Breeding Dressage Horses


The Breeders Trophy 2018 at the Swedish National Stud Flyinge AB was awarded with the best young horses of the Swedish Warmblood Association. The winner of the 4-year-old dressage horses was Springbank II VH, presented by Severo Jurado López, who made test rider Charlotte Dujardin enthusiastic!

I posting this here so that I can watch this one grow up and see what he becomes 10 years from now. If only we in Canada can aspire to breeding this kind of quality.

October 13, 2018 |

Niagara Polo Sept 8, 2018


On a site where polo was played over 100 years ago, more than 1000 people gathered on The Commons, in Niagara On The Lake on Sept 8, 2018 to watch a fundraising match between teams from Toronto Polo Club, representing Toronto and Niagara on the Lake.

The site, while a little smaller than a professional polo pitch, was a perfect location for the fundraising event that benefited the Niagara Historical Society and Museum.

Polo is played with two teams of three to four players. The game is broken down to four seven minute stop-time “chukkers.” After each chukker the player changes to a new horse for the next session. Through offensive and defensive plays each player using a mallet tries to advance the ball down the field and through a goal to score a point.

It was the second time that Amy Klassen and museum curator Sarah Kaufman organized and ran the event. The first event was held in 2016 and raised more than $20,000. Klassan and Kaufman doubled their fundraising goal for this years event hoping to raise $40,000 or more.

Spectators were treated to two full games with the traditional “stomping of the divots” between the two games along with complimentary sparkling wine on the pitch. They were also treated to music by the Niagara Police Pipe and Drum band, a parade of vintage British sports cars and the popular “best hat” contest.

Monies raised will go to help in maintaining the museums collection and supporting their programs. As well the museum is looking at a larger expansion project down the road and this event is a start to preparing for larger fundraising efforts in the future.

by Mark Spowart & Mette Holm


September 16, 2018 |

Tragic end to search for Noah

Linda Hale shows the spot where she was thrown from her horse, Noah, during a ride in Puslich Township. - Mathew McCarthy,Waterloo Region Record
Posters were put up to help in the search for Noah, a horse that went missing Sunday. Noah was found dead in a Puslinch swamp Tuesday afternoon. - Laura Booth , Waterloo Region Record

Posters were put up to help in the search for Noah, a horse that went missing Sunday. Noah was found dead in a Puslinch swamp Tuesday afternoon. – Laura Booth , Waterloo Region Record


PUSLINCH TOWNSHIP — Over three days more than a hundred volunteers combed fields and forest searching for a missing horse named Noah.

But hope turned to heartbreak Tuesday afternoon when the horse’s body was spotted by a helicopter pilot in a swampy area in Puslinch. The 23-year-old dark bay thoroughbred is believed to have drowned, said his owner Linda Hale.

“I’m pretty heartbroken,” she said.

Hale, a seasoned rider who owns a teaching and boarding facility east of Guelph, had come out to Puslinch Sunday to participate in the Wellington-Waterloo Hunter Pace — a bi-annual event where participants head out on a set course and are timed.

“It was just a trail ride sort of thing,” said Hale, adding that Noah has participated in the event for six years.

But the enjoyable ride through the agricultural township took an unexpected turn at 11 a.m. Hale and Noah were travelling along a gravel path east of Puslinch Lake, near Sideroad 10 South and Concession 2, when a donkey nearby started braying.

Noah got spooked and jumped over a wire fence into a field and took off. Hale, who fell off during the leap, was left bruised but not seriously injured.

“It’s more my emotions that are wrecked than my body,” she said while the search was ongoing. “He’s not spooky and I’ve never come off him before.”

The exhaustive three-day search for the horse brought hundreds together. A Facebook group garnered more than 950 members by Tuesday as people searched by foot, on horseback, and using drones and tracking dogs.

Posters with Noah’s picture were handed out by volunteers, and a psychic, referred to as an animal communicator, was even consulted.

Two friends who have horses of their own, Ann Morgan and Teresa Finnerty from Hockley Valley, travelled to Puslinch to help out even though they didn’t know Hale.

“(I was) in my barn this morning, all I could think of was this poor woman who’s looking for her horse and what could we do,” said Morgan, early Tuesday. “The horse community, although we’re spread out, it’s a pretty small community.”

