Welcome to my website!

January 7th, 2014

WELCOME TO CINDYREICH.COM AND CINDY REICH EQUINE SERVICES!

WHY NOT UTILIZE MY EXPERIENCE TO HELP YOUