335-8832.


April 2021 - Horse Insurance 101
Written by courtesy of SmartPak
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:01
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courtesy of SmartPak

Let’s face it, insurance falls way to the bottom of the list of topics any horse owner wants to talk about. Discussing worst-case scenarios doesn’t exactly make for enjoyable barn aisle or ringside small talk.

Unfortunately, as in many areas of life, what you don’t know can hurt you. In the interest of helping you protect your investments—especially in these still tough economic times—here is some information that might help you consider putting “Get Horse Insurance” on your to-do list.

The Basics

The basic idea behind insurance is that you are paying a fee to an insurance company in order to transfer your risk of an eventual loss to them, and the fee you are paying is significantly less than the amount the company has agreed to pay you in the event such a loss happens.

So, if you cannot afford to replace your horse in the event of a loss, or even more important for many of us, if you cannot afford the costs of veterinary care in the event your horse suffers a serious illness or injury, insurance can be a cost-effective way to mitigate your risk. For many of us, our horses are best friends and family, and we absolutely do not want to be in a situation where financial considerations dictate the quality of care that we’re able to provide.

Or, even if you have the funds on hand to absorb these losses, you may still choose to invest a much smaller amount each year on insurance premiums so that you are not forced to tap into your savings if the unexpected happens.

The Experts

Deciding what coverage to purchase is quite important. While the basics are similar, the actual coverages vary depending on which insurance company provides it. The number of insurance companies in the U.S. that offer horse insurance policies doesn’t even reach into the double digits, though the number of agencies (the organizations that you will usually work with to see about getting coverage) is possibly into the triple digits. Therefore the insurance agency you work with is very important. It can be helpful if they have access to more than one company’s programs so they have options to find a policy that fits you best, from both a cost and coverage standpoint. Look for someone who is willing to answer your questions promptly and clearly, responds to emails and voicemails in a timely manner, and will provide you with a binder as proof of coverage until the actual insurance policy is mailed to you.

And most importantly, find an agent who is also an experienced horse person—someone who knows combined driving from combined training as well as a hock from a hole in the ground. You want someone who understands your passion.

Full Mortality Insurance

When it comes to horse insurance, there are several options. For the purposes of this article, I will concentrate on the two most common: Full Mortality and Major Medical/Surgical.

The equine Full Mortality policy is the equivalent of life insurance for your horse. It provides coverage in the event the insured horse dies or is humanely destroyed due to a covered accident, injury, illness, or disease, and usually has limited coverage for theft.

Depending on the insurance company, Full Mortality coverage is available for horses ranging in age from 24 hours up to 20 years old. Premiums are based on the horse’s age, breed, use, level, and insured value.

The rates for Full Mortality coverage for the average pleasure or competition horse—uses that would include English/Western Show, Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Cutting, Reining, Roping, Barrels—ages 1–15 years, generally range from 2.9–3.6% of the horse’s insured value. So the Mortality premium for a horse insured at a value of $10,000 would average between $290 – $360 a year. Rates for some uses, such as eventing, fox hunting, and endurance, are usually slightly higher, but still reasonable.

Typically the Mortality policy includes a free Emergency Colic Surgery endorsement (for horses without a colic history) of up to $2,500-$5,000, depending on the horse’s insured value and the insurance company.

Full Mortality coverage is very comprehensive, but exact coverage terms vary by company. Common exclusions (reasons that could cause a claim to be denied) include: pre-existing conditions, purposely harming the horse, not utilizing the services of a licensed veterinarian, late reporting of a loss, failure to meet the company’s requirements after the loss, and some pretty farfetched possibilities such as war, destruction of the horse due to government order, and nuclear radiation.

Major Medical/Surgical

This is the most popular coverage that horseowners add by endorsement to their Mortality policy, and is not available on a standalone basis. It helps reimburse for covered veterinary expenses (medical and/or surgical) in the event the horse suffers a covered accident, injury, illness, or disease during the policy period.

For as little as an additional $200 annual premium (depending on the insurance company), the endorsement can provide for an aggregate limit of $5,000 for the policy period, with deductibles as low as $300 per claim. Higher annual limits of $7,500, $10,000, $12,500 and $15,000 are also available with many companies, with varying deductibles, and annual premiums ranging from $300 to $675 or higher.

Major Medical/Surgical does not provide for routine health maintenance or preventative care such vaccinations, deworming, dental or farrier care. Other common exclusions (though this is not an exhaustive list) include: pre-existing conditions, elective or cosmetic surgery, performance enhancing treatments, joint injections, integrative therapies (such as chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture), the veterinarian’s call charge, or transportation costs.

So if your horse colics, founders, runs through a fence, gets kicked, develops a lameness, or suffers any of the other countless injuries or illnesses that can keep you up at night, Major Medical/Surgical should help reimburse for covered expenses after the deductible is met. The actual coverage details vary depending on the insurance company, so ask your agent about exclusions, co-pays (especially for diagnostic tests and treatments such as shock wave and regenerative therapies), treatment time limits, and extension periods.

Think your horse wouldn’t be a candidate for Major Medical/Surgical because he is used for just pleasure and/or you only paid a couple hundred or thousand dollars for him? While some companies will not offer the coverage on lower valued horses, there are a few that do not have restrictions on the amount of Major Medical/Surgical coverage they will offer, regardless of the horse’s insured value on the Mortality policy.

Caveat Emptor

A few “let the buyer beware” items for consideration. Horse insurance is very different from human health insurance. For example, pre-existing conditions are not covered, even if the horse was insured when it first contracted the disease or condition. So, if for example your horse develops a lameness or requires colic surgery while he’s insured, expect to see an exclusion for that health issue on the next year’s policy when you renew. This is because the policies are reviewed and underwritten each year, therefore the condition would be considered pre-existing and therefore excluded on the new policy. That being said, there are typically extension periods built into the policy for issues that continue beyond the original policy’s expiration.

Also, as mentioned earlier, it is very important that you contact the insurance company as soon as a health issue presents itself. The policy requires it, and you could jeopardize your coverage if you fail to promptly report the issue. It is also in your best interest to do so because the claims adjuster can explain your coverage in detail so you can work with your vet and make a plan with that information in mind.

Something to Think About

There is no doubt that pondering all the worst-case scenarios of horse ownership is uncomfortable at best, which is another reason to consider insurance. Knowing that you’re covered in case of the unthinkable buys you more than financial security—it also gives your peace of mind.

Amy J. Daum is a partner at Broadstone Equine Insurance Agency, which for more than a decade has specialized in equestrian coverages nationwide.


April 2021 - Equestrian Facilities Require the Proper Type of Insurance – Are you Covered?
Written by by Jimmie Schramm
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:55
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by Jimmie Schramm

Purchasing your first horse farm is a very daunting experience. When you are a young, horse crazed kid, having your very own horse farm sounds like the perfect dream. “All I want is to wake up in the morning and be on a farm with my horses and ride all day long.” Then you grow up and that dream starts to become more tangible and you realize a lot more goes into owning a farm then you first thought. Most would think for a professional horse rider and trainer that it would be a no brainer to own your own farm, but when you are living it, making it happen is not always that easy. So, when the stars do begin to align and the possibility of making that childhood dream a reality, you jump on it!

Jimmie and Dominic Schramm realize their equestrian facility dream with the help of Parker Insurance.

Like any real estate purchase, buying a farm can be stressful, especially if you have never owned a big piece of land with multiple buildings. Once you go through the process of finding the farm you love, have all the financing ready to go and the inspections are complete, you would think, “Okay, great, we are done!” As you get closer to the closing date, where you are going to go and swap keys, deeds, and sign your life away to your dream, little things will continue to pop up along the way. This is where Parker Equine Insurance, and Donna Parker in particular, got me out of a dream killing sized pickle.

Our (myself and my husband) situation was somewhat unique in that we were not using a realtor. We knew the owners of the property well and had come up with an arrangement that was going to work for the sale without having to go through a realtor, which was going to save us both some money. When you purchase a property without a realtor, you soon realize how much they are responsible for doing, because you have to do it yourself! We thought that we had crossed all our t’s and dotted our i’s and couldn’t believe we had gotten all the way to the finish without a hiccup. Then, 36 hours before the closing at this point, my current home insurance company called. “I am so sorry we didn’t notice this before, but because your dwelling and business are on the same property and it is technically agriculture, we are not going to be able to insure you.” All I could feel was panic. We had 36 hours to figure out how to get someone to insure our farm and bind the coverage!

