Horse Connection Magazine Winter 2013:2014

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3D Film Brings Wild Horse Issue Into Focus Ellie Phipps Price, Producer & Monty Miranda, Director

Wishing everyone a

Wonderful 2014, The Year of the Horse You are a vital part of Harmony and we sincerely appreciate it. Greg Albers Pam Beets Tammy Brighton Connor Burke Centaur Theraputics and Marylou Steele Cocoran Saddlery Colorado Animal Health Colorado Equine Craig Cary Kayla Eaton Isaac Evans Jesse Evans Loma Fowler Frank’s Feed Hassler Dressage Dr. Holt Horse Connection Magazine

Jose Marquez Maye Show Ponies Pape Family Cathie Peterson Cal Pflepsen Kerry Picken Pro Horse Productions Jim Quick Sandy Ricard John Rose Select Breeders Dr. Story Ross Strand Dr. Streeter and Kathi Leslie Webb Bobbi Winter

Micheal Klimke Tim Lancaster Maggie Leary Molly Leary Crystal Lenard Littleton Equine Medical Center Joe Marchese

“In the steady gaze of the horse shines a silent eloquence that speaks of love and loyalty, strength and courage. It is the window that reveals to us how willing is his spirit, how generous his heart.” —Author Unknown 31400 N. Elbert Rd. Kiowa, CO 80111 | 303-621-8512 Fax: 303-621-8511 |




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Pay It Forward—Giving From The Heart



Publisher’s Page




HC’s Travel Connection

Winter Horses



Behind the Barn


Product Reviews


Book Reviews


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HC Sport


Definitely Dressage


The Horse Connection



EST. 1991



3D Film Brings Wild Horse Issue Into Focus Ellie Phipps Price, Producer & Monty Miranda, Director

ABOUT THE COVER This portrait image of Ellie Phipps Price, Producer and Monty Miranda, Director of AMERICAN MUSTANG was captured in Sonoma, CA in front of the Sebastiani Theatre during 3D showing of the film, AMERICAN MUSTANG, November 2013. The simple, creative technique of a slow shutter while zooming the lens achieved this effect without the use of a computer. It was a grateful honor to collaborate with very talented fine art photographer Tara Arrowood, Asa Mathat 415.517.6552 555 Bryant St. #186 Palo Alto, CA 94301




nother year has galloped by, and it is with gratitude that we present our last issue of 2013. We are so thankful for the support of all of the readers and fans of HC, and especially the advertisers who have graced this magazine. Without your love and support, this would be just another horse magazine. It’s because of that support that our passion to HC remains unwavering. We attended the world premiere of AMERICAN MUSTANG at the Starz Denver International Film Festival in early November. Written and produced by Ellie Phipps Price and Henry Ansbacher and Directed by Monty Miranda, this movie, shot in stunning 3D, details the ongoing struggle of our wild horses in the American West and the government’s failed management policy regarding their survival. We have an indepth interview with Ellie Phipps Price about the movie and the impact she hopes the film will make on the public’s attitude regarding the preservation of these magnificent wild mustangs. We encourage you to get involved in the wild horse debate because we feel that the wild horses that run free in the American West are worth having and worth treasuring—not only as an important part of this nation’s legacy, but as a part of our own humanity and the spirit that we are known for. The date of the AMERICAN MUSTANG premiere pushed us up against the deadline wall in getting this issue out and I would like to acknowledge and thank our incredible designer Kathy Bone, for her dedication and heart in creating such a beautiful issue under enormous pressure. We are so grateful to Kathy for giving life to our ideas and making HC the special and unique horse magazine that it is. We couldn’t do it without you, Kathy! In keeping with the gratitude theme, our “pay it forward” feature offers up some suggestions on giving during this holiday season. We have featured some organizations that we feel are doing very good work in animal and people welfare. We encourage all of you to make a donation to a worthwhile cause this season, in your name or the name of a loved one, instead of buying a present. The greatest gift one can give is the offer of hope and charity. To make a difference in the life of an animal or a person is a gift that will reward your soul and spirit for years to come. Let’s make 2014 a year where we practice compassion and teach others the lessons we have learned from our own animals. Throughout all of the years that we have been publishing Horse Connection, one thing has become apparent. Horse people have a goodness in them that rises to the occasion when others are in need. Many say that this is because of the lessons we learn from living with and caring for animals. The lessons of compassion, loyalty, unconditional love, and unbridled spirit are on display to us every day as we interact with our animals. However, I don’t believe that the animals teach us these noble traits. I believe that what animals do is stir in us the instinct that has been there all along. I believe that in our soul and in our spirit is a deep well of love and compassion for all living things. I am so grateful that animals are there to bring it out of us, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by people who embrace it and demonstrate it in their own lives. Spread the love and the compassion this holiday season and let’s make 2014 the year that we reject hate, intolerance and cynicism, and embrace the love and the wonder that makes up the world we live in.

Geoff & Valerie L. Young Editor

Geoff Young V.P. Sales & Marketing

Valerie L. Young Marketing Director

Leslie Gross C 281.773.3963 Art Director

Kathy Bone Celebrity Fashion Stylist

Wayne Scot Lukas Copy Editor

T. J. Forrest Contributing Writers

Evalyn Bemis Kip Mistral Marc Patoile CuChullaine O’Reilly Butte Dawson Photography

Geoff Young Evalyn Bemis Sharon McElvain Meghann Norris Advertising & Rates General questions, advertising, and comments can be made to: or call 303.663.1300 Sorry, but Horse Connection cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited materials Horse Connection © 2013, Volume XII, Edition 9. Published monthly by Horse Connection, LLC., PO Box 775, Redmond, WA 98073, and is provided to its readers free of charge. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork and ad designs printed in the Horse Connection are copyright and the sole property of HC and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission from HC. Horse Connection is not responsible for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. Readers should confirm any advertised information with advertisers. HC reserves the right to refuse any advertising. We will not knowingly accept any advertising or print any material which is offensive or in violation of the law.


Geoff Young, Publisher 10 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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HONG KONG Eventer Amanda Jardine traveled to Hong Kong and went to the Happy Valley Races (they have racing every Wednesday night) with her favorite horse magazine. “My only ‘must do’ on the trip was the race track!

SEND US YOUR PHOTOS Get a free subscription

Send us your photo holding up Horse Connection and get published in our next issue. Those chosen each edition will receive a free subscription to Horse Connection. Be sure to email a picture and a brief paragraph about who you are, where you are, and why you are there. It can be anywhere in the world. The more unique the place, and of course, the more “horsey” the place, the better chance you have of getting your picture in Horse Connection. Email your travel connection to gyoung@ 12 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

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Don’t Know It s’ Christmas


ome of my horse friends really go overboard during the holidays. They get stockings to hang on the stall doors and fill them with apples and treats so their horses will have a special Christmas morning. They prepare bowls of warm mash with steamed carrots so their horses will have that special Christmas Eve dinner. They’ll make sure the horses are all tucked in with extra straw or shavings so they’ll stay warm until Christmas morning. These horses definitely know that it’s a special day. Not my horses. My horse friends help their horses tear off wrapping paper and help them open their gifts, which consist of new winter blankets, fleece-lined halters, big vinyl balls to play with in the pasture, and shiny new name plaques on their stall doors. They get to play with their new hanging stall toy consisting of pressed bran and oatmeal held together with sugar and love. These horses definitely know it’s Christmas. My horses never know when it’s Christmas. These other horses know it’s Christmas when they start getting peppermint candies every day out of their special homemade Advent calendars, and get a nice grooming with their brand new Christmas curry comb and brush set. And if your horse is in a boarding facility, it’s all the merrier because all of the other horses are going to be giving your horse all kinds of little presents and treats. And don’t overlook those snappy green and red bell boots that tells everyone, “My horse rocks for Christmas!” Yes, these horses definitely, undeniably,


unequivocally know that it’s Christmas. My horses have no idea it is Christmas. But before you decide that I am a cold callous man that doesn’t care for his horses, let me explain why my two horses, Biscuit and Maddie, have got no clue that it is Christmas. My horses get apples and treats most days, year round, whether it is Christmas or not. My horses get a new blanket or a soft halter many days throughout the year, usually when they need them, but many times when they don’t, and it doesn’t matter whether it is Christmas or not. During the four months of winter, my horses get warm mash and steamed carrots and sometimes even warm oatmeal with apples, and not just on Christmas morning. I don’t wait until Christmas to get my horses new pasture balls because they go through several a year. My horses always have extra shavings in their stalls to protect their legs and provide their comfort, not just during the holidays but everyday. You might sing carols to your horse during the Christmas season. I sing to my horses all the time, winter or summer. I will never make my horses wear green and red bell boots because they have no idea why I would make them do that and they have no concept of Christmas. And the reason that my horses don’t know that it’s Christmas is because I treat them as if it were Christmas every day of the year! And I’m not that aware of December 25th being more special than other days of the year, because anyone who has horses wakes up to a gift every day. When you have horses, every day is Christmas!

