Archive for the World Equestrian Games Category

YOU Ride the WEG X-Country Course on Henny!

Posted in Events, Horse Park, Rolex, Supernatural Horsemanship, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by martimu

Peter Atkins sports a helmet-cam so you and I can see what it’s really like to take those god awful jumps on a four star eventing course. Some of the most amazing 12 minutes I have ever spent in my life!!!

Registered Name: Henry Jota Hampton
(HJ Carapalida—Napoi Honorable)
Chestnut. g., 16 hands, 9 years, Argentine Sport Horse
Rider: Peter Atkins (AUS)
Henry is a 9 year old Selle Francais from Argentina.

Here’s what his rider says:

My goal was to make life fun for him again and to get him to relax and enjoy his work. When I first got him it was an ordeal to trot the five minutes up the dirt road to the dressage ring. It would take me half an hour to get there because every change of color on the road, puddles, shadows from the power lines was cause for him to hit panic mode.

And this:

Although he is one of the bravest XC horses I have ever had he is still scared of his own shadow when he isn’t competing.

His website is:

His human, Peter Atkins set it up and creates these helmetcam views of the courses they ride to help fund their campaigning. They are a courageous pair that I think are realizing dreams because of Mr. Atkins positive outlook on this horse.

“Like” him on Facebook here.


Thank You WEG!

Posted in Events, Horse Lovers, Horse Park, Kentucky, Rolex, Special Events, Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 12, 2010 by martimu

The outdoor arena waits for its next big event

Are they really over? Has the last competitor really been loaded into a trailer, onto a plane and zoomed far, far away?

Yep. Four years’ worth of personal blog build-up and now it’s over. But I will never, ever forget how these Games touched my soul.

All the planning. All the parties. All the announcements, hoopla and happenstance. Below is a video “Thank You” I composed using the footage I grabbed with my iPhone while on duty and little camera during my free times.

I kept my participation out on the edges and I think it was a truly wonderful vantage point to soak in everything that was so right about the WEG. And while I may have been just a rake and pitchfork wielding extra let me tell you, these duties gained me access to everything I could have hoped to have been a part of and gotten to witness firsthand and so up close I would find the bits of dropped carrots the competitor horses accidentally dropped from their groom’s, rider’s and trainer’s hands as they made their way out of the arena.

This one was painted with a sort of equine topographic map of some of the noteworthy farms of the Bluegrass region.

One of MANY painted ponies in the Alltech pavilion

The final tally had well over 60 countries represented as competitors or visitors to the Commonwealth of Kentucky an honor indeed.

So many participating countries!

Fuego XII enters the practice ring

One of my favorite equine athletes was the Spanish horse Fuego XII who danced and pranced under the worthy guidance of his capable rider, Juan Munoz Diaz. Maybe not as technically accomplished as Edward Gal and his stallion Moorlands Totilas but as accomplished and joyful as any horse and rider ever was.

One of the Entryways

So Now Kentucky — and I — are getting back into our normal routines. We miss everyone who gave of themselves during these amazing Games. We thank the sponsors, the athletes, their retinues, the volunteers, the clinicians, the exhibitors, the breed demonstrators and everyone else who played a role in making these such a memorable, fulfilling and happy experience. Well done to everyone and Thank you WEG!


WEG At the Wire

Posted in Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , on October 10, 2010 by martimu

So it’s come down to the final two hours at the World Equestrian Games. I couldn’t bring myself to attend the closing ceremony. I hate goodbyes. It would depress me to see all the clinicians, exhibitors and trade fair participants closing up. I will miss them and when they’ve had time to recoup from the energy they spent getting and being here for 16 days I hope they come out happy to have been a significant part of this amazing experience. I know not all made a ton of money, but the thing about exhibitions of whatever size and caliber with the right attitude there is never a ‘bad show’. Connections were made throughout these games that will last a lifetime.

So let the final pomp and circumstance unfold and let Normandy France step up and claim these reins. I think as this first ever American world horse party comes to a close just as soon as people catch up on their sleep, reclaim their calendars and unpack their travel bags they will be filled with a warm and satisfying glow. They will reflect on the people they met, the sights they saw and the absolute stellar performances of the athletes they witnessed. For many of us this was probably a once-in-a-lifetime happening and we will review our keepsakes, potos and memories for years to come. For others the quick march of four years’ preparation will flow quickly and before they know it they’ll be repeating and surpassing their performances here in new ways in France.

And to all of us all I say bravo!