Fortunately, I knew that in addition to insuring horses, Parker Equine Insurance also did Farm Coverage amongst other things. I gave Donna a call and left her a voicemail alerting her of the giant mess we were in. She called me back in less than 5 minutes, asked me a few questions and then said, “Pretty sure I can make this happen, let me see what I can do.” I was still a little panicked at this point but was praying that Donna could help me find a solution. Sure enough, she came through. Donna was able to find a company that could bind my coverage to help me get the sale done and assured me we could then go back and figure out the particulars of the coverage.

I really leaned on Donna to help me with exactly what I needed. In the end, I learned a lot about Farm and Home Insurance policies. There are a lot of things that you need to have covered when purchasing a farm that you wouldn’t think about. I am so thankful to Donna and Parker Equine Insurance for helping me out when I was in a bind and acting so quickly to help. Now, we are able to live out our childhood dream with no stress because we know we are covered!


April 2021 - Prize Money of Nearly $200,000 to be Awarded at Great American/USDF Regional Dressage Championships
Written by CRM
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:46
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The United States Dressage Federation™ (USDF) and Great American Insurance Group are pleased to announce that prize money totaling nearly $200,000 will be awarded at the 2021 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Championships. This prize money will be divided evenly among the nine regions and 35 divisions that are offered, allowing each region to present competitors with over $22,000 in prize money and awards. Prize money will be awarded to champions and reserve champions in each region and division. Champions will also receive an embroidered vest provided by SmartPak, official supplement feeding system of USDF, and an embroidered blanket storage bag provided by USDF. In addition to prize money, reserve champions will receive a saddle pad provided by the Great American Insurance Group, title sponsor of the championships.

“It is with great pleasure that we continue to provide recognition to these outstanding competitors through our sponsorship of the regional championship program,” stated Kathy Sedlak, Great American Insurance Group Vice President of the Equine Division.

“We’re so pleased that through the generous sponsorship support of Great American Insurance Group, SmartPak, and Platinum Performance, that we are able to see this program continue to grow and be so well received by USDF members,” adds Stephan Hienzsch, USDF Executive Director.

The Great American/USDF Regional Championships are presented by SmartPak and supported by Platinum Performance.  For more information about the Great American Insurance Group/USDF Regional Dressage Championships, please visit the USDF website at, or contact the USDF office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
April 2021 - Top Tips for Feeding Your Horse This Spring
Written by courtesy of The Feed Room by Nutrena
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:37
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courtesy of The Feed Room by Nutrena

Feeding your horse during the longer days and warmer temperatures of the spring season can often be different than your chosen winter-feeding program.

Keep the following diet and feeding considerations in mind to help your horse smoothly transition from winter to spring:


Tip 1: Monitor Your Horse’s Body Condition. We all know every horse is different. This means that some horses will have gained winter weight from working less, while other horses will have shed a few pounds keeping warm in the cold. Before even thinking of altering your horse’s spring-feeding regimen, first evaluate his body condition. With the help of your veterinarian or a knowledgeable equine professional, determine if your horse is too skinny, too fat or carrying just the right amount of weight.

To monitor your horse’s weight without using a scale, you can utilize the body condition scoring method. This system will help you estimate the fat present on your horse’s body. Once you have estimated the level of fat cover, you will be able to more accurately determine whether you should increase or decrease your horse’s caloric intake.
It is important to note that each horse will require a different body condition level that is dependent on a number of factors, including: age, level of work, breed, current or past injuries, etc.

Tip 2: Don’t Forget About Concentrates (Grain). Many horses are fed grain on a daily basis. Throughout winter some horses need extra grain to maintain their ideal body weight, while other horses have their grain reduced, due to inactivity. Adjusting the type and amount of concentrate or grain your horse consumes should be done slowly and carefully. A horse’s internal digestive system is built for slow changes.

With this in mind, monitor his level of work and body condition. If your horse’s work level is increased, he might need to receive more grain. Conversely, if his work level remains the same, and he is able to safely consume spring grasses, then your horse might need to receive fewer concentrates.

Whatever adjustments are made, make sure your horse is still receiving the appropriate level of essential nutrients, such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Achieving this may require a change in the feed product being used. Horses requiring additional calories could be bumped up to a higher-calorie performance horse feed, while those needing fewer calories could go down to a ration balancer product.

Tip 3: Horses Tend to Eat A lot of Forage. It is no secret that horses eat a lot of forage. However, what most people don’t know is that a horse’s forage is only as good as the fiber that it contains. Pastures often lay dormant during winter, which can reduce a horse’s natural intake of grass forage. As a result, many equestrians will feed their horses extra forage via hay or beet pulp. This feeding tactic can be great for the cold months, but it should be re-evaluated in spring.

When spring arrives, most pasture paddocks will be filled with new grasses rich in sugar. Monitor your horse’s body condition score as it begins to consume the rich green grasses. Horses that gorge themselves on spring grasses may encounter some serious health issues. For example, overweight horses or those with Cushing’s disease, insulin resistance or laminitis will need to be carefully monitored. High sugar and starch levels of spring grass can aggravate the latter conditions. In these instances, reduced turnout time or a grazing muzzle can help limit pasture intake for certain at-risk horses.

Tip 4: Lots of Fresh Water. This last suggestion holds true in any season: Horses need to have access to plenty of fresh water 24 hours a day. Warmer temperatures and an increase in body sweat can result in dehydration. Make sure that your horse has water access post workout. Some equestrians also add electrolyte supplements to their horse’s feed. These supplements can help replenish essential nutrients during particularly warm or hot weather. Of course, consult your veterinarian if you have further questions.

Spring is a fantastic time of year for horses and equestrians. It is a chance to shed bulky winter clothing and spend time riding to your heart’s content. However, spring is also a time that a horse’s body condition should be properly monitored. If you need to make any changes to your horse’s spring feeding regime, be sure to make the changes slowly and consult a nutritionist or your veterinarian for advice or guidance.


April 2021 - Is Your Horse Protected Against These Disease Risks?
Written by courtesy of Valley Vet Supply • photo: Said Safri /
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:11
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courtesy of Valley Vet Supply • photo: Said Safri /

Are you aware of the core and risk-based equine diseases that could be threatening your horse’s health?

Learn About Core Equine Diseases

Every horse deserves protection against the five core equine diseases, which include: Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) and western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), Rabies, Tetanus and West Nile Virus.

Why do experts recommend horses be vaccinated against these five diseases? All horses can be exposed to wildlife and mosquitoes that transmit core equine diseases. Core vaccinations are recommended for all horses because the diseases are prevalent; highly infectious; have the potential to cause serious disease or death; pose a threat to human health, or are required by law. The core vaccination guidelines were created by the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the leading group of equine veterinarians.

Eastern and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis. Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) and western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE) are viral diseases that attack your horse’s nervous system. The risk of exposure to the virus varies from year to year with changes in the distribution of mosquitoes as well as birds and rodents that serve as virus reservoirs, but all horses are potentially at risk.

West Nile. West Nile virus causes inflammation of the central nervous system. Transmitted by mosquitoes, which feed on infected birds, horses are at the highest risk for contracting West Nile virus during peak mosquito season occurring July through October in the United States. Because the virus has been identified in the entire continental United States, as well as Mexico and Canada, all horses are considered at risk.

Rabies. This equine neurologic disease is caused by a virus in the saliva of infected animals, usually transmitted through a bite. Once inside the horse, the rabies virus travels up the nerves to the brain, where the disease progresses rapidly and is always fatal. As a zoonotic disease, rabies presents a risk of disease transmission to humans. Annual vaccination is critical to help protect horses and those who care for them.

Tetanus. All horses are at risk for developing tetanus, a potentially fatal bacterial disease caused by Clostridium tetani. Present in the intestinal tract and feces of horses, other animals and humans, the bacteria can be abundant in the soil. Bacterial spores can survive in the environment for years, creating a constant risk for horses and people.

Learn About Common Risk-Based Equine Diseases


If your horse falls into any of the categories outlined below, he may benefit from vaccinations against risk-based diseases, such as equine influenza, equine herpesvirus (rhinopneumonitis), leptospirosis, strangles and Potomac horse fever.  

