The Horse Circus: 12.27.13

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at The London International Horse Show, Olympia © Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro at The London International Horse Show, Olympia © Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Record Breaking Rides Of 2013

The 2013 horse show year is going out with a bang!  At Olympia, dressage fans witnessed Charlotte Dujadin and Valegro shatter the freestyle world record with an amazing score of 93.975%.  As if that wasn’t enough, with this record, Dujadin and Valegro hit the trifecta.  They already held the records for the Grand Prix (85.94% at the European Championships in Herning, Denmark 2013) and the Grand Prix Special (88.022% at Hagen in Germany, April 2012).

Dujadin has promised that her partnership with Valegro will continue in 2014, so expect many more outstanding rides from this team.  What will be changing is their freestyle music.  We at Counter-Canter Culture can’t wait to see what they will come up with next!  In the meantime, catch the highlights of the record breaking final ride and an interview with Dujadin in this video from FEITV.

Valegro’s victory had us wondering what other horses and riders had record-breaking years.  It turns out more than one record fell in 2013.

twilight-eclipse-credit-courtney-heeney2-650x432March saw a new horse racing world record of 2:22.63 in the 1 ½ mile on turf at the $150,000 Pan American at Gulfstream Park.  In fact, four-year-old throughbred Twilight Eclipse (yes, like the book), piloted by Jockey Javier Castellano and trained by Tom Albertrani, broke the world record for 1 ½ miles on any surface – turf, dirt or synthetic.  It makes you wonder if this extraordinarily spry gelding isn’t at least part vampire!

 

 

Photo from Pennsylvania Equestrian

Photo from Pennsylvania Equestrian

In August, Cooler Schooner, owned and bred by Jules and the late Arlene Siegel’s Fashion Farms in New Hope, PA, became the swiftest 2-year-old trotter of all time, completing the mile in an astounding 1:51.3 at Pocono Downs.  The previous mark of 1:53.2, established by Manofmanymissions in 2010 and equaled by Check Me Out in 2011, was completed obliterated by this filly’s lighting-fast performance.  In fact, the time of the mile makes Cooler Schooner the fastest two-year-old trotter regardless of sex or track size, as well as the fastest female on a five-eighths mile track, regardless of age.  You go girl!

 

Courtesy of The Bolton News

Courtesy of The Bolton News

And now for a race of a different color.  In September, Aintree Racecourse, home to the world-famous Grand National steeplechase, hosted a record breaking 42 pantomime animals, including horses and zebras, as well as bulls, camels and reindeer, in a very special race to raise money for the participants’ favorite charities.  A Guinness World Record representative was at the race to confirm it smashed the previous record of 37 “runners.”

 

 

The spectacle at Aintree Racecourse was tough to top this year, but the double world record year for horses and riders in Mongolia certainly succeeded.  In an effort to raise the profile of Mongolian horses, members of The Federation of Mongolian Horse Racing Sport and Trainers decided to surpass the current world record for the largest parade of horses, which stood at 7,895.  Riders from age 2 to 90 turned out to take part in the massive parade, and, when all accounted for, the previous record was obliterated by the 11,125 horses and riders on hand for this one-of-a-kind equestrian event.

Photo from Guinness Book of World Records

Photo from Guinness Book of World Records

But the record breaking didn’t stop there!  The federation also wanted to see Mongolia recognized for its traditional horse races, so they set their sights on another world record – this time for the most runners in a horse race. The current record stood at 228 runners, but it easily fell to the 4,249 participants, aged 7 to 79, that raced over the plains the day after the massive horse parade.

 

 

There is a traditional saying in Mongolia: “A Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”  These Mongolians and their mounts certainly soured to new heights this year!  You can get a glimpse of their amazing feats for 2013 in this video clip.

Here’s hoping for another record breaking year at

The Horse Circus in 2014!

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