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avalleria Toscana makes unique equestrian clothing and gives a fashion image to the world of technical riding apparel by maintaining classic elegance along with avant garde technology for integrated function.


1. Super Chic Jacket


The new Cavalleria Toscana competition jacket is for those who seek extreme elegance and refinement without sacrificing movement and comfort thanks to the stretchy material. The satin decorations make this jacket super stylish and incredibly elegant. MSRP $703

2. Super Grip Technical Breeches

3. Technical Shirt with Bib

Cavalleria Toscana has applied the same rubber patches on the Technical breeches and the result is an exclusive and unique model of breeches. A special coating treatment makes them water repellent. The comfort of these breeches and the quality of the material make this a product that combines elegance and functionality to fully meet the needs of our riders. MSRP $319

This beautifully made shirt of antibacterial, breathable, anti-UV, bi-elastic, technical material ensures maximum comfort in movement. A distinctive and unique shirt with a perfect blend of technicality and elegance. MSRP $251.95



4. IonGear Deluxe Heating Vest

he high collar, 3 handy zippered pockets, tie string at the bottom to keep out cold blasts of air, and the zipper front closure make this vest a must. The vest has a wind and rain repellent outer shell and softshell barrier fleece on the inside, is available in Black and is fit on a unisex size. XS–3XL.

5. “Longford” style boot


his European-made, water resistant DryFast-DrySoft™ leathers boot will keep you dry, warm and stylish.


Waterproof to the top & breathable Lined with GORE-TEX® right to the top


The 3 removable heating elements are about the size of your hand and are very easy to insert and remove.

Stylish double buckle detail Available in Walnut or Black

Li-Ion battery is easy to charge and insert into the vest. The controller is also easy to handle and the 3 buttons are very easy to manipulate with gloves on.

Sizes: Euro 3–43 (USW 5.5–11.5) MSRP $529 For dealers please see

If you want to stay warm, the IonGear Deluxe Heating Vest by TechNiche International is the only way to go! MSRP: $199 888.823.2665 16 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE




7. Cosmo Jacket

ellensteyn presents a fabulous product for the equestrian sport and all outdoor enthusiasts. This German company combines high end sophisticated fashion with quality and functionality.


The Cosmo jacket is made of durable materials that withstand the toughest weather conditions. This style boasts many practical pockets, a detachable hoodie, additional inside soft cuffs, and a very soft lining.



6. “Monaco” Field boot legance combines with the finest materials, unmatched innovation, and performance features.


French baby calf leather with a stretch leather panel offers outstanding feel and fit. The oiled inner leg panel delivers a secure grip in the saddle. ATS™ technology provides stability. The sole combines leather’s responsiveness with the durability of Duratread™ rubber. Square toe, spur rest, high Spanish cut. This is a beautiful boot for the world’s elite riders—clearly built to win. MSRP: $900

Wellensteyn = fusion and function + fashion Wind- and waterproof Taped seams


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8. Milan Boots AV weatherproof luxury. A chic, wedge heel and striking clean lines makes Milan a boot for all seasons. Wear it with shorts and tights, skinny jeans or a dress. Truly versatile and elegant.


Weatherproof Wedge heel Side zipper Gold logo detail Cushioned footbed


Textured sole for slip resistance Fit Note: This boot fits true-to-size. MSRP: $69.00 800.755.7682




For OurEquestrian Friends T

hese two new equestrian books would make a great gift for the professional horseman in your life or to add valuable reference materials to your own equestrian library.

JUMP COURSE DESIGN MANUAL By Susan D. Tinder Publisher: Trafalgar Square 220 pages


ue Tinder and her work at Tolland Falls Farm are well known to Horse Connection. So we were thrilled to hear that she has collected her extensive knowledge and put it in a manual that hunter/jumper enthusiasts will want on their tack shelf. An essential component to the equestrian profession is designing and building jump courses, and now it can be a little easier to create your own show-quality course at home! This highly illustrated instruction manual explains—with the aid of hundreds of color photos, diagrams, and tables—the jump components used in different horse show divisions, how course designers select the tracks to be followed, and what factors make a course more or less difficult to ride. This book is essential for anyone who wants to better understand the concepts of course design and is a valuable training aid for those looking for inspiration when schooling or teaching riders at home. Top equestrian professionals have been impressed with Susan Tinder’s course design book. “I’ve spent time with the book and find it very correct. Author Susan Tinder did an excellent job putting together a useful collection of courses.” — George Morris. “Susan Tinder has put together a very thoughtful and thorough manual to help anyone in all aspects of course design. I find the sections designed to help people with their gymnastics and course design for training at home especially helpful—we all find ourselves getting a bit stale with our work at home, and this manual will help us come up with fresh ideas. I love that Ms. Tinder covers all aspects of course design, jump construction, and even storage and 18 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

maintenance of jumps. I look forward to studying her book in more detail, and putting some of her ideas to use in my own training program.”—Geoff Teall, Trainer, Author, and USEF “R” Hunter and Hunter Equitation Licensed Judge. In addition to the theoretical information on course design, the book offers over 130 actual course diagrams. The book includes: 10 basic jumping grids, 22 gymnastic exercises, 30 courses for small arenas or for those that may have a limited jump component inventory, 16 space-saving course configurations, 15 show type courses for each of the jumping disciplines: hunter, equitation and jumpers (45 in total) and 7 advanced gymnastic courses. This book is the perfect jump training tool! About the author: Susan D. Tinder is the owner of the Tolland Falls Farm, which continues to evolve into one of Colorado’s premier equestrian facilities. She shows her horses, Five Nines and Braxton, in the Adult Amateur Hunter Division. She lives in Sedalia, Colorado. For more information visit


NORTH AMERICAN SPORT HORSE BREEDER By Kathleen Hiney Kirsan Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing 441 pages

athleen Kirsan is no stranger to Horse Connection. HC published one of Kathleen’s excellent articles on sporthorse breeding called “Red White and Blue Bloodlines.” Her work is well researched and uncovers interesting facts about bloodlines in our North American sporthorses that will surprise you. North American Sport Horse Breeder serves as both historic record for sport horse breeding and as a practical guide. Kirsan is perhaps an unlikely heroine of the sport horse breeding industry because she only averages one foal per year. Her methods, however, have led to three national champions. This new reference book is directed to the breeder of sport horses, specifically those in North America, and presents the breeder with a fresh way to evaluate equine genetics through the pedigree, along with methods to identify key horses in the ancestry that can be dominance-building candidates. The book offers instruction on how to use this information to construct the most advantageous mating, resulting in outstanding foals. The application of these breeding principles is focused on the Olympic-style sport horse but is just as applicable to all other equine breeding endeavors. The book is divided into three main sections. The first provides a history of the North American sport horse from earliest Colonial times to the present, how the international model of competition came about, the contribution of the Cavalry Remount Program to our domestic sport horses, and the enduring talent of our hunter-bred sport horses. The second section contains the nuts and bolts of what we call “Tesio Methods,” a technique of potency building that has been proven statistically to be more successful than some other practices we commonly use. It will instruct the breeder in how to read their horse’s genetics through its pedigree; how to assemble the pedigree information; then how to evaluate the genetic value, strength of bloodlines, and pedigree patterns; and, lastly, how the breeder can design a mating that will upgrade their breeding stock and improve the quality of their sport foals.