•    Younger than 6 years old
•    Older than 15 years old
•    Stabled in a boarding barn
•    Travels off-property
•    Stabled with horses that travel off-property

Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis (VEE). Like core equine diseases EEE and WEE, VEE is also transmitted by mosquitoes (and sometimes other blood-sucking insects) to horses from wild birds or rodents. VEE mortality rates can reach up to 80%. The disease occurs in South and Central America, and although VEE has not been diagnosed in the United States for more than 40 years, disease risks remain, especially for competition horses.

Equine influenza. Equine influenza is one of the most common respiratory diseases in horses, spreading by aerosol transmission (coughing or sneezing) from horse to horse in distances as far as 50 yards. Like humans with a cold, horses may experience dry cough, nasal discharge, fever, depression and loss of appetite.

Equine herpesvirus. Equine herpesvirus is most commonly seen in weanlings, yearlings and young horses entering training or those exposed to other horses through boarding or transport. Equine herpesvirus poses severe risks, including respiratory infection as well as abortion, birth of weak, nonviable foals, and can lead to sporadic neurologic disease.

Leptospirosis. Horses can become infected with leptospirosis when exposed to Leptospira bacteria in urine from contaminated soil, bedding, feed and water. The bacteria penetrate the mucous membranes of the eyes or mouth or enter through skin abrasions. Once in the bloodstream, leptospires can concentrate in the kidneys, be shed in the urine and cause serious medical problems. Additionally, Leptospirosis outbreaks may be related to rainfall. Heavy rainfall can increase the risk of leptospiral abortions in pregnant mares by as much as 3.7 times, with losses as high as $4.2 million for the Thoroughbred breed alone.

Strangles. Strangles in horses is caused by the bacteria Streptococcus equi (S. equi). It is a highly contagious upper respiratory disease most common in young horses. It also has several potentially fatal complications and the capability to cause persistent infections in populations of asymptomatic carrier horses. Strangles can spread quickly and easily through a barn or herd because of its ability to be transmitted through direct animal-to-animal contact or by objects such as bridles, buckets or human hands.

Potomac Horse Fever. Potomac horse fever can impact horses of all ages, resulting in mild colic, fever and severe diarrhea. The disease also can cause abortion in pregnant mares. The disease is seasonal, occurring between late spring and early fall in temperate areas, with most cases in July, August and September with the onset of hot weather.

Help protect your horse through vaccination against core and risk-based diseases. Speak with your veterinarian to learn more.

Find trusted vaccines available with quick shipping and careful handling from

April 2021 - Mark your Calendars for Riders Cup
Written by by Brooke Goddard: photos: Julia B. Photography
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:05
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Innovative Riders Cup Brings European Style Competition to Los Angeles

by Brooke Goddard: photos: Julia B. Photography

Top level show jumping is returning to Los Angeles with West Palms Events’ Riders Cup (May 6-9, 2021) at LA Equestrian Center. The show will feature $265,000 in prize money, an all-inclusive entry system, and courses built by Olympic Course Designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.

Riders Cup was jointly designed by West Palms Events and Neil Jones Equestrian, modeled after European show jumping events. “We were very happy with the inaugural event in Del Mar last November and we really think the format works, it’s good for the future of the sport in California and exciting for the competitors,” commented Neil Jones. “I’m pleased Dale Harvey and his team secured the LA Equestrian Center and excited to be a part of Riders Cup at a new venue.”

West Palms Events is working closely with LEG Shows & Events and Los Angeles Equestrian Center to prepare for Riders Cup followed by a full calendar of competitions. “We are partnering with GGT Footing and continuing to enhance the entire facility,” explained Dale Harvey, CEO of West Palms Events. “We appreciate the continued support of GGT over the years and look forward to collaborating with them on a spectacular 2021 season.”

Riders Cup Highlights

•    $265,000 in Prize Money
•    All-Inclusive Entry System
•    Prize money paid at the competition

•    EQ International Real Estate Riders Lounge
•    Grooms Lounge
•    Leading Rider
•    Leading Lady Rider
•    $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
•    $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
•    Courses Designed by Guilherme Jorge

The prize list and entry forms are on Entries can be submitted through or emailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Stalls are limited and expected to sell out. Entries for Riders Cup are due by April 12.

Riders Cup kicks off a full schedule of hunter/jumper competitions in Los Angeles for the 2021 season, with events at both LA Equestrian Center and Hansen Dam Horse Park.

Make sure to follow Riders Cup on Instagram and Facebook @riderscup.westpalms to keep up with the latest Riders Cup related news. Visit to view the entire 2021 West Palms Events Competition Schedule.


April 2021 - Colic: Minimizing Its Incidence And Impact In Your Horse
Written by courtesy of AAEP
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:01
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courtesy of AAEP

Colic is the number-one killer of horses. The good news is that most cases of colic are mild and resolve with simple medical treatment, and sometimes with no specific treatment at all. Less than 10 percent of all colic cases are severe enough to require surgery or cause the death of the horse. Nevertheless, every case of colic should be taken seriouslybecause it can be difficult to tell the mild ones from the potentially serious ones in the early stages.

Colic is not a disease; it is merely a symptom of disease. Specifically, colic indicates a painful problem in the horse’s abdomen (belly). There are dozens of different conditions that can cause a horse to show signs of abdominal pain. Most (but not all) involve the digestive system, most often the stomach or intestines.

Recognizing Colic

Horses show signs of abdominal pain in a wide variety of ways. Some signs, such as curling the upper lip are subtle and easily overlooked, whereas other signs, such as repeated rolling or violent thrashing, are hard to mistake. Among the more common signs of colic are these:

•    Turning the head toward the flank
•    Pawing
•    Kicking or biting at the belly
•    Stretching out as if to urinate, without doing so
•    Repeatedly lying down and getting up, or attempting to do so
•    Repeated rolling, often with grunting sounds
•    Sitting in a dog-like position, or lying on the back
•    Holding the head in an unusual position, e.g. with the neck stretched out and the head rotated to one side
•    Leaving food or being completely disinterested in food
•    Putting the head down to water without drinking
•    Lack of bowel movements or fewer bowel movements than normal
•    Reduced or absent digestive sounds
•    Inappropriate sweating (e.g. unrelated to hot weather or exercise)
•    Rapid breathing and/or flared nostrils
•    Elevated pulse rate (greater than 50 beats per minute)
•    Depression
•    Lip curling unrelated to sexual interest

Usually, a horse shows only a few of these signs during an episode of colic. Seeing any of these signs should prompt you to take a closer look and keep a watchful eye on the horse.

In general, the more obvious the signs of pain, the more serious the problem. Also, in horses with serious conditions, the signs of pain usually persist and may even worsen with time, whereas in horses with mild colic, the signs of pain may be intermittent or may disappear after a short time.

Take Immediate Action

While some cases of colic resolve without medical care, a significant percentage of horses with colic require medical treatment. Time is perhaps the most critical factor if colic is to be successfully treated, particularly if the horse has a condition that requires emergency surgery.

If you suspect your horse is suffering from colic, the following action plan is suggested:

•    Call your veterinarian immediately.*
•    Remove all hay and grain from the horse’s surroundings, but leave the horse some water.
•    If necessary, move the horse to a small enclosure (e.g. a stall or yard) so you can watch it more closely.
•    If it is already dark or approaching nightfall, arrange for some lighting so that you (and, if necessary, your veterinarian) can examine the horse properly.
•    Allow the horse to rest if it simply wants to stand or lie quietly; walk the horse around if it is continually rolling or in danger of hurting itself— but do not tire the horse with relentless walking.
•    Keep the horse under close observation until the signs of colic resolve or the veterinarian arrives.

*Alert your veterinarian from the outset that your horse is suffering from colic. The veterinarian may not need to come out and examine the horse immediately if the colic signs are mild, but leave that decision to the veterinarian. When you call, be prepared to provide as much of the following information as possible:

•    Specific signs of colic, and their severity
•    Pulse or heart rate (beats per minute), measured over the heart (just behind or above the left elbow) or over an artery (e.g. at the sides of the fetlock or on the underside of the lower jaw)
•    Respiratory rate (breaths per minute), measured by watching the rise and fall of the flank with each breath
•    Rectal temperature
•    Color of the gums (white, pale pink, dark pink, red or bluish-purple)
•    Moistness of the gums (moist, tacky, or dry)
•    Refill time for gum color (the time it takes for the color to return to the horse’s gum after you briefly press on the gum with your thumb; normal is one to two seconds)
•    Digestive sounds (if any)
•    Bowel movements, including color, consistency, and frequency
•    Any recent changes in management, feeding or exercise
•    Medical history, including deworming and any past episodes of colic
•    Breeding history and pregnancy status if the patient is a mare, and recent breeding history if the patient is a stallion
•    Insurance status of the horse

After evaluating this information, your veterinarian will advise you on the appropriate course of action. Follow your veterinarian’s advice exactly. Do not administer any drugs to the horse unless specifically directed to do so by your veterinarian. Sedative or pain-relieving drugs can camouflage serious problems and interfere with accurate diagnosis.

