Dressage might be on the verge of officially becoming a blood sport as the deadline approaches for the FEI Dressage Committee (DC) to decide on which blood rule they are going to present at the 2011 FEI General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro. Will the DC propose the IDTC inspired blood rule which allows blood to taint our sport, or will sense for the welfare of the horse return to dressage?
No actor has left such a great impression on me in my childhood years as Patrick Swayze. Yes, he was the heartthrob of every single girl my age in his role as Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing, but I "fell in love" with Swayze before that. The tv-series "North and South" stamped me tremendously as a great educational lesson in the American Civil War as well as being the best and most beautiful love story ever on television. I was crushed by the handsome Swayze as "Orry Main," almost constantly in the saddle of a horse either as a soldier or as planter's son. He was my first childhood crush.
Is the Kur to Music concept in a crisis or not? After the show weekend of July 24-26, which featured the World Dressage Masters Finals in Hickstead and North American Junior and Young Riders Championships in Lexington, KY, one would say "no".
I have often wondered why the U.S.A. is lagging behind in covering horse shows online? Live scores, live streaming of horse shows seems non-existent across the Atlantic. In Europe you have instant score services with results popping online even before the rider has left the arena.
The judging system in the dressage world is in a crisis. How can a horse that shows obvious and multiple resistance at the Olympics in Hong Kong win the individual silver medal? How can an Olympic champion who rides a freestyle to the wrong music score up to 83% on an artistic level. How come this rider receive over 80% from all five judges, while she executed not a single movement to the right music? How can dressage be developed internationally if the FEI Dressage Committee consists of four judges out of six members in total?
Judging is not the only big issue in dressage but it is probably the most controversial. Our top judges are well trained, very knowledgeable, extremely experienced and totally competent. Yet, so often, even they get it very wrong.