In the last section, 35 horses are highlighted as examples; these are horses that have been referred to in the text, and in this section they have an expanded discussion of their breeding value, with their pedigrees provided, so that the breeder can see for themselves how they came about their talents. About the author: Kathleen Hiney Kirsan was born in Boston and raised in its suburbs, and spent most of her adult life working in the construction industry. Her entry into breeding began with a Thoroughbred mare that was a cull from the racetrack. She became intrigued with the names in her pedigree, and began to study bloodlines and heredity. For more information visit



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Malone Foundation Gives $6 Million to Colorado State University Equine Sports Medicine Program The Malone Family Foundation, led by media magnate and philanthropist John C. Malone, has donated $6 million to Colorado State University’s Orthopedic Research Center to significantly advance the world-renowned center’s scientific discovery and clinical expertise in equine sports medicine and rehabilitation. The transformational gift will establish the Leslie A. Malone Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine and will expand the Orthopedic Research Center’s pioneering Equine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Program by supporting an additional faculty member and resident. The faculty member to hold the chair has not yet been named. “This gift will help Colorado State to advance a new veterinary specialty that is critical to the health of equine athletes and the horse industry,” said CSU President Tony Frank. The donation represents an exciting marriage of interests: Leslie Malone, who runs Harmony Sporthorses in Kiowa, Colo., among other international horse operations, has been committed for nearly two decades to boosting the prestige of dressage in the United States through focused horse breeding and training programs. She has worked with multiple Olympians—both horses and riders—and raises Hanoverian, Oldenburg, and Dutch Warmblood sporthorses. “Our work with talented equine athletes has shown us how crucial it is to understand the complete picture of sporthorse health, and to provide all the care they need when these animals are competing at the highest levels,” said Leslie Malone, namesake of CSU’s Presidential Chair in Equine Sports Medicine. “I hope this gift to CSU will elevate a veterinary specialty that is central to the competitive abilities of equine athletes.”


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Cavalia Brings Its Latest Creation Odysseo to the Seattle Area in 2014

The internationally acclaimed Cavalia pushes the limits of live entertainment once again with its second production—a $30 million extravaganza that is wowing critics and audiences alike across North America. Cavalia’s Odysseo will make its premiere under the White Big Top at King County’s Marymoor Park on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Tickets for Cavalia’s Odysseo are now on sale online at or by calling 1.866.999.8111. With its latest creation, Cavalia marries the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. A veritable revolution in live performance, Cavalia’s Odysseo features 63 horses and 47 artists in a larger-than-life theatrical production that sends hearts racing. This breathtaking ode to horse and man, imagined by one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, is an absolute feast for the eyes that succeeds in delivering the spectacular with soul. Tickets—Tickets are priced from $34.50 to $149.50 plus applicable taxes and fees. For a memorable evening, the RendezVous package offers the best seats in the house, exquisite buffetdining before the show, open bar, desserts during intermission and an exclusive visit of the stable after the show. This unique VIP experience takes place in a luxurious tent alongside the White Big Top. The Rendez-Vous package prices range from $129.50 to $229.50 plus applicable taxes and fees. About Cavalia Inc.—Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, Cavalia Inc. is an entertainment company that specializes in the

creation, production and touring of innovative shows for audiences of all ages. Founded by Normand Latourelle, the company has an expertise in equestrian and performing arts, and is known for making the most of cuttingedge technology, multimedia and special effects, which allows for the creation of magical, unique, neverbefore-seen theatrical experiences. Cavalia, seen by some 4 million people across North America and Europe since its 2003 debut, celebrates the relationship between humans and horses by loosely recounting the evolution of this bond. Odysseo, which premiered in 2011, takes the next step, leading viewers on a great journey where horses and humans, together, discover some of the planet’s most unforgettable landscapes. Follow Cavalia Inc.’s latest developments at or



2015 FEI World Cup™ Finals Coming Back to Las Vegas!

Welcome Back

John McConnell

Offering Training in Sedalia, Colorado 303 884 3269 | Photo by FEI/Karl-Heinz Frieler

Las Vegas has been officially confirmed as the host city for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping and Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in 2015. Las Vegas has already hosted the FEI World Cup™ Finals five times—in 2000 and 2003 when it staged the Jumping Finals, and in 2005, 2007 and 2009, when the Jumping and Dressage Finals were combined. “We are delighted that the FEI World Cup Finals in both Jumping and Dressage will be returning to Las Vegas in 2015, giving our sport and our title sponsors Longines and Reem Acra further global exposure on this fabulous American stageâ€?, said FEI Secretary General Ingmar De Vos. “It will be good to be back in Las Vegas after a six-year gap and we are looking forward to really top class sport in this fabulous venue.â€? Pat Christenson, President of Las Vegas Events, expressed his delight at the FEI Bureau decision to allocate the 2015 Finals to Las Vegas. “We are honored to be the host of the 2015 FEI World Cup Finals,â€? he said. “Las Vegas last hosted the show jumping and dressage Finals in 2009, so we are extremely excited to once again showcase our destination to equestrian fans from the U.S. and around the world. We look forward to working with the FEI to create a memorable event and a venue for the top riders in the world.â€? The FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals were first held in Gothenburg (SWE) in 1979. Seven years later, the first FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals were held in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NED) in 1986. Las Vegas was the first venue to host combined FEI World Cup™ Finals when Jumping and Dressage were staged together at the Thomas & Mack Arena University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2005. 22 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Show Jumping Training and Sales

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National Western Stock Show Is Looking for Volunteers The National Western Stock Show and Rodeo announces it will recruit an additional 150–200 volunteers for the 108th NWSS, January 11–26, 2014. Volunteers are needed in Guest Relations, children’s programs, horse and livestock shows, and trade show. The National Western Stock Show is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to education, agriculture and tradition while hosting and representing one of Denver’s largest annual events. “Our volunteers are vitally important to the success of the National Western Stock Show,” stated Kellie Lombardi, Director of Volunteer Services. “The volunteers share our vision, mission, and support through their countless hours of service. We could not be successful without them,” said Lombardi. Last year, approximately 600 volunteers contributed more than 34,000 hours. NWSS Volunteers gain experience, new friendships, camaraderie, and an outlet to share their knowledge and skills with stock show and rodeo fans across the world. Learn more about the volunteer program and interview to become a volunteer at the National Western Volunteer RoundUp, Thursday, December 12th from 4:00pm–7:00pm at the National Western Complex, 4655 Humboldt Street, Denver, CO 80216. For more information and to fill out a volunteer application before the Volunteer Round-Up, go to www.nationalwestern. com/volunteer/ or contact Kellie at 303.299.5562.



Is Wellington Back in the Race for the 2018 WEG? There are three potential venues in consideration for hosting the WEG in 2018—Bromont, Canada; Lexington, Kentucky; and Wellington, Florida. The FEI Bureau threw open the bidding process for a second time at the start of July after the last candidate standing in the first round, Bromont, had been unable to provide the full public sector financial support the FEI required before granting the hosting rights. Bromont remains in the running and, given that everything else about its original bid was clearly satisfactory, it would seem that it has just one more hurdle to clear—albeit a fairly substantial one—before printing tickets. Lexington would also appear to have an advantage, given that it hosted the Games in 2010, meaning much of the infrastructure needed is already in place. Wellington, through Mark Bellissimo’s company, Equestrian Sport Production, had its hat in the ring for the 2018 Games in the first round, but withdrew over differences with the Wellington Village

Council. So, could Wellington swing it this time round? It would seem so, and the main reason is its proven ability to handle the Winter Equestrian Festival. The festival attracts about 5500 horses overall, with a peak of about 2800 horses in one week. By comparison, WEG will draw about 850 horses over two weeks. The 2014 winter festival runs for 12 weeks starting in January, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. It draws riders from pretty much every U.S. state, and competitors from 30 or more other countries. While it is too early to say that all differences have been put to bed with the local council, the evidence would suggest the path is looking smoother. The Palm Beach International

Equestrian Center, underwent a $20 million upgrade in recent years, and Wellington’s Equestrian Village have pretty much all the infrastructure between them that would be needed to host the Games. Bellissimo told late in October that, in his view, Wellington was uniquely qualified as a venue for the Games. “We wanted to open a discussion with [the village] to see if there is an interest in pursuing a bid,” he told the

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website. “There is no requirement that we have a collaboration with the village, but we believe it will be more successful if it’s a collaborative effort.” Palm Beach County could easily provide the facilities and venues for the eight events that make up a World Games— showjumping, dressage, reining, eventing, endurance, driving, vaulting and para-equestrian competition. Course designer Mark Phillips had been to Wellington and had mapped out an eventing cross-country course using nearby golf courses and local bridle paths. Driving and endurance competitions could use a similar course, Bellisimo said. Bellissimo pointed to the $233 million economic benefit that the 2010 Games produced for Kentucky, let alone the 500,000plus spectators who watched over the two-week Games period. The situation may become clearer on December 2, when the FEI is scheduled to enter the “Candidate phase”, when the world governing body for equestrian sports will formally announce the candidates. Potential hosts then have until March 31 to make remaining required submissions and provide a signed host agreement.



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Tail Lights Provide High Visibility for Your Horse A new Kickstarter campaign wants to give you tail lights for hazardous and low-light conditions—to be worn on the tail of your horse. Horse tail lights may be the coolest accessory yet for safetyconscious equestrians. It’s something those of who live in urban areas don’t really think about, but just like riding bicycles, driving cars, and walking around in the dark, horse riding requires low-visibility safety precautions. Enter Tail Lights, a new product by wrangler, rancher, and search-andrescue rider Sami Gross. It consists of a sort of long tassel that attaches to a horse’s tail via specially designed neoprene and Velcro wraps—and the tassel’s fronds are strips of LEDs. The idea began when one of Gross’ friends, riding at night and wearing reflectors, was hit by a car, which injured her horse. “Every day riders have to navigate along busy roads to make it to a trail,” Gross said. “More often than not, and

depending on the time of year, riders find themselves returning at dusk and back to the barn in the dark. Despite ineffective reflectors, and without adequate lighting, horses are often not seen by motorists until it is too late. Tail Lights will change the way we see horses, and their riders, at any time of

the day… or night.” Gross has spent four years trying out different materials and developing Tail Lights. The biggest problem, she said, was making sure the lights were bright enough while maintaining a long battery life. The resulting product consists of six strips of color-changing LEDs attached

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to a unit that contains a CPU and battery pack, with enough power for 15 hours of continuous use. There are also three brightness settings: low, for group rides; medium, for solo rides, bright enough to be seen from about a half mile away; and high, a brilliant yellow strobing pattern for emergency situations. For maximum durability, the battery and light cases will be sonically sealed for waterproofing,

and the LED strips encased in silicone rubber. Tail Lights are currently available as an early-bird reward for $160 for the single-color version, with a multicolored unit for $250, both estimated to ship in March 2014. The Tail Lights slogan is: “Be visible. Save your tail.� The Kickstarter Campaign ends on January 2, 2014. For more info visit





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Daniel Stewart Daniel Stewart has been a successful international trainer and instructor for over 25 years. As the internationally acclaimed author of Pressure Proof Your Riding and Ride Right he’s widely considered one of the world’s leading experts on equestrian sport psychology, biomechanics, and athletics.

Date: January 4th and 5th, 2014 Where: Tolland Falls Equestrian Center Sedalia, CO 80135 Start Time Each Day: 8:00 a.m. Audit Fee: $50.00 for more information, or to sign up to audit the clinic, please email: or call (303) 688-8725. Tolland Falls currently has limited boarding opportunities in all barns. Please contact us for more information.



New Helmet Makes Emergency Calls When You Can’t From our Bright Ideas Department comes the effort of Brycen Spencer, who has developed a helmet that automatically calls for help if the wearer is knocked unconscious. His new technology has been built into motorcycle helmets so far, but there is nothing to stop its adaptation to horse riding helmets. The engineering student at the University of Massachusetts believes the innovation could help save the lives of many outdoor sports enthusiasts involved in accidents each year. His Wireless Impact Guardian, or WIG, signals for help even when the wearer is unconscious. The helmet is activated when you buckle or clip it on. “If you fall and hit

your head, the helmet will detect that and beep for a minute or so,� he explains. “If you don’t turn it off, WIG sends for help, either directly to [emergency services] or

to a third-party service that relays the emergency call. “Included with the message will be a GPS location giving your geographical coordinates so the emergency team knows precisely where you are.� “I got the idea while doing a brainstorm activity in a class where we had to think of assisted technologies,� 27-year-old Spencer says. “I come from a town that has a lot of cranberry bogs—a big square they dig out of the ground. A lot of people ride on the sand dunes around them alone and if you crash or get injured, you’re in big trouble. I thought, why not put a beacon in the helmet and let the helmet call for help?� No date is set as to when the product will be released to the public.




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At Resort 2 Kindness, we believe some people have extra time, but not a lot of extra money; others have extra money, but not a lot of extra time. Regardless of whichever category you fall in, most people just want to make a difference! If you are one of those people with a generous heart, Resort 2 Kindness is for you. We are a 501(c)(3) organization committed to make a difference through kindness in all categories — senior citizens, the military, kids, animals and the environment. At R2K, our cause is Kindness and we apply our passion for it in every program that we create and every event that we do. To join the Kindness movement, visit us at, like us on Facebook or follow us for daily inspiration on Twitter. If you are, or have, a worthy cause in need of our support, email us at and tell us about yourself!





Giving From the Heart

n this season of giving and compassion, make a difference in the lives of animals, children and their caretakers. Instead of buying presents, consider making

a contribution to one of these noble organizations in the name of your child, a family member or a friend. Teach your children to get involved in a worthy cause, to take a stand for what is right and just, and instill in them a sense of responsibility to care for others less fortunate and to treat all living things with kindness and respect. This is a gift that will last a lifetime. HC endorses these worthy organizations who need public support not just during the holiday season but also year-round. Involving your family in an ongoing relationship with a worthy cause is a great way to bond and come together in a common cause for good. The world and the creatures that inhabit it need all of the love and compassion we can give. Let’s make 2014 the year when we all give a little of ourselves to make this world a better place for animals, and ultimately ourselves.



The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary

Three white Bengal tigers living at IEAS (Akbar, Arusha, and Kumar).

The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the purpose of providing permanent sanctuary for exotic animals that have been abused, abandoned, confiscated, or owned by people unwilling or unable to provide for them. IEAS educates the public about the value and worth of these sensitive and intelligent animals, so that their future is ensured. Our goal is to give the resident animals the best life we can in captivity through our Emotional Enrichment Program, which caters to the emotional well being of each animal. IEAS is the first and only sanctuary of its kind to be certified by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Donations can be sent to IEAS at PO Box 637, Boyd, TX 76023 or made over the phone by calling 940.433.5091. You can also visit to make a secure donation online.

Front Range Equine Rescue Front Range Equine Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to end the abuse of horses through rescue and education. Since 1997, Front Range has helped thousands of horses through rescue and educational efforts. Special programs include “stop the backyard breeder” (a partial reimbursement for gelding stallions), Trails End (a partial reimbursement for humane euthanasia), and assistance during natural disasters. Front Range Equine Rescue is a leader in responsibly ending horse slaughter and helps mustangs through its “save the wild horses” campaign. Front Range was the first horse rescue in Colorado to receive accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and consistently receives high ratings from Charity Navigator. Make a donation or adopt a new family member. Visit



Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE)

The Cloud Foundation

The nonprofit Cloud Foundation is dedicated to preventing the extinction of Cloud’s herd through education, media events and programming, and public involvement. The Foundation is also determined to protect other wild horse herds on public lands, especially isolated herds with unique characteristics and historical significance. Cloud is a pale palomino wild stallion living in the Pryor Mountains on the Montana/Wyoming border, a range the Crow Indians called the Arrowheads. Cloud has been documented from the day of his birth by Emmy-winning filmmaker & TCF’s Executive Director Ginger Kathrens. Her films about Cloud, “Cloud: Wild Stallions of the Rockies,” “Cloud’s Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns,” and the latest film “Cloud: Challenge of the Stallions” aired on PBS’ Nature series and represent the only continuous documentation of a wild animal from birth in our hemisphere. Ginger’s chronicles of Cloud have been compared to Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees in Africa. She has also written three books about Cloud. Today Cloud roams free in his mountain home. For more information and to donate visit All donations to The Cloud Foundation are 100% tax deductible.


Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) rescues horses from dire situations of neglect and abuse. They come to us hungry, weak, and afraid. We restore their health and spirit, provide them with patient handling and training, and when they’re ready, we carefully select the best possible adoptive home. Equine suffering is difficult to face, but our reward is seeing the life come back into the eyes of these horses and knowing that a brighter future awaits each one. A gift donation to SAFE Horse Rescue is a present that will resonate long after the holidays are over! Visit www.safehorses. org to learn more.

Zuma’s Rescue Ranch

Zuma’s Rescue Ranch has been serving the needs of the underserved animals, children and families of Metro Denver since 2008. We help abandoned, abused and neglected horses, to children suffering similar abuse, neglect and abandonment. The pairing of horse and human guided by skilled therapists can mend many a broken heart and soul. In five years the need for assistance in our community has grown 300%,

Chip, who was rescued from a neglect situation as a stallion, is now a happy gelding living a happy new life.

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and Zuma’s has stepped up to meet those needs. Volunteers and financial supporters make it possible for the wonderful Rescue Operation and Equine Assisted Therapies to continue changing lives. If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the lives of those in need, consider joining the Zuma herd of volunteers or DONATE today by visiting www. or call 303.346.7493.


The Gentle Barn The SaddleUp! Foundation

The SaddleUp! Foundation is dedicated to empowering individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies provided at a family-friendly ranch. Our Patient Therapy Program provides physical, occupational and speech therapy from state and nationally licensed therapists Whether the participant has a physical, emotional, or mental disability, SaddleUp! is able to provide the necessary therapy and is truly a place “Where Hope Reins.” Please consider a holiday donation or give the gift of time as a volunteer. For more information you can find us at or call us at 303.788.1666.

The Gentle Barn organization rescues, rehabilitates and gives sanctuary to abused animals. Through the interaction with our animals people learn reverence for all life. At The Gentle Barn, we work with children from the inner-city, group homes, mental health care facilities, foster homes, and schools to teach them that even though we are all different on the outside, on the inside we are all the same and are deserving of the same rights, respects and freedom. We feel it is imperative that we teach our children kindness, compassion and empathy for all living beings. The best way to help is by making a donation, sponsoring an animal or sponsoring a group of school kids, at-risk kids or special-needs kids to come to The Gentle Barn. Come visit us! We’re located at: 15825 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita, CA 91390 Thank you so much for your support! Visit

The Orca Project The Orca Project Corp is a small but effective 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, collaborating with some of the world’s top marine mammal experts and caring professionals from diverse backgrounds, working to change the public’s attitude and government supervision of marine mammals in captivity through research, investigation and education. We are committed to providing the public with a look behind the scenes of the marine mammal captivity/entertainment industry, explore the legal and ethical issues of keeping orcas in captivity and to keep pressure on our government oversight agencies to enforce and improve animal welfare regulations. Get involved by visiting or follow The Orca Project on Facebook.



Washington International Horse Show Kent Farrington and Blue Angel Win the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix

Kent Farrington and Blue Angel win the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix at the Washington International Horse Show. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography.

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Kent Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel beat out Brianne Goutal and Remarkable Farms’ Nice de Prissey in an exciting one-on-one jump-off for victory in the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*-W presented by Events DC at the 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). The FEI World Cup qualifying grand prix was a highlight event of the week at WIHS. Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios set the course for this week’s show jumping competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Palacios set a challenging course for Saturday night’s grand prix, which featured 25 international horses and riders. Just two entries were able to clear the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and both cleared the short course in a race against the clock. Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey were first to jump off and stopped the timers in 32.23 seconds to finish second overall. Kent Farrington and Blue Angel followed and shaved off almost two seconds for the win in 30.81 seconds. For their victory, Farrington and Blue Angel were presented with the President of the United States Perpetual Cup. As Leading Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Robin Parsky, Farrington was also presented with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy and awarded a Rolex luxury timepiece from Tiny Jewel Box. Parsky then received a special award as the Leading Jumper Owner, sponsored by The Reid Family. “When you only have two horses going in the jump-off, going second is obviously a huge advantage, and what you want to do is just watch the first rider go and match their round or pick a spot where you can be a little bit quicker,” Farrington noted. “I thought I was a little faster to the double and to the orange jump. I tried to play it safe coming home. I had a hard rub at the liverpool, but you need a little luck in these things.” “Blue Angel is going great right now, and I am very happy with the horse,” Farrington acknowledged. “The horse is a winner. It is a winner all by itself. I don’t think that is anything I am doing special. When you have nice horses to ride, it is more about managing the horses, choosing the right venues that are the best for them to succeed, and minimizing your mistakes.”



Tim Gredley and Unex Valente Clear 6’11” to Win $25,000 Puissance

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Tim Gredley and Unex Valente jump the moon to clear 6’11” and win the $25,000 Puissance at the WIHS. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

The $25,000 Open Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company, was the highlight class of Friday evening with a win for Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Competition Yard’s Unex Valente, clearing the imposing wall in five rounds up to a height of 6’11” (2.10m). The class began with four fences to clear, including a vertical, oxer, and triple-bar leading up to the wall set at a starting height of 1.70m. McLain Ward and his brand new mount, Kroner Z, had an unfortunate stop at the triplebar that immediately took them out of the running. The four other competitors, including Aaron Vale (USA) and DaSilva Equine LLC’s Smartie, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Walstib Stables LLC’s Aragon Rouet, Charlie Jayne (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Uraya, and Tim Gredley aboard Unex Valente all cleared the first round to advance. Those four competitors also cleared the wall in round two at 1.80m and round three at 1.90m in height to continue to a fourth round. Darragh Kenny and Aragon

Rouet knocked the blocks off the wall at 2.00m to conclude their evening, while the other three attempted another increase. In the fifth and final round, Vale and Jayne were not able to clear the obstacle, and that left Tim Gredley and Unex Valente to jump 2.10m to win top prize. Gredley and Unex Valente have jumped in a few Puissance classes together and won them at the Alltech National Horse Show in 2012 and the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in 2013. Valente is an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Gentleman x Sit This One Out that Gredley has owned since the horse was four years old. They have a trusting partnership that helps with jumping the big wall. “A lot depends on the horse,” Gredley said after his win. “He gives you the confidence to ride it the right way. He just has brilliant technique for it. He is very good in the front and learning to be really good behind. He’s very versatile, and I think in order to jump a very big wall they have to have a bit of quality and be very brave, as well.”




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McLain Ward & Wings Fly to Victory in the $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed Final

McLain Ward & Wings take the blue in the $50.000 International Open Jumper Speed Final at the WIHS. Photo © Shawn McMillen Photography

McLain Ward and the 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Wings (Lexicon x Jersey) were the winners in the $50,000 International Open Jumper Speed Final, a faults converted class sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch. Twenty-five entries jumped the course and five cleared the obstacles without fault. Ward and Wings jumped with ease in a blazing fast time of 51.35 seconds for the win. Wings is an experienced jumper that Ward originally purchased for his wife to ride, but ended up showing himself. “Someone called me in January about him because he was getting a bit older,” he explained. “I bought him for Lauren, and he actually ended up being a little too careful for her, so I confiscated the ride. He was good for me this summer. He won a couple Grand Prix at Saugerties and won one class and was second in another at Harrisburg. He is actually an easy horse to ride, but electric-careful.” “He needs a solid ride; he’s not one to take a joke,” Ward described. “He is a fifteen-year-old horse and has shown very successfully with a Dutch rider for many years, so he has jumped a lot of indoor shows. This is his first time here with me, but he certainty has a lot of miles.”

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About The Washington International Horse Show An equestrian tradition since 1958, the Washington International Horse Show is the country’s leading metropolitan indoor horse show and the pinnacle of the equestrian year with leading riders, including Olympic medalists, and fabulous horses. More than 500 horses participate in show jumping, hunter and equitation events during the six-day show. Highlights include the $125,000 President’s Cup Grand Prix, the Puissance high-jump competition; and WIHS Equitation Classic Finals featuring the country’s top junior riders. Special exhibitions, boutique shopping and community activities will round out this family-friendly event. Since its debut, the Washington International has been a Washington, DC, institution attended by presidents, first ladies, celebrities, business and military leaders, as well as countless horse enthusiasts of all ages. Washington International Horse Show Association, Ltd. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.