Kyle Ecclestone, who owns Ecclestone Horse Transport out of Newmarket, hired a helicopter company from Cambridge to aid in the search. It took off Tuesday around 3 p.m. but the horse was found dead shortly after.

Hale had purchased Noah ten years ago for her daughter, Tess Daunt. He had been bred to race but likely never did, Daunt said during the search.

“He competed in hunters and jumpers his whole life,” she added. He was described as a homebody who loved to be around familiar people and although he was getting older, he never looked or acted his age., Twitter: @BoothRecord

by Laura Booth
Laura Booth is a reporter at the Waterloo Region Record.

September 14, 2018 |

Another great day at Spruce Meadows!

Sameh el Dahan (EGY) - Newest contender in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping © Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk

The CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex

Part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping

A Memorable Day at Spruce Meadows 

The final day of the 2018 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* brought excitement to the grounds as fans packed the grandstands surrounding the International Ring to watch the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex and part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

The Grand Prix course, designed by FEI Course Designer Leopolodo Palacious (VEN) tested the riders with two rounds with the first round being over a 600m track and 17 jumping efforts. The top twelve riders would then return for Round Two with the lowest score going first.

Going into Round Two each of the top twelve represented a different nation – it truly was going to be an “International” competition. Seven of the top twelve who continued into Round Two did so on a score of zero, there was the potential for a jump off if any two riders would tie for faults.

Beezie Madden (USA) was clear for jumping in Round Two, however just slightly under pace and over the time allowed and she incurred one time fault. Maikel van der Vleuten (NED) with his veteran stallion Verdi TN was the first of the top twelve to post a double clear, proving that it could be done. Sameh el Dahan (EGY) would follow suite and post a clear round – we would have a jump off.

With the jump off course set, the crowd was silent with Van der Vleuten first into the ring and posted a clear round with a time of 42.98s – the pressure was on as El Dahan had to be fast and clear. Looking to the clock tower as he galloped through the finish line, he had done it, Sameh el Dahan was the winner of the CP ‘International’ Grand Prix presented by Rolex and new newest contender in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

“Every time I sit on this mare (Sumas Zorro) I am confident” – Sameh el Dahan (EGY) crediting he mount Sumas Zorro to his win in the CP ‘International’, presented by Rolex/


September 9, 2018 |



Posted from:

Buy Tickets Now

Oct. 20, 2016, Calgary, Alberta:  It was opening night at the Agrium Western Event Centre in Calgary for Royal West featuring the prestigious $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Calgary presented by pandaHAUS Equestrian on Oct. 29.

At the top of the bill on opening night was the $35,000 1.45m Camelot Stables Cup (presented by Golden West Radio). A full field of 39 on Werner Deeg’s challenging course provided a stirring challenge for the prize money. (more…)

October 21, 2016 |

Ailsa Morrison on NAJYRC 2016

Ailsa and Princess Sophia

Ailsa and Princess Sophia 

This past summer the North American Junior Young Rider Championships were held at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Co and I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Ontario and Canada in the Eventing 1* division.  Having competed at NAJYRC in Kentucky in 2015, I knew what a challenging and rewarding experience this would be. A goal that I had been training for had come to fruition and it was exciting to be part of such an incredibly talented Ontario team. My horse Sophie was excited at first until she learned she had a 2 day, 2000 km trailer ride to get there, but I promised her she’d get to run around a really fun x-co track and she was back on board with my plan. I left out the part that she’d be competing at 5900 ft elevation and figured I’d break the news to her once she was on the trailer and half way across Iowa.

Princess Sophia and I have been together for 4 1/2 years. I bought her from Karl Slezak and picked her up on New Years Eve. It was an awesome way to ring in the new year and set goals for the future. With Karl’s guidance and coaching Sophie and I moved up the ranks from entry to the preliminary level. In the first few weeks I had Sophie I quickly learned that she was a fiery little mare with lots of sass and I was excited for the challenges and adventures that the future held for both of us. In the early stages of our partnership, I got a good taste of her lively personality… and the dirt. Things really came together for us in the 2013 season and we were the 2013 Ontario Pre-Training division champions. Since then we have gone on to accomplish being the 2014 Ontario Training Champion and was top placed Ontario Young Rider at NAJYRC in Kentucky in 2015.  As a young aspiring event rider, I was often asked the question of why I didn’t buy something with more experience that could show me the ropes of upper level eventing?  I would tell them that the opportunity of being part of a horses journey of progressing through the levels and turning into a true competitor, and knowing that you did it all yourself is a feeling I wouldn’t trade for a four star horse.  Still to this day I would not change my answer, as the lessons that my little mare has taught me and the people I’ve met along the way are priceless.

