Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!
Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US
and International Horse Shows currently under way.
There are a few weeks each year when the horse show world seems a bit lacking in five start events. This is NOT one of those weekends. In fact, I couldn’t even decide which event to share with Counter-Canter Culture readers today. Finally, I simply made the decision not to decide. Instead, I’m going to give you a snap shot of three shows and their biggest day of competition this weekend.
Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show 2014
We begin today, Friday, August 8, at the Dublin Horse Show. This day three of five at the 141st edition of the historic show plays host to a Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping competition for the famous Aga Khan Trophy and €200,000. In addition, Dublin is the final stop for Division 1 nations to acquire enough points to become one of the eighteen teams in the Nations Cup final to be held in Barcelona next month. You can bet on high drama this evening, and you can watch it all unfold on FEI TV.
Of course Nations Cup Show Jumping is not the only star of the Dublin Horse Show this year. The program includes fourteen international show jumping events in total, with almost €1 million in prize money to be won. And legendary ‘horse whisperer’ Buck Brannaman is in town, demonstrating his horsemanship skills. Get to know the Dublin Horse Show better by checking out their official website and Facebook page this weekend.
From the island of Ireland, we head to the dusty trial from Lake Tahoe to Auburn on Saturday for the Tevis Cup. This grueling 100-miles in one day trail ride tests the fitness and stamina of even the best horse and rider teams as they traverses rocky peaks and great expanses of wilderness. On average only about 50% of the pairs complete the course in the 24-hour time limit, but those that do with a mount judged “fit to continue” will receive a silver completion award buckle for their troubles.
As you might expect, Arabians are almost always the right horse for this job, and regularly come in with winning rounds ten hours or more under the time limit. But, you may be more surprised to learn that the person with the most number of completion buckles is a woman. In 2012 Barbara White earned her 32nd Tevis buckle, and she remains the all-time leader for successful completions of the 100-mile ride.
The ride kicks off from Robie Park at 5:15am on Saturday, August 9, and you can follow along with the action on the Tevis Cup Facebook page and Twitter. Also head over to their official website for all the history on this amazing event!
US Pony Finals
Last but certainly not least, we close out this weekend with the Pony Medal Finals on August 10th at the Kentucky Horse Park. This hotly contested prized for pairs composed of riders under the age of eighteen and equines 14.2 hands and under, pits nearly 200 of the United States’ best young talent against one another. Last year it took Olivia Woodson of Wellington, Florida, two flawless jumping rounds and flat work with a perfect turn on the haunches to take top honors.
This year the US Pony Finals promise even more impressive performances from around 600 of these pint-size competitors. Don’t miss out on any of the fun! News, photographs, and highlight videos from the US Pony Finals are available right now on demand on the USEF Network.