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Las Vegas National

Andrew Ramsay & Adamo van’t Steenputje Hit the Jackpot at the Las Vegas National

In a nail-biting finish to a fabulous 42-horse class, Andrew Ramsay and his relatively new mount Adamo van’t Steenputje clinched the win in the $50,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix CSI-W. Going fifth in a jump-off of eight, Ramsay edged out Francie Steinwedell-Carvin’s time of 35.60, stopping the clock at 34.32. Two of the three remaining competitors each had a rail. A California native, Ramsay spent the last four years riding in Europe. When asked about the challenging course the winner explained, “I thought the course was great. In hindsight, I took a bit of a gamble to the last fence, because I thought we were much tighter on the time then we were. It was a nice jump-off. It was perfect for this horse because I don’t know him too well. There were no questionable things where you really had to know your horse. So that played to my advantage. I knew I would be here in the States through this show, so it’s nice to finish up on a high note.”

Andrew Ramsay and his mount Adamo van’t Steenputje clinched the win in the $50,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix at the Las Vegas National. © McCool Photography

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Special appreciation to the Kathy and Brad Coors Family for their continued support. We are also grateful to the following sponsors: Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, Super 8, Littleton Equine Medical Center, Platinum Performance, Griffis Residential, McElvain Energy, Parker Adventist Hospital, Wells Fargo Financial Advisors and Comfort Suites Castle Rock

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Photos courtesy of Flying Horse Photography and Sue Weakley and Mary Adelaide Brakenridge for Phelps Media Group



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Karl Cook & Irish-Bred Banba Win the $30,000 Equ Lifestyle Speed Classic Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge is brilliant at asking just the right questions for the field. With sixty-six entries, Jorge created a course that tested

the technique necessary to tackle tight turns and tidy tracks. Approximately a third of the class rode the course without fault, so to place in the top 12 required a quick and well-planned track. First to impress the crowd was the fabulous Flexible (Harry and Mollie Chapman, owners) with Rich Fellers in the irons. He cruised around in a slick 51.546, which held the lead until Karl Cook came in on Banba (by Cruising out of Donohill Silver)], a half-sister to Flexible, and laid down a smoking time in 47.458.

When asked about his winning ride, Cook explained in detail. “I took the track I had walked except I landed off of 8b a little bit more right than I wanted, so the turn wasn’t the exact shape I had planned to make the approach to fence 9 easier. Other than that, it was pretty on target.” Successful at the Las Vegas National in past years, Cook is no stranger to the South Point arena. Just last year, he not only won this speed class but also earned a one-two finish in the Saturday grand prix.

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Karl Cook and Banba win the $30,000 Equ Lifestyle Speed Classic at the Las Vegas National. © McCool Photography

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3D Film Brings Wild Horse Issue Into Focus By Geoff Young Photography by Tara Arrowood



have been passionate about the survival of our wild horses in the American West, publishing articles about the cruel and senseless management practices of the herds since 2006. It has been a sad and depressing campaign following the plight of these icons of our Western heritage. And to be honest, I felt a sense of hopelessness this year when the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released its long-awaited report on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) wild horse management program. The NAS report eviscerated the failed management practices of the BLM stating that, “The Wild Horse and Burro Program has not used scientifically rigorous methods to estimate the population sizes of horses and burros, to model the effects of management actions on the animals, or to assess the availability and use of forage on range lands.” It shouldn’t take the nation’s leading scientists to point out that rounding up tens of thousands of wild horses with helicopters from our public lands and stockpiling them in holding facilities, at an enormous cost to the American taxpayer, and great benefit to the ranching and livestock industry, is a really bad plan. And what has me feeling hopeless and depressed is that the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, has pretty much blown off the report—barely commenting on it or taking action regarding the recommendations laid out. And the real kicker is that Jewell has a science background with a degree in mechanical engineering and yet ignores the science behind the NAS report.


Ellie Phipps Price, Producer of AMERICAN MUSTANG, and partner Chris Towt with Dunstan, a mustang who is the namesake of the couple’s winery at the Durell Vineyard in Sonoma, CA.

It’s clear where government stands: the BLM is working for ranching interests at the expense of wild horses and the public at large. AMERICAN MUSTANG


attended the world premiere of AMERICAN MUSTANG on Nov. 11 at the Starz Denver Film Festival, and though this is not the first film about the wild horses, it may turn out to be the most accessible because it tackles the subject unlike any film previously. The 70-minute movie, shot in 3-D and narrated by award-winning actress Daryl Hannah, is a character-driven narrative wrapped artfully around a documentary about the plight of our wild horses. AMERICAN MUSTANG is crafted to be a film that the entire family will enjoy, a smart move since the subject material can be brutal and shocking to watch. There is footage of the roundups and the holding areas, but it is done from a distance and angle that lessens the blow of what we know is going on. Add to that the incredible 3-D footage of the mustangs running free on their native lands, and you have a movie that has the potential to draw millions of Americans into the debate to save our wild horses.

AMERICAN MUSTANG, directed by Monty Miranda, was written and produced by Ellie Phipps Price and Henry Ansbacher of Just Media, a Denver-based film company that produces documentaries to raise awareness of social justice and environmental issues. Colorado native Phipps Price has been a long time wild horse advocate who walks the talk—she has 220 adopted mustangs on a 2,000-acre wildlife preserve in Northern California. I sat down with Ellie after the movie premiere to get her thoughts on the journey to create AMERICAN MUSTANG, and where it goes from here.


HC What influenced you to start this quest to save the wild horses and to make this movie about them? EPP I’ve always thought of wild mustangs as something from long ago. I had never seen wild horses on the range, but I was moved when I read the book Mustang:


It doesn’t look good. Wild horses continue to be cruelly rounded up, with more wild horses now in holding than running free on the range. The ranching industry, one of the many loan sharks that own our congressmen, have seen to it that more and more of our public land is taken from our wild horses and given to private livestock concerns as one big welfare giveaway that we are paying for. It’s frustrating after all of these years to see little to no change while outraged people vent about saving our wild horses on social media and sign one of hundreds of petitions that, like the wild horses that are rounded up, go somewhere but nobody knows where. But something has happened that gives me hope that may get our voices united again with passion and fervor, and bring the message of our wild horses to people who have been unaware or unconcerned about their future. Let’s start this fight all over again—by watching a movie.

This beautiful image from the movie comes with the saddest of stories. The horse pictured was an old, slow moving mustang that had lived his whole life in the wild on the Wyoming range. On the day after this shot was taken, he was rounded up, driven by helicopters over 20 miles into a BLM trap. By the time he got there he was lame, traumatized, and exhausted. The BLM put him down at the trap site. 48 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Ellie and Dunstan, who was adopted from the Cañon City, Colorado BLM Wild Horse Inmate Program in 2009.