Things To Avoid

Unless you have the necessary training, equipment and experience, do not attempt to do any of the following:

Pass any kind of tube into the horse’s stomach. It is very easy to damage the horse’s nasal passages, throat or esophagus with improper equipment or technique. Also, the tube passes more readily into the trachea (windpipe) than into the esophagus, potentially damaging the trachea. Any liquid poured down the tube will be delivered directly into the horse’s lungs, which can easily result in the death of the horse by suffocation.

Give the horse any substance by mouth, particularly liquids. Most horses resist swallowing liquids given by mouth and some of the liquid may be inhaled into the horse’s lungs. Mineral oil is particularly harmful when inhaled. Horses can easily choke when liquids are forced into the mouth due to their particular anatomy. If the animal does not want to drink, it may be due to a full stomach caused by massive obstruction in which case adding more content can make the stomach rupture, resulting in the horse’s death.

Insert anything (your hand, a hose or any other kind of tube or device) into the horse’s rectum. The rectum is easily damaged, and rectal tears can be fatal.
Also, intestinal blockages generally cannot be relieved simply by removing manure from the horse’s rectum or giving the horse an enema. Rectal exams are necessary for the veterinarian to identify abnormalities in the horse’s abdomen by indirect palpation of the organs, and it is not a therapy to remove impactions. It takes a very well-trained veterinarian to properly identify those problems without hurting the animal, and a properly restrained, quiet horse.

Give any intravenous injections. Even with practice, every intravenous injection carries some risk. If medication is inadvertently administered into the external cartoid artery instead of the external jugular vein, it can be fatal to the horse.

Note: Home remedies such as castor oil, kerosene and turpentine are useless for colic and are dangerous; they should never be given orally to horses. Over-the-counter remedies that contain bella donna extract (e.g. Dr. Bell’s) should also be avoided. They may relieve mild, spasmodic (crampy) colic, but overuse or use in horses with more serious types of colic can be disastrous.

Evaluating The Problem

Your veterinarian may use a variety of procedures to determine the type and severity of the colic and devise an appropriate treatment plan. Procedures include the following:

•    Accurate history (including feeding and deworming programs, medical problems, vaccination schedule, etc.)
•    Review of your observations and evaluation of the horse’s behavior
•    Complete physical examination (including vital signs and presence and quality of intestinal sounds)
•    Rectal palpation, looking for evidence of intestinal blockage, distention, displacement or other abnormalities*
•    Passage of a nasogastric (stomach) tube to identify the presence of excess gas or fluid in the stomach (and to relieve the pressure if the stomach is distended)*
•    Collection of fluid from the abdominal cavity (peritoneal or “belly” tap) and analysis for abnormalities which might indicate compromise of the bowel wall or infection*
•    Blood tests, looking for evidence of dehydration, electrolyte or metabolic abnormalities or infection* Evaluation of the response to treatment * These techniques may not be performed in every case. For example, the veterinarian may decide that they are unnecessary in a case of mild colic, or that they are unsafe in a particular situation.

Classifying Colic

Determining the type of colic is important in deciding how best to treat the horse. Even though there are myriad causes of colic, most cases fall into one of three groups:

Intestinal Dysfunction. This is the most common category and simply means that the horse’s bowels are not working properly. It includes such things as spasms (disordered motility), gas distention, impaction and decreased motility (ileus). These types of problems usually respond well to medical treatment.

Intestinal Displacements. These occur less frequently and include displacements, twists (torsion, volvulus) and entrapment of a section of intestine in a tight space. Some horses seem anatomically predisposed to such problems. Intestinal displacements will potentially require surgical correction if medical treatment is unsuccessful.

Inflammation or Ulceration. These problems are named according to the bowel segment involved; e.g. gastritis (stomach), enteritis (small intestine) and colitis (large intestine). They can be caused by numerous factors, including stress, medications, infection and parasites. Medical treatment is generally required.


Treatment of colic depends on its severity and on the likely cause. Treatment options include the following:

•    Pain-relievers (analgesics) or sedatives to relieve pain while intestinal function returns to normal or further treatment is instituted
•    Fluid therapy, either by nasogastric tube or intravenous infusion, to correct dehydration and soften dry, firm intestinal contents
•    Laxatives, such as mineral oil, to help reestablish normal intestinal function
•    Enema for young foals with a blockage (impaction) caused by retained meconium (the first manure produced by a newborn foal)
•    Surgery (usually with the horse under general anesthesia)

When your horse has colic, it can be reassuring to remember that most cases of colic resolve with simple medical treatment (analgesics and either fluids or laxatives).

Note: If your horse is insured, contact the insurance company immediately if surgery seems likely or if euthanasia is a possibility.

Preventing Colic

Colic is a problem with many potential causes and contributing factors, some of which are beyond our control. However, management plays a key role in most cases of colic, so colic prevention centers on management. Although not every case of colic is avoidable, the following guidelines can maximize your horse’s health and reduce the risk of colic:

•    Establish a set daily routine—including feeding, exercise and turnout schedules—and stick to it (even on weekends).
•    Feed a high-quality diet comprised primarily of high-quality roughage (pasture, hay, hay cubes, haylage). Except for young foals, all horses should be fed at least one percent of their body weight (or one pound per 100 pound body weight) of good quality roughage per day. It is important to feed good quality hay and avoid abrupt changes to new varieties or batches of hay. This can be accomplished by slowly incorporating new varieties or batches of hay when required. Avoid moldy or poor quality hay.
•    Limit the amount of grain-based feeds (grain in any form, sweet feed, pellets in which the main ingredients are grains). Feed these only as a supplement, and not more than 50 percent of the diet.
•    Divide the daily concentrate ration into two or more smaller feedings, rather than one large one, to avoid overloading the horse’s digestive tract. Hay is best fed free-choice.
•    Set up a regular parasite control program with the help of your veterinarian. Use fecal examination to determine its effectiveness.
•    Provide exercise and/or turnout every day.
•    Make any changes to diet, housing and activity level gradually.
•    Provide fresh, clean water at all times.
•    Avoid giving your horse medications unless they are prescribed by your veterinarian.
•    Check hay, bedding, pasture and environment for potentially toxic substances, such as blister beetles, noxious weeds and other ingestible foreign matter.
•    Avoid putting feed on the ground, especially in sandy soils.
•    Reduce stress; horses experiencing changes in environment or workloads are at high risk for intestinal dysfunction.
•    Pay special attention to animals when transporting them or changing their surroundings, such as at shows.
•    Observe foaling mares pre- and post-foaling for any signs of colic.
•    Pay particular attention to horses that have had previous bouts of colic, as they may be at greater risk for repeated episodes.
•    Maintain accurate records of management, feeding practices and health.


The key to minimizing the incidence of colic is good management. The key to minimizing the impact of colic (i.e. increasing the chances of a good outcome) is to identify the problem early and call your veterinarian immediately. Treat every incident of colic as potentially serious and involve your veterinarian from the outset; try never to jeopardize your horse’s health for the sake of a few dollars.


April 2021 - Jennifer Williams to Represent Team USA in The Dutta Corp. FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ CDIO3*
Written by courtesy of Entrigue Consulting, LLC • photo: Annan Hepner / Phelps Media Group
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:07
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courtesy of Entrigue Consulting, LLC • photo: Annan Hepner / Phelps Media Group

The United States Equestrian Federation has announced that Jennifer Williams of Roy, WA has been chosen to represent Team USA on the FEI Dressage Nations Cup Team. Jennifer will be riding her Grand Prix mount, Millione, an imported 18-year-old Danish Warmblood by Milan, bred by Jurgen Olson of Denmark and owned by Millione Partners, LLC. Jennifer and Millione are currently on the Pre-Elite list for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.

Jennifer won the Grand Prix Championship at Lamplight in 2020 on Millione, and is now in Wellington, FL for the Global Dressage Festival season with 7 horses. So far this season, she and Millione, affectionately known as “Mickey”, have had personal best scores in the CDI 3* Grand Prix (71%) and Grand Prix Special (72%).