In preparation for NAJYRC 2016 in Colorado, I headed south at the beginning of December 2015 to Ocala, Florida to continue my training and working student program with Jon Holling. I worked and trained with Jon in the winter/spring of 2015 and although there was a steep learning curve, I looked forward to being immersed in the environment that only a top level competition program can provide. Location at my home base in Belle River, is one of my biggest challenges as coaching and shows are very far away. I knew that taking time off from school to head south to train was a must if I wanted to accomplish the goals I had for NAJYRC 2016.  Sophie and I had a great winter season competing in the CC1* at the Ocala Horse Properties with our personal best score of 45 penalty points in dressage and a clear showjumping round. It seemed as though a winter of working and training hard was paying off. When I got home I stationed myself at Holly Jacks Equestrian to train until I was named to the Ontario 1* team and excitably, alongside an incredibly talented team with some good friends, I was off to compete again at NAJYRC.

Young Riders is always an experience like no other. It’s a competition that tests your ability to deal with the pressures of being on a team, the focus required to compete your best and the courage to put it all on the line. I couldn’t have been happier with Sophie in the dressage phase as she was more relaxed and obedient then ever. We did not score as well as I had hoped, but our score was still competitive enough to help put the Ontario 1* team in gold medal position at the end of day two. Next was cross-country day. Sophie tore around a difficult one star championship track, doing what she loves best to finish double clear, adding no penalty points to her dressage score. Showjumping lead to an unfortunate two rails down for Sophie and I, however the rest of the round she jumped her socks off for me. The team finished just a fraction of a point out of bronze medal position to finish fourth in the team divisions.

The relationship you have with your team truly is a unique experience. The pressure comes from not wanting to let your teammates down with a bad score and still wanting to preform at your personal best. At the end of the day, whether somebody had a good day or a bad day, you know your team was there to support you. When I watched my teammates compete I would be just as nervous for them then I was for myself!

Overall the North American Young Riders Championships is, as always, the highlight of the summer for many future top event riders and an experience to remember.

September 14, 2016 |

Experiencing George by Rhonda Peterson


Thank you so much to Michelle Carter for asking me to write about my experiences with George Morris – as an auditor, a rider and ring crew. I have been very lucky to have had so many learning opportunities with such a legend.

My name is Rhonda Peterson. I am a Level 1 coach, Learn-To-Ride examiner, r hunter/hack and equitation judge, as well as a competitor. I started riding 35 years ago with Claudia Cojocar, in Calgary, who was, and still is, a huge advocate for instilling correct basics to produce the best round. George Morris was already legendary and his book, Hunter Seat Equitation, was one we studied and then practiced being the riders in the pictures. George Morris’ column in Practical Horseman was the first thing I turned to when I received the magazine in the mail. I have copies of this magazine going back to the 1970’s.

The highlight of that time in my life was winning a first place ribbon at Spruce Meadows on my first horse, Abby. Abby ended up going to be Amy and Jonathon’s horse when Ian Millar bought her. Bringing everything full circle, it was really neat that Amy remembered Abby, almost 25 years later, when I asked about her at the George Morris clinic in Ottawa. (more…)

November 26, 2015 |

London Horse Sports @ The Royal Agricultural Fair


I’m so excited to be able to attend this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair as a media sponsor! 😀

I will be tweeting and posting live videos on Periscope so make sure you are subscribed to these links and you will be notified each time I post a pic or interviews with Olympic Equestrians! If you are also going to be at the Royal please add your links to your social media or blogs in the comments below so I can follow you too!

Twitter (periscope live video feeds will be posted here too)

Periscope Live Video Install the Periscope app and then add @londonhorsesprt from the find friends link of people you are following in twitter





November 6, 2015 |
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