The Saga of the Wild Horse in the American West by Deanne Stillman. It tells the history of America through the lens of the mustang. As Deanne points out, this is the horse we rode in on. America was built on the backs of these horses. I started seeing articles about government mistreatment and mismanagement of wild horses on the range, and it struck me as wrong that a government agency that historically has been, and remains, at the service of the ranching industry, would be charged with managing wild horses. It’s like the fox guarding the henhouse. HC I thought we had a law in place to protect the wild horses. EPP We do but, for over 40 years, the BLM has subverted the intent of the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act. Instead of protecting them as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West” that “enrich the lives of the American people,” the BLM has driven the mustangs by the tens of thousands from our public lands. At its core, this is a land battle between the ranching interests and the larger public, which is concerned with preserving wild horses and protecting our public lands. It’s clear where government stands: the BLM is working for ranching interests at the expense of wild horses and the public at large. HC It all boils down to money. Ranchers have big financial leverage with congress and they are organized against the interests of the wild horse activists. EPP Yes, the ranching community acts in solidarity against wild horses. It’s puzzling that ranchers who have to pay market rates for grazing would side with public lands ranchers who receive tax subsidies. It’s very puzzling to me. HC That’s a very interesting point. Ranchers tend to be conservative politically, so it is completely backward that they

Just days before these wild horses were rounded up and removed from the Wyoming range, AMERICAN MUSTANG, the movie, documented the horses with their family bands. The White Mountain Herd, Rock Springs Wyoming, July 2010


would support those in their industry that benefit from grazing land subsidies, getting big government handouts, and a free ride from the taxpayers. That goes against the crux of conservative talking points. The program is also far from being fiscally conservative, isn’t it? EPP Tax subsidized grazing on public lands costs taxpayers as much as half a billion dollars a year. The wild horse program alone costs nearly $80 million annually, and 70% of that budget is spent to round up and stockpile horses in holding facilities. Only 4% of the budget is used on fertility control and range management—that is just upside down. HC You back up your passion with action regarding the wild horses. You have produced this movie and have personally adopted wild mustangs and created a sanctuary. What else are you doing? EPP The movie is one part of raising awareness, but I’ve also put a lot of energy into supporting the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, which is a coalition of over 50 organizations and individuals. The goal is to provide a unified platform and voice

for the wild horses backed by a strong grassroots base. The campaign has environmentalists and horse advocates working together on common ground toward common goals. HC Is the BLM’s management program for the wild horses destined to fail? EPP One concern I have here is that the government has, over protests by citi-

will stand by and allow the government to sell America’s wild horses for slaughter. HC The NAS report offered some sciencebased solutions to managing the populations of the wild horses using birth control and resource allocation. Do you think the BLM will adopt these recommendations? EPP The BLM is not going to reform itself. It’s going to take the Administration and Congress to step in and force the agency to change. Adopting a sciencebased approach to wild horse management is going to require a cultural shift within the agency. The BLM must start managing wild horses as wildlife, not livestock. HC Getting this information to a large number of people is important in changing attitudes about how we care for and manage the wild horses and one of the most effective ways to do this is with an engaging movie. You’ve done just that with AMERICAN MUSTANG. What I find interesting is that instead of a traditional documentary film, you’ve incorporated a narrative and a story that envelops the factual

Only 4% of the [wild horse program] budget is used on fertility control and range management— that is just upside down.


zens, in both Democratic and Republican administrations, continued to round up these horses and stockpile them in holding, creating a completely unsustainable and ridiculous model that is going to be extremely expensive to support. And now that we’re in this mess, I’m concerned that the BLM is just going to throw up its hands and say, let’s send these horses to slaughter. The American people have very firmly said two things—wild horses should be protected and horses should not be slaughtered. I don’t think the American people

This scene from the movie shows a mustang being saddled for the first time by Luke Neubert. “Watch your cameras, boys.”


They exhibit steadfastness, loyalty to family and the ability to survive. They are, frankly, an inspiration. We connect to them. They represent the best of American qualities. This country was built on their backs.


The number of wild horses the BLM allows on the range is completely arbitrary. It’s not based on any science, and they’ve acknowledged that the numbers are basically just pulled out of the air. It’s a value for something that you can’t touch. HC What is the value to us in having wild horses? EPP Why should people care about them? We live in a world where so much that is wild has been lost. It’s important to know that there is still a place where wild horses run free. And the image of the mustang untamed and free on the western range strikes a deep chord with people, not just here but all over the world. That is meaningful. Wildlife biologists I have spoken to tell me that the most interesting animal to study is the wild horse, because they live in complex societies with tightly knit family groups. They exhibit steadfastness, loyalty to family and the ability to survive. They are, frankly, an inspiration. We connect to them. To a lot of people they are like the bald eagle—symbols of freedom and strength. They represent the best of American qualities. This country was built on their backs. We owe them more than to hunt them down with helicopters. Wild horses are protected by law, yet we have a taxpayer funded, cruel government program that treats these national icons like vermin. HC And the situation is getting worse for the horses, isn’t it? EPP Yes, today wild horses are restricted to just 11% of BLM lands. Yet even on that small amount


aspects of this situation. How did this come about and why did you think this was the best way to get your message out about the plight of the wild horses? EPP We needed to show what’s happening in a new way. People have become tired of the very sad story of what’s been done to the wild horses. Watching a roundup is depressing, horses are hurt and family bands are torn apart. It’s a sad tragic story. Seeing a roundup in person is heartbreaking. If you get a chance to see these horses in the wild, you are struck by their incredible beauty and their amazing ability to survive. They are steadfast, loyal, and strong. Watching the helicopters come in and tear their families apart is devastating. We decided to include some roundup footage, because we didn’t want that part of the story to be ignored, but we also built in a more personal story, that of a 14-year-old girl. We think a lot of young girls who love horses will relate to this story. It makes the movie more interesting and appealing to a broader audience. HC Your decision to shoot the movie in 3-D takes the scenes of the wild horses to a level never seen outside of their natural habitat. Was this the impact you intended? EPP Yes. We wanted to capture the incredible experience of seeing wild horses in the wild, on their own turf and their own terms. That’s the allure of wild horses. The goal is not to catch them and ride them, but to glimpse them and know that they are out there.

Stallions fight after being forced into cramped quarters at a BLM trap. Many wild horses are seriously injured in the government roundups and during the processing that begins as soon as they are removed from the range. 52 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE

A foal born to the matriarch of the Deer Run Herd, a small herd from Nevada that was rescued by advocates after a BLM roundup.


A filly born on the range, rounded up and branded by the BLM, ready for adoption from a private sanctuary.

of land, the vast majority of forage is allocated to livestock. Wild horses get 17% of the forage on just 11% of the land. And, each year, the BLM takes more and more land away from the horses. It’s out of balance and the government is making it harder and harder for wild horses to survive. HC It looks more like an eradication program than a management program. What do you think the goal of the BLM is with this? EPP I think the BLM is trying to establish the most minimal representation of wild horses on the range that they can. There are tools like birth control available that the BLM can use instead of roundups and incarceration. Those were laid out very clearly in the NAS report. HC Are sanctuaries a solution to managing wild horses? EPP Sanctuaries are not the solution. They’re not self-sustaining, and they’re not model for management of wild horses on public lands. I created a sanctuary for the wild horses I rescued from slaughter. But it’s a rescue. They are not real herds

because I don’t have stallions. Once you take the horses off their land, you have to buy hay, vaccinate them, worm them and keep their hooves trimmed because there just isn’t enough land for them to run on and naturally keep their hooves worn down. We show in the movie what’s involved in trimming wild horses’ hooves. It is traumatic, expensive and dangerous.” HC AMERICAN MUSTANG is a story that is told in four voices—that of a rancher, a cowboy, a young girl and the advocate. Which voice is yours? EPP There is a lot of me in the voice of the advocate, but that voice was based on interviews with real people. These include advocates like Neda DeMayo of Return to Freedom; Ginger Kathrens of The Cloud Foundation; and Suzanne Roy of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign. We also interviewed scientists and academics including Anne Perkins, a wildlife biologist and professor at Carrol College in Montana, Allen Rutberg, wildlife biologist at Tufts University Veterinary School; and Ed


deSteigeur, a professor of public land policy at the University of Arizona. HC I found the rancher’s voice to be authentic and a little humorous. EPP Thank you. The rancher’s voice was taken from actual conversations over the years. I grew up on a ranch and I didn’t want to demonize ranchers. I wanted the rancher to be an educated person who cares about the land and the business of raising cattle. In the movie, there’s a line that says ranchers are virtually the only ones who still use horses to do their work. They need horses to get the job done, but they don’t have much use for wild horses. As far as humorous, you’re probably referring to the rancher describing wild horse activists as “a bunch of menopausal dogooder hippies.” That gets a laugh. HC To me, the striking part of the movie is when the young girl has an epiphany—she no longer wants to own and ride the wild mustang but wants to see it run free. EPP We were really torn about how to cover adoption in the movie. I’ve adopted mustangs myself from the BLM, and they

are great horses. But, like sanctuaries, adoption doesn’t provide a solution for the 50,000 wild horses standing around in government holding. The BLM can’t adopt its way out of this problem and private individuals can’t create sanctuaries for all of these horses. We also wanted the story to be about how the young girl learns that there is value in having wild horses just be wild. That there’s more value in freedom than in owning and riding a mustang. In the movie, the girl comes to a higher understanding about what wild horses are. HC The money alone should be cause for concern about continuing this program. We, the American taxpayers, are paying over $124,000 per day to keep almost 50,000 wild horses imprisoned. It is insanity, pure and simple. EPP I agree. The current management doesn’t make sense. We need to stop rounding up wild horses and start managing them on the range. We also need to allow higher wild horse populations where the land will sustain them. The number of wild horses the BLM allows on the range is completely arbitrary. It’s not based on any science, and they’ve acknowledged that the numbers are basically just pulled out of the air. It’s especially disconcerting when they blame wild horses for damaging the range, when there are at least 50 times more privately-owned livestock than wild horses on public land. It would be less expensive to buy out the grazing rights of the ranchers in Herd Management Areas than to round up more horses and put them in holding. HC What do you hope people take away from AMERICAN MUSTANG? EPP I hope that people who never knew about wild horses will be inspired to learn more about the issue and take a stand. I also hope that young people will learn what it takes to be an advocate for something, how to find your voice and make a difference. Some things are worth fighting for. Humane management of one of our national treasures is worth fighting for.