“I’m so grateful to be selected for the Nations Cup team here in Wellington. I feel very honored to be able to participate with my incredible partner Millione, and I’m very thankful for his owners and our very supportive team! Millione has been having a great season so far, we’re all thrilled, and I can’t wait to compete and ride with my teammates!”


April 2021 - Attractive Nuisances
Written by Courtesy of America’s Horse Daily
Thursday, 01 April 2021 22:02
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Learn the laws and liabilities for horseback-riding enthusiasts dealing with trespassing children.

courtesy of America’s Horse Daily

Gary Johnson lived in the middle of nowhere, his 15-acre horse farm nestled between hundreds of acres of corn and soybean fields in Kansas City, Missouri. He and his family enjoyed the peace and quiet without a neighbor in sight. Then suburbia hit – fast and hard. A few years ago, rows of corn were replaced by rows of houses, just feet from his horse pasture. Along with the houses came swarms of curious children, eager to meet their new four-legged neighbors just beyond the wire fence.

Gary was content to adjust to his new neighbors – until a group of small children gave him a big scare.

“One day, as I was walking out to the back pasture, I saw four little children: the oldest around 10 and the youngest around 2,” Gary recalls. “They had climbed through the fence to play with the horses. As I first looked, they were surrounded by my four horses. The kids were pulling out grass and hand-feeding it to the horses.

“I had to stop in my tracks because my horses always come running when they see me – they usually assume it’s time to head toward the barn for grain,” he continues. “I knew that if the horses wheeled around to head toward me, they might accidentally trample one of the children. So I dropped to my knees and waited.”

Fortunately, the horses never saw Gary, and the children eventually turned to crawl back through the fence for their homes.

“I ran to catch up with them to have a visit,” Gary says. “They were scared at first, thinking they were in big trouble. But I had a gentle conversation with them, warning them of the dangers they could have been in. I suggested that if they wanted to pet or feed the horses, they could have their parents contact me to arrange a supervised meeting with the horses.”

But those were just four children in a neighborhood full of youngsters, and Gary knows children regularly trespass on his pasture. The neighborhood parents don’t seem to mind – one parent even mowed a path to the fence line so his children could easily walk from their backyard to Gary’s horse pasture. Gary constantly worries that, one of these days, a child will accidentally get hurt in his pasture.

“I’m convinced that in most cases, kids and their parents simply don’t realize the basic dangers involved with horses,” Gary says.

What if a Child Gets Hurt?

Gary’s dilemma is common to horse owners across the country who face encroaching suburbia. No matter how gentle and calm our horses may be, any horse is capable of getting spooked or scared and forgetting to watch out for the youngster beside him. So there is a real, potential danger to children trespassing on Gary’s pasture.

As unfair as it might seem and regardless of his defenses, Gary might be held liable if one of his horses injures a trespassing child. But, he argues, “The parents should be supervising their activities or discouraging their children from trespassing. I have ‘No Trespassing’ signs posted. Plus, I was here first. They moved here knowing their children could be tempted to pet my horses.”

As attorney Julie Fershtman, of Farmington Hills, Michigan, explains, “Trespassing children are any horse facility’s nightmare. Children cannot – or simply do not – read warning signs,” she says. “They are capable of climbing over or crawling under fences.”

Of course, trespassing adults aren’t afforded many rights if injured while trespassing. But in the eyes of the law, trespassing children are a different, more complicated ballgame.

Why Could Gary Be Liable?

Gary’s pasture full of horses might be considered an attractive nuisance, which is a type of negligence. In many states, the attractive nuisance doctrine makes the landowner liable for harm caused to trespassing children. By definition, attractive nuisances are potentially harmful objects and conditions on the land or of the land that, by their features, have the ability to attract children. Examples include swimming pools, sewer drains, tractors, farm equipment and, in some cases, animals such as horses.

Courts consider many factors in evaluating whether landowners are liable under the legal theory of attractive nuisances. According to Julie, they look at:
•    whether the landowner knew or had reason to know that children could trespass near the hazard;
•    whether the hazard poses an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to children;
•    whether children, due to their age, could recognize the danger involved;
•    whether the landowner maintained the hazardous condition;
•    whether the hazardous condition is relatively easy to correct;
•    whether the landowner exercised reasonable care to eliminate the hazard or protect the children.

Consult a knowledgeable attorney for the attractive nuisance and trespassing child laws in your state. Courts in some states may not consider horses in a field an attractive nuisance, most likely because of the horse industry’s prominence and importance to the state’s economy. Your state might fall at any end of the spectrum. As one court in Louisiana put it in 1999, “We will not impose a duty on all owners or lessees of historical pastureland to ‘child proof’ their land.”

What Can Gary Do?

“I’ve talked to several lawyer friends about my situation, and most agree that a ‘No Trespassing’ sign would not hold up in court in the event a young child got hurt in my pasture,” Gary says. “The child’s lawyer would argue that the child could not read or understand the sign. Because there is no such thing as a childproof fence, the best advice I’ve gotten is to visit with the neighbors and nicely ask them to prohibit their children from entering my pasture. I’ve done this as much as possible and have gotten a positive response, but we all know that parents cannot keep their eyes on their children all the time.”

Julie suggests continuing the friendly conversations with the parents, but taking an added step for protection.

“Talking to the neighbors is good, but the only problem I have, as a lawyer, is that conversations get forgotten,” she says. “Friendly, neighborly conversations are certainly very important. However, for the best protection, it can help to have a letter confirming the discussion you had, so you have that as support if the worst should happen. Sending the letter is a good extra precaution.”

She recommends sending the friendly letter to the child’s parents soon after the child has made the uninvited visit. Consider sending it certified mail with a return receipt requested (from the U.S. Postal Service), and keep accurate records and copies of documents. Here is a sample letter:

Dear neighbor,

Thank you for talking with me yesterday about your son entering my property without permission. Please allow this letter to confirm our agreement and that you will keep him off of my property and away from my horses. But if you wish to bring him over some time for a special visit, you may call me to set up a workable day and time in which I can personally escort the two of you to see my horses. Thank you very much for your understanding.

Best wishes,
Gary Johnson

“In my opinion, a friendly letter to parents shows that you know the children have been trespassing and you don’t approve of it.” Julie says. “You’re reaffirming that the children are trespassers, and the parents are being set up for arguably negligent supervision of their children. You’re also trying to be neighborly and trying to accommodate the neighbors in a nice way.

“These efforts, in themselves, may not eliminate your liability, but they will help evidence the many precautions you are taking to protect others,” she adds. “It’s a friendlier method than a harsh letter that says, ‘Keep them out of there.’ Instead, you’re saying, ‘You can come back, by appointment only, when I’m available to escort you and your children.’ ”

Again, she suggests keeping good records. “If Gary agrees with the letter strategy, he would be wise to keep a record of who he sent the letter to, a copy of the letter and the return receipts if he sends them by certified mail.

Liability Insurance

As another important preventative measure, Julie suggests that Gary purchase liability insurance. Regardless of the nature of Gary’s horse facility (he currently does not board outside horses or provide riding/training lessons), he can greatly benefit from investing in one of the many policies available.

Liability insurance policies protect against claims that seek to hold you liable for an injury or damage to another’s property. “If you ever find yourself in the worst-case scenario of being sued, a proper insurance policy is there to provide a legal defense for you, pay any judgment that may be issued against you or settle the matter,” Julie says.

Liability insurance policies include home owners’, farm owners’, commercial, professional and personal horse owners’. Discuss your liability insurance options with a knowledgeable insurance agent. AQHA corporate partner Markel has a range of insurance options and offers a 10 percent credit to AQHA members who purchase certain types of coverage.

Peace of Mind

By following Julie’s suggestions, and by contacting his attorney for more suggestions based on Missouri laws, Gary will not only prevent potential injuries to the neighborhood children, but he’ll also protect himself against liability and ultimately rest a little easier at night.

“If you should get sued, you know that you have protection,” Julie says. “Even with the most extensive precautions, we live in a society where litigation is rampant. If you are sued, these precautions could help in your defense.”