And for the record I have more info, images and video to assemble and post so WegWag will live on at least for the next little while as we all wind down from this whirlwind world class set of wonders.

The Equine Village at the WEG – Paso Finos!

Posted in Trainers/Clinicians, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , on October 8, 2010 by martimu

Amazingly gifted and dedicated riders and their horses who have wowed the global stage with their accomplishments in the official competitions of the World Equestrian Games over these past weeks. But the fun hasn’t stopped with them. Oh no ma’am. Not by a long shot! Throughout other venues more celebrations, demonstrations and clinics have been going on day in and day out. It’s as though the fun has been never ending – the things to do and see relentlessly taking a hold of sanity and causing people to spend hour after hour engaged in all things equine. Here is a quick look at a show in the Equine Village highlighting the fun that is the experience of the Paso Fino horse.

In addition to the marvelous array of activities at the Kentucky Horse Park, there have also been three other major venues associated with this big festival including the International Festival of the Horse in downtown Lexington, Spotlight Lexington featuring Kentucky arts and music and the tents in Georgetown highlighting even more activities and trade fair exhibits. If any horse lover walks out of here with any money left at all it will be a miracle! If they leave with hopes unfulfilled I think it may only be because they ran out of time or money. I know I did.

It takes a village to put on a show like this.....

Out + About at WEG

Posted in Art, World Equestrian Games with tags , on October 7, 2010 by martimu

The World Equestrian Games are surrounded by many delights besides the world class competitions. Here’s a small sampling of what my camera saw yesterday:

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Crass Meets Class

Posted in Inspiration + Enlightenment, Supernatural Horsemanship, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , on October 6, 2010 by martimu

I am a crass person. I admit that. I have no couth sometimes. I find it easy to access my inner 9 year old when it comes to humor is what I’m saying. So when I started to catch sight of some of the para-equestrians competing in the WEG this week what occurred to me was along the lines of “Oh goodie, a sport I’ll be able to compete in when my rather thick-skulled Paint finally finishes me off.”. Or maybe I’ll succumb to my mini’s whacking me in the knees sending me into a wheelchair that way. In any case I found the humor in my own pathetic riding inabilities, all the accidents my equestrian friends have endured over the years and connected the dots that way. Remember – I have no tact. And then I saw them:

And started hearing the stories of so many of these amazing riders. These are people who have found rejuvenated hope on the backs of some of the kindest most caring creatures humans have ever partnered with. These courageous souls and their unbelievably kindhearted and talented mounts redefine what inspiration can be. They’re being tested in ways I can only imagine and they are surpassing expectations on every level.

These riders are better than I will ever be despite their circumstances. Their grace, their technique, their acumen as equestrians — as human beings – as fellow horselovers — has redefined for me what horsemanship can be. I am moved. I am inspired. I am so very proud of each and every one of these beautiful and capable participants. I say Bravo! Come see them. Here’s how.

Eventing Jumps are Wicked Wide + Tall

Posted in Events, Kentucky, Rolex, World Equestrian Games with tags , , , , , on October 5, 2010 by martimu

From the all day vantage point of crowd control at the midway point of the Eventing Cross Country course I was able to sneak some video footage collection in between closing the gallop lanes to onlooker and golf cart traffic. I went back the next day to shoot these same jumps from eye level so you can start to appreciate what these horses are being asked to do. I know I posted some photos – but have a look as my camera sort of ‘takes’ the jumps from about horse whither height or so. They are the “Land Between the Lakes” series.

Ssome reminders. The course:

  • is 3.98 miles long
  • has 28 jumps as deep and as wide as standards allow
  • designed by “Michael Etherington-SmithMaximum Mike
  • said to be a ‘true four star‘ design ****

When you see the pairs negotiate the jumps in this video they are about 2/3 of the way through the course – so an underlying question is “How much horse has the rider got left?” at this point. As it turns out a lot of the riders had a lot of horse left and only one fell suffering a bruised ego and instant elimination. Both horse and rider walked away.

Some say these courses are too tough. There is controversy surrounding this discipline because of that. Lots of different points of view are registered. For me I have a pokey paint and a mini with no aspirations towards flight. Well not purposeful flight anyway. So what do I know? And I have to remind myself that the 14.2 hand Connemara pony, Eventing Champ Theodore O’Connor ridden by Karen O’Connor* successfully jumped jumps just like this throughout his career at the Kentucky Rolex 3 Day Event and WON! So they are doable for the right combo.

* I think Teddie and Karen are related somehow via their common Irish ancestry but the details never seem to be posted exactly what the lineage is.

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