he battle is far from over. It’s going to take sustained public pressure to get the BLM to embrace the recommendations of the NAS study and to implement a humane management system. Wild horses deserve a fairer share of resources on the small amount of public land designated as their habitat. The future of wild horses is in jeopardy. But, this isn’t just about saving wild horses; it’s about taking care of our history and our story going forward. It’s about saving a piece of the West that’s still wild. The words from Thoreau’s essay, “Walking,” resonate today. “The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world. Life consists with wildness. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, its presence refreshes him.” If the wild horses no longer run free, neither will we.

Be a part of the AMERICAN MUSTANG movie family by visiting: and check out AMERICAN MUSTANG on Facebook. Get involved: Read the NAS study: Tell Secretary Jewell to adopt the recommendations in the NAS report. Email her here:

Henry Ansbacher, Producer & Co-Writer of AMERICAN MUSTANG


s executive director and founder of Just Media, Henry Ansbacher works to develop and produce documentary films to raise awareness of current social and environmental issues. His projects have earned multiple Emmys, screened at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe, and have been recipients of Best Documentary prizes and accolades. Working on AMERICAN MUSTANG, Ansbacher was brought face to face with the dilemma of wild horse management. Said Ansbacher, “What I didn’t realize when I started working on this picture was what a contentious issue the management and the place of wild horses is in our country today. One hope that I have for the film is that it will allow people to see a little more, understand a little more about the complexity of the issue and might develop an emotional connection with the horses, that through this visceral experience of watching the film, they might shift a little bit in their view.” One way to impact the audience that sees AMERICAN MUSTANG is to give them an experience that will leave a lasting impression. Ansbacher believes that has been accomplished with this movie. “Film is a very powerful medium and there’s really no substitute for that experience when you’re in the theatre, the lights go down and the curtains open and the film starts, and you’re just taken to another place. This film really does take you on a journey. We shot in 3-D in seven western states and we spent days on the range tracking wild horses. We shot in some of the most beautiful places in this country. At that moment when this great herd of mustangs comes cresting over the hill, and it’s magic hour and it’s in slow motion, it takes you to another place. When we got to that particular shot I just knew how incredible it was… it’s in the movie and it really moved me—it really moved my soul to actually watch that happen.”



Enter at “D” for

DEFINITELY DRESSAGE DEFINITELY DRESSAGE is a new HC feature that is all about the ballet of horse and rider. Each edition of DEFINITELY DRESSAGE will highlight the personalities and horses of the sport as well as showcasing new products, announcing upcoming shows and clinics, as well as the latest news, both here and abroad. If the art of classical riding is your passion, then be sure and enter “D” for DEFINITELY DRESSAGE. If you have news, tips, products, or ideas for this feature, email them to



s the “Season of Giving” approaches, 15-year-old Barbara “Bebe” Davis is not asking what she can get but instead what she can give. This season, Bebe Davis donated her two top FEI dressage ponies to a foundation that promotes dressage education and horsemanship for riders 21 years and younger, Dressage4Kids LLC. The famed ponies, Poldy 10 and Bohdjan, earned Davis recordbreaking dressage scores like her 75.9% score in the FEI Pony Individual Test in 2012, and in 2012 a Champion and Reserve Champion placing at the USEF Festival of Champions. “I wanted to donate them to Dressage4Kids because I wanted to give others the opportunity to do what I did. A lot of people are not as fortunate as I am and I want to share my blessings with them. I hope that our donation helps to strengthen and grow the pony program here in the United States,” stated Bebe Davis. Bebe, along with her father, Michael Davis, are members of the Piaffe-Performance dressage team, under the tutelage of Dr. Cesar Parra. The Davis family is an avid supporter of the dressage sport not only as competitors but also as sponsors of Parra’s successful slew of horses, including Van the Man, Simply Nymphenburg, Borett, Linder, Fiderhit OLD, and Grandioso, whom Parra rode to 2011 Pan Am Junior National Dressage Champion, Bebe Davis. Photo courtesy of 58 | WINTER EDITION 2013/2014 | HORSE CONNECTION MAGAZINE


Games Team Gold. “It’s a lifestyle for our family and being able to compete along side, and maybe even one day against my daughter is a true gift,” commented Bebe’s father. “As we were considering the alternatives for the ponies, as a family we agreed that building our dressage riders from within is important and by donating these two ponies we would be giving back to and helping to improve this sport that we all love.” Now, Bebe Davis and her new mount, Rotano, a 12-yearold Hanoverian gelding, are competing on the FEI Junior dressage circuit and most recently won the coveted ACGO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship. Looking back over her years with her first ponies, Bebe commented, “The ponies helped me tremendously, and I am so grateful to them for that. I grew as a rider as well as a person. I think that all of the work that I did with ponies helped me have a seamless transition between the FEI Pony and FEI Junior divisions.” Dressage4Kids welcomed Poldy 10 and Bohdjan into their program and plan to educate the next generation of riders with their two new FEI-level dressage stars. For more information on Dressage4Kids or to make a donation, please access


LIGHTNESS… The Path to Harmony and Balance Classes to include: Lightness, Doma Vaquera, Alta Escuela, Garrocha, Spanish Walk and Piaffe/Passage For more information on our 2014 Lightness Tournament dates, location and rules/tests for each level, please go to



The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical

event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?

—J. B. Priestley

Horses Photography by Bianca McCarty

“On a warm spring day, a galloping horse was only too clearly a sweating animal of flesh and blood. But a horse racing through a snowstorm became one with the very elements; wrapped in the whirling blast of the north wind, the beast embodied the icy breath of winter.”

—Yukio Mishima, Spring Snow


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched—they must be felt with the heart. —Helen Keller


The white horse with, its feathery mane, eyes of black night, gallops on the soft snow, which is the tapestry, covering the treasure chest, of hidden, unseen miracles. 窶年ithya Raghavan


To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in —George Santayana love wi1 spring.


It’s only on a winter’s ride that hot breath can bring cold comfort. —Butte Dawson

In the midst of winter, I

found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger— something better, pushing right back. —Albert Camus, The Stranger


’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

—Clement Clarke Moore

“He moved like a dancer, which is not surprising; a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music.”

—Mark Helprin, Winter’s Tale

About the Photographer

Bianca McCarty’s passion is creating unique and original portraits of horses and their owners that will bring a lifetime of memories. Growing up around horses in Germany, Bianca now lives with her husband and four Andalusians on a small ranch in Eagle, Colorado. For more of Bianca’s work, visit and



The nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie” adopted a different meaning for three-year-old Reece Davidson. Reece rode in her first Lead Line Class at The Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Colorado under the direction of her trainer, Karen Cranham. Reece and her creamy white horse “Dream a Little Dream,” paraded proudly in the horse ring in front of the judges where she received her very first blue ribbon. The ending to their “ring around the rosie” was a hay-filled smile from “Dream a Little Dream” and a gentle nudge onto Reece’s arm saying in horsey talk “we’re a winning pair.” Reece giggled with pure joy. Photo by Cassady Davidson Photography

Send in your photo showing the human – horse connection and win a free subscription. Email it in high resolution (the largest size) to



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