About Julie Fershtman: A shareholder with the firm Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC, Julie Fershtman’s law practice crosses all equine breeds and disciplines and serves stables, professionals, associations, businesses and trainers across the country. She is one of fewer than 20 lawyers nationwide to be named a Fellow of the American College of Equine Attorneys and has successfully tried equine-related cases before juries in four states. She is the author of two books, “Equine Law & Horse Sense” and “More Equine Law & Horse Sense,” and writer of She has spoken on equine law in 28 states. For more information, visit, or


April 2021 - Kellerhouse, Turner and Billys Lead Galway Downs International
Written by by Kim F Miller
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:58
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by Kim F Miller

Mid-50s temperatures, wind, a little rain and new arenas for dressage gave an early season opportunity to test equine energy management and focus during Galway Downs International dressage and show jumping today.

At the CCI4*-S, Erin Kellerhouse and Woodford Reserve had just the right balance of rarin’-to-go and relaxation. A quarter-point show jumping time penalty during the day’s ending light rain put them on a 30.1 to lead the field of 12 pairs.

“That was one of the best tests we’ve had,” said Erin. “He is definitely getting stronger and happy with the work, and I am learning the little things I need to do to keep him that way. He wants to try so hard, sometimes he gets away from me. And there’s still a lot to improve on, which is exciting.”

The weather and new dressage court didn’t faze “Woody.” One of many things Erin has learned in her six years with the 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse is that “too much dressage is too much confinement on show day.” Instead, she gave him an early morning gallop in her jumping saddle. “I let him be free.” The knowledge is a luxury of their longtime partnership. Erin has always brought young horses along to the lower FEI levels, but Woody is the first horse she’s had a chance to get to know and learn with through to their first CCI4*-L, accomplished very successfully here last fall.

Erin Kellerhouse & Woodford Reserve. Photo:

Marc Donovan’s show jumping track offered another opportunity to advance their learning curve. With time faults often an issue, Erin “made myself take every inside turn.” Though they had a niggling .4 fault, Woody’s habitually clean jumping habits got even better. “I think it kept him on his toes. He was jumping out of his skin!”

It’s hard to imagine tomorrow’s cross-country -- though challenging -- will throw them anything they can’t handle, but Erin isn’t taking anything about Clayton Fredericks’ design for granted.

Helen Alliston and Ebay are close behind. The elegant pair earned a 30.7 from dressage judges Peter Gray and Helen Brettel to stand second. They held that position after going fault free in the Grand Prix arena except for .8 time faults for a 31.5. In retrospect, Helen said she wished she’d taken some inside options, but the plan of going fast on the outside lanes still led to a clear jumping effort. “He felt great,” she said of her 12-year-old Oldenburg. “I’m excited for tomorrow.”

Emilee Libby was thrilled with the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood Jakobi’s day. Show jumping in a snaffle bit was especially exciting, and with the sense that “I could ride him more forward and still trust that he would come back.” Their 33.7 dressage performance stayed as is thanks to double clear show jumping, moving them from 4th to 3rd going into cross-country.

Erin and Helen gave their thumbs-up to the new dressage courts, outfitted with all-weather footing and located where a grass jumping ring and grazing area was in the recent past. “It’s less buzzy,” noted Erin of the atmosphere compared to the Grand Prix Arena where international dressage had been held previously. Set amid trees and a short walk from the jumping rings, the arena setting was appreciated by both riders for its calming vibe and especially so on an otherwise animated morning, weather-wise.

Exhibitors on breaks loved the Grand Prix Arena, which has a literally brand new permanent VIP pavilion with a lovely seating and viewing area.

Young Riders Rule 3* Roost

Between a horse injury and a human injury, 18-year-old Haley Turner and her 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Shadow Inspector, had half their first four years together stymied. COVID waylaid show results for much of their third, but a strong second half to 2020 is rolling into a stellar 2021. Double clear jumping kept them ahead of the 13-pair pack on a 27.1 dressage score for this pleasing-to-watch pair.  

Downtime for the East Bay Area team was well spent. They are students of Bea and Derek DiGrazia’s Stillwater Farm, and work additionally with dressage coach Volker Brommann and jumping coach Alexis Hellfrich. “It’s all a big help and keeps us in consistent work even when we can’t get over to Bea and Derek in Carmel,” Haley explained.

The normally laid-back “Chief” showed extra energy this morning in dressage, perhaps due to the frisky weather. More likely, “I think he knows when he’s doing well!” The extra amperage continued in the Grand Prix ring and Haley harnessed it for a double clear effort to maintain their lead. Haley is 18 and in the midst of a gap year after graduating high school early.

Fellow young rider Alina Patterson moved into second after a flawless stadium round held her 29.3 dressage test in front of Peter Gray and Michelle Henry.

Professional Sabrina Glaser is thrilled with the effort so far of Cooley Mr. Murphy, who’s new at the level.  They had one rail and no time issues to stand on a 33.2.

Can Be Sweet in the 2*

Lauren Billys and her 9-year-old German Sporthorse Can Be Sweet got their groove back today. Their 25.8 dressage test in front of Helen Bretell and Carolyn Lindhom ranks high in their history. “It was one of his best,” said Lauren, who also has her 2016 and 2021 Olympic partner Castle Larchfield Purdy in the 4* division. “He (Can Be Sweet) was very uphill and showed what his movements can be. It felt like a very harmonious test.”

Time-faults-only show jumping was a reassuring round after a disappointing outing in the 2*-L last fall. “I was a little nervous to come in and rewrite history, but he is back on his form.” She expects cross-country to be challenging with an appropriate mix of galloping stretches and spots where a carefully measured approach will be critical.

Miranda Olagaray and the 8-year-old Trakehner Tangueray’s double clear jumping bounced them from the #7 spot to #2, on their 34.7 dressage score. They are followed by fellow clear jumpers Madison Temkin and MVP Madbum.

Schedule & Sponsors

The international divisions conclude Friday, March 26. The CCI4*-S begins at 1 p.m.; the 3* at 2:10 pm, Open Intermediate at 3:10, then 2* at 4:10 pm, all Pacific Standard Time. All will be live-streamed on Competition through Beginner Novice starts Friday and continues through Sunday.

Exhibitors from throughout the Western United States and generous sponsors make the Galway Downs International Horse Trials the perfect international season opener.

Thank you to these supporters:
•    Presenting Sponsors: Equine Insurance, CWD & Devoucoux  
•    Silver Sponsors: UVEX, Kerrits, Temecula Creek Inn
    Bronze: EquiFit, Shires, Home2 Suites, Mary’s Tack & Feed, Tina Fitch Photography, American Horse Trials Foundation, Auburn Laboratories, Inc., California Riding Magazine, California Horsetrader, Ride On Video, Stotz Equipment and Symons Ambulance
Visit for more information.


April 2021 - Understanding Your Horse Insurance Responsibilities
Written by courtesy of AAEP
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:53
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courtesy of AAEP

Whether a horse is purchased for personal or business reasons, ownership represents a significant investment of time, money and resources. While no one likes to think about the potential for tragedy, horses seem to be prone to illness, accidents and injury. Should some peril befall your horse, nothing may ease the emotional burden, but wise planning can help reduce the economic impact.

Many reputable insurance companies offer policies to help protect owners from financial loss should a horse become ill, incapacitated or die. Because individual policies vary widely from company to company and circumstance to circumstance. Each policy has its own terms, conditions and requirements, which may necessitate action from you, your veterinarian and your insurance company.

Insurance policies are legal contracts between the underwriter (the company) and the insured (horse owner). While individual policies vary so much from company to company and circumstance to circumstance, it is important to note that each policy has its own terms, conditions and requirements, which may necessitate action from you, your veterinarian and your insurance company. To better safeguard yourself and your horse, follow these guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP):

•    Read the contract thoroughly before you apply for coverage.
•    Ask the insurance representative to explain any words, phrases or provisions you do not understand completely.
•    Know your responsibilities. What is required should your horse fall ill, become injured or die?
•    Understand any specific guidelines for emergency situations. A crisis is not the time to be trying to interpret your policy’s fine print or to look for contact phone numbers.
•    If euthanasia is recommended, know what steps must be taken for a claim to be valid.
•    Make a list of questions to ask your insurance agent or company.
•    Define your needs.
•    Comparison shop. Besides cost, buyers should look at the longevity and reputation of both the agency and the insurance carrier.

Common types of coverage available for horses include but are not limited to:

•    Mortality: Paid if the horse dies.
•    Loss of Use: Paid on a percentage basis if horse is permanently incapacitated for its intended use or purpose.
•    Major Medical: Like health insurance, offsets costs of veterinary care for catastrophic conditions.
•    Surgical: Policies that cover only specific procedures such as colic surgery.
•    Breeding Infertility: Covers stallions or mares for reproductive failure.
•    Specified Perils: Includes any number of things such as lightning, fire or transportation.

Veterinary Examination

Equine insurers may require an insurance examination certificate signed by a veterinarian before a policy will be issued for a horse. Remember, this is a legal document, and  your equine practitioner has an obligation to verify claims made about the horse  through a thorough physical examination. A veterinarian cannot simply complete the requested information based on prior knowledge of the horse.  This certificate requires that determination of the animal’s health be made on the day of the examination. Cost of the exam and any associated tests are generally your responsibility as a part of requesting the insurance but the exact requirements of the exam may depend upon the type of coverage being applied for; for example, breeding infertility policy would require a different type of exam than a simple mortality policy, for example.

Determining Roles

A veterinarian cannot attest to the insurability of a horse. Your veterinarian can only respond to questions of which he or she has direct knowledge, reporting the medical facts to the best of his or her ability. He or she will be asked to positively identify the horse for which the application is being made. However, your equine practitioner has no role in determining the insurable value of a horse. That is a matter for the insurance underwriter and the owner to establish.

Regardless of the circumstances, never ask or expect your veterinarian to report a claim to theinsurance company. This is your responsibility as the owner. The veterinarian may be asked to supply necessary medical documentation.

Do not expect your equine veterinarian to be an expert with regards to your insurance policy. If you have questions regarding your policy, ask your insurance agent or the company rather than your veterinarian.

If there is something that your insurance company requires, make sure your veterinarian receives the request in writing.

If a question or dispute should arise regarding a claim, it is a matter for you and yourinsurance company to resolve, as the insurance policy is a contract between you and yourinsurance company.  Your veterinarian has no legal responsibility in the dispute.


Euthanasia refers to the humane practice of ending a life to relieve pain and suffering.  For an insurance claim to be valid, many companies require advance notification and prior permission except under the most extreme conditions. In some cases, the insurance company may wish to seek a second opinion before a horse is euthanized. The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has established guidelines that state the justification for euthanasia should be based solely on medical, not economic considerations, regardless of the age, sex or potential value of a horse. The following criteria should be considered in evaluating the immediate necessity for intentional euthanasia of the horse to avoid and terminate incurable and excessive suffering:

•    A horse should not have to endure continuous or unmanageable pain from a condition that is chronic and incurable.
•    A horse should not have to endure a medical or surgical condition that has a hopeless chance of survival.
•    A horse should not have to remain alive if it has an unmanageable medical condition that renders it a hazard to itself or its handlers.
•    A horse should not have to receive continuous analgesic medication for the relief of pain for the rest of its life.
•    A horse should not have to endure a lifetime of continuous individual box stall confinement for prevention or relief of unmanageable pain or suffering.

Other Considerations

•    Know the time period for reporting any health problems to your insurance carrier.
•    Determine if you must have prior approval for any elective surgery or medical procedures.
•    Find out what documentation is required of you and your veterinarian in making an application or filing a claim.
•    Understand situations that may preclude coverage of your horse, (e.g. is your horse covered when traveling out of state or out of the country?)
•    Define for your veterinarian the purpose for which a horse is being insured, for example, as a performance horse or as a breeding animal. Additional comments or remarks on both health certificate and application are encouraged.
•    Understand your financial obligations regarding veterinarian examinations, laboratory or diagnostic tests, necropsies or other procedures, which may be required by the insurer.
•    Know the exact value of your policy and how it will be paid. For instance, a “loss of use” settlement might be different from a mortality payment if a horse is considered to have “salvage value.”

Industry Integrity

You, your veterinarian and your insurance company each have a role in maintaining the integrity of the horse industry.

Regardless of insurance coverage, the horse’s welfare must always be at the forefront of any decisions being considered on its behalf. For more information, contact your veterinarian.


April 2021 - Why is it important to have Equine Personal Liability?
Written by by Marnye Langer, MBA, AFIS, CIC | Managing Director of • photo: Kristin Lee Photography
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:38
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When do you need Commercial Equine Liability even if you’re not a trainer?

by Marnye Langer, MBA, AFIS, CIC | Managing Director of • photo: Kristin Lee Photography

You found the perfect horse. You have the tack and equipment you need. You have invested in top-of-the-line safety equipment, and your show clothes are perfect. Your trainer is committed to helping you achieve your goals. Your show schedule is recorded on your calendar. Your vet and farrier are among the best. You have covered all your bases . . . or have you?

What happens if your horse kicks out at a fly and happens to make contact with a nearby car? Now there is a serious dent in the car’s door.What happens if your horse gets loose while you are hand grazing at a show, and in scurrying to get out of the way someone’s grandmother falls and breaks her hip?

Don’t be too quick to say things like that never happen, or at least they don’t happen to you. Things like that, and more happen. They are called “accidents” and they can take all the joy out of horse ownership. In addition to causing stress, accidents generally have a monetary aspect, and when someone is seriously hurt that monetary aspect can quickly become six figures.

This is the point where many people proudly proclaim, “I have homeowner insurance.” And this is where I ask, “Where in your homeowner policy does it say that your horse activities are covered?” In fact, many homeowner policies list an exclusion for agriculture activities. Although your horse may be like a pet to you, when it comes to insurance horses are categorized as agricultural. If you want to be certain that your homeowner policy will protect you if your horse damages something, referred to as “property damage” in insurance-speak, or if your horse hurts someone, referred to as “bodily injury” in the insurance world, then ask your insurance agent to show you the place in your policy where your policy will provide coverage for your horse activities. If your agent can’t show you yet insists there is coverage, ask your agent to put in writing exactly what insurance coverage you have for your horse activities.

If you do not have adequate protection in your homeowner policy, there is an easy solution and it is cost effective. An Equine Personal Liability (EPL) policy gives horse owners insurance coverage if their owned (or leased) horse hurts someone or damages something. These policies can start as low as $250 per year and can provide up to one million dollars of insurance coverage. As an added benefit, some EPL policies allow you to add coverage for your personal tack and equipment.

You can obtain an EPL policy through insurance agencies that specialize in horse-related insurance.

However, there are some instances where an EPL, or personal horse owner policy will not meet your needs. If you make money from your horse, whether leasing it or allowing your trainer to use your horse for lessons, insurance carriers view that as commercial activity and an individual or personal horse owner policy will not provide coverage. At that point you will need a commercial or business policy. You do not have to be getting an actual check from the use or lease of your horse. If your trainer uses your horse for lessons and gives you a credit on your bill, that is still viewed as commercial activity.

If you don’t want the expense of a commercial insurance policy and want some protection for the use of your horse, there are some risk management steps you can take to reduce your exposure. You can require someone leasing your horse to carry an Equine Personal Liability Policy and name you as “additional insured.” You can also ask your trainer to do the same if your trainer uses your horse to give lessons on. Nothing is fool proof, yet these are prudent steps you can take to give yourself some protection.

Finally, be aware that more and more boarding stables are beginning to require that horse owners carry an individual liability policy. This helps reduce the boarding stable owner’s risk if a boarded horse causes damage.

Owning a horse can be very rewarding. Make sure you take all the steps to protect your horse, protect your investment, and protect yourself. Proper insurance is one of the tools to provide you with protection and allow you to enjoy your horse and riding that much more.

Our LEGIS Team combines their passion for horses and horse sports with unrivaled expertise in the insurance field. Everyday we live our motto of Horsemen Insuring Horsemen. To learn more, you can visit www.LEGISequine.comor contact the LEGIS Team at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


April 2021 - Professional Announcer Darren Moore To Work With Farnam As Brand Ambassador
Written by courtesy of Farnam
Thursday, 01 April 2021 21:35
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courtesy of Farnam

If you’ve spent any time in the national horse show world, you already know Darren Moore’s voice, but you’ll be seeing more of his face now that he’s an ambassador for the Farnam® brand.

“Farnam has been a big fan and follower of Darren Moore for years. We are super excited about our partnership and working with him in and out of the arena. His positive attitude and enthusiasm for our industry is infectious; he builds momentum to get the crowd engaged and excited. Having him as part of our team at events brings a whole new dimension of fun and creativity to the Farnam consumer experience,” says Martha Lefebvre, senior marketing manager for Farnam.

Moore has been the official voice of the Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association (CMSA) for nearly a decade. He’s the voice of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and regularly announces at American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) shows, National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) and National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) events. His job keeps him on the road 200-plus days a year, from Massachusetts to California--and internationally.

As the man behind the microphone, it’s his task to inform and entertain everyone on the listening end, and he does far more than just announce results.

“The best part of what I do is being able to entertain not only the audience, but also the exhibitors,” says Moore, whose own experience as a lifelong rider and a rodeo competitor is icing on the cake for a career he was born to do.

“I don’t know anything else that I would enjoy as much or be as passionate about as announcing,” he adds. “I love meeting new people and I have a passion for horses and entertainment.”

He may wear a cowboy hat and boots, but Darren is well-versed in both English and Western competition. “I am a fan of a good horse, regardless of the discipline or breeding,” he says.
In his new role with Farnam, Moore puts his energy and people skills to work in a variety of roles, from interviewing exhibitors, to making fun videos that Farnam fans worldwide can watch and enjoy, to chatting with visitors to the Farnam booth. Team Farnam has a full slate of special projects to tap into this big industry personality and to bring you more Darren Moore.

At the 2020 Farnam AQHA World Championship Show last November, he helped celebrate the giveaways of six oversized chrome-plated show boxes stocked with $1000 worth of Farnam® products, an exciting Farnam promotion that will also take place at future events. Watch for it!
“We’ve got some fun new things planned as we celebrate 75 years of Farnam together,” says Martha Lefebvre. “Look for Farnam and the man behind the microphone at national events, on our social spaces and in our free ‘Life with Horses’ eNewsletter.”

Expect Darren Moore, “Moore Than Just An Announcer,” to dial up the energy at coming events and through Farnam videos on social media. Meanwhile, follow him on Facebook and Instagram and learn more at

Stay informed about Farnam® products and get the latest horse health tips and information at

Founded in 1946, Farnam Companies, Inc., has grown to become one of the most widely recognized names in the animal health products industry, and has become one of the largest marketers of equine products in the country. No one knows horses better than Farnam. That’s why no one offers a more complete selection of horse care products. Farnam Horse Products serves both the pleasure horse and the performance horse markets with products for fly control, deworming, hoof and leg care, grooming, wound treatment and leather care, plus nutritional supplements. Farnam is a registered trademark of Farnam Companies, Inc.


April 2021 - LEGIS League Finals
Written by by Brooke Goddard & Augie Miller • photos: GrandPix
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:09
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LEGIS League Hosts its Hunter/Jumper Finals at Desert International Horse Park

by Brooke Goddard & Augie Miller • photos: GrandPix

LEGIS League riders traveled from all over the West Coast to compete in the LEGIS League Finals at the Coachella Valley Classic (Feb. 19-21, 2021), co-produced by LEG Shows & Events and Desert International Horse Park. LEGIS League Finals welcomed hunter, jumper, equitation, and medal riders.

The LEGIS League, proudly sponsored by, awards ribbons and special prizes such as embroidered saddle pads and riding vests to the champion, reserve champion, and top ten riders in each category. Medal final champions also earned special winner packages, featuring either a rafting trip or a Marriott vacation getaway.

Amateur rider Susan Kruse sealed the LEGIS League 1.00m Child/Adult Jumper Final Championship and was thrilled about her experience at the Finals. “It’s the highlight of my life,” she expressed.“It was so much fun getting to qualify to get here. Then we got here, and I had one of the best rounds of my life. The horse before me was so fast and clean and so I knew I had to go for it completely.”

LEGIS League prizes were also a highlight among the finalists. Anne Sherwood, an adult amateur who topped the LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Equitation Final, has competed in previous LEGIS League Finals and was very excited about the prizes. “I cannot say enough about the prizes,” she shared. “They’re really fun and creative.”

The LEGIS League is already gearing up for the 2021 LEGIS League Finals. Look for additional qualifying opportunities coming soon. Join online and start earning points to qualify for the Finals!

Congratulations to the LEGIS League Champions!

•    Victoria Baeza and her VF Pardon My Dust trained by Linda Cooper
    Champion: LEGIS League Mini and Cornerstone Medal Final Combined
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’ Stirrup Hunter Final

•    Francesca Barbano and her Basil trained by Julie Conner-Daniels
    Champion: LEGIS League Child/Adult Medal Final

•    Angeline Tronset and her South Pacific trained by Paige Wagter
    Champion: LEGIS League .70m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Mari Waltner and her Firehouse trained by Paige Wagter
    Champion: LEGIS League .80m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Bettina Vange and her Something Lovely trained by Susan Locke
    Champion: LEGIS League .90m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Susan Kruse and her Carat trained by Susan Locke
    Champion: LEGIS League 1.00m Child/Adult Jumper Final

•    Nancy Butano and Burlington (Greg Tomb, Owner) trained by Kyle King
    Champion: LEGIS League 1.10m Jumper Final

•    Isabel Davis and her #cute trained by Linda Cooper
    Champion: LEGIS League Walk-Trot Final

•    Natassha Ledon and her Conteros trained by Jennifer Vancheri-Porter
    Champion: LEGIS League Intro Cross Rail Final

•    Deborah Bray and her Poseidon trained by Laurie Cunningham
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’ Stirrup Equitation Final

•    Ava Park and her Lykke Li-Terma Z trained by Michelle Morris
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’3” Demi Hunter Final

•    Phoebe Levy and Ocean Power (Heatherly Davis, Owner) trained by Heatherly Davis
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’3” Demi Child/Adult Equitation Final
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’6” Equitation Final

•    Mila Slutzky and her After Hours trained by Robert Sean Leckie
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’6” Hunter Final

•    Madeline Luddy and Triple Crown (Copper Lane Farm, Owner)
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’9” Child/Adult Hunter Final

•    Jacob Kemppainen and Hendriks (Hope Glynn, Owner) trained by Elvenstar
    Champion: LEGIS League 2’9” Child/Adult Equitation Final

•    Meghann Murphy and Furstentusch N
    Champion: LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Hunter Final

•    Anne Sherwood and her Cassito trained by Michelle Morris
    Champion: LEGIS League 3’ Child/Adult Equitation Final


April 2021 - Appendix 3 Rule Change Proposal Tabled Until 2023 Competition Season
Written by CRM
Thursday, 01 April 2021 20:04
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On March 1, 2021 the USEA Board of Governors submitted a rule change proposal to US Equestrian (USEF) modifying Appendix 3 of the USEF Rules for Eventing. That proposal was outlined at the 2019 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, shared in May 2020 by the Chair of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee Jon Holling, later discussed in Eventing USA and through various other communication platforms including a live webinar hosted by the USEA. This was one of four different safety-related rule proposals submitted by the Board to the USEF and previously considered with the membership. The Board made it clear that they shared the position of the USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee that more needs to be done to ensure that riders and their horses obtain more than just a minimal amount of experience before advancing through the levels. Moreover, riders, horse owners, and coaches need to take more seriously the increased risk related to moving up through the levels without adequate and substantial preparation.

“The USEA Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee has done an amazing job to champion a major change in how horses and riders are allowed to move through the ranks of our sport,” said USEA Vice President of Competitions, Jonathan Elliott. “The consensus from the feedback I have received and observed is that there is a need for this change, but there are many factors to consider. In the end, this is a safety-driven rule change proposal, and we need to make sure we get it right, not perfect because that will never happen, but right.”

Following submission to the USEF, the Board opened a public comment portal for the membership to respond regarding their thoughts on the Appendix 3 rule change proposal. The Board has received over 1,200 responses since the original announcement. They recognize those surveys include valid concerns that the USEA had not fully addressed publicly. Among that input, it has become clear that without an in person USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in 2020 and related meetings, a large portion of the membership did not feel fully informed about the proposal as developed. Following several committee meetings within the USEA as well as at the USEF, the Board determined that more work needed to be done to both investigate the questions raised and communicate the reasoning behind the rule change proposal.

“I believe more time is needed to continue to develop a complete proposal with justification for the proposed changes,” Elliott continued. “Big strides have been accomplished over the last few years with other safety-related rule changes and the frangible technology fundraising and I am optimistic an updated Appendix 3 will join that evolution of our sport in 2023.”

The USEA Board of Governors unanimously voted on March 11, 2021 to table the Appendix 3 rule change proposal with the intention to further investigate and communicate the purpose behind the proposal. The Board has made it clear that they will submit an amended proposal again with the intent for implementation in 2023. To this end, the USEA will establish a task force to further review the proposal, make additional inquiries into related data, and analyze the input received. This task force will consist of representation by individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographically varied locations around the country. The goal is to have an updated rule in effect for the 2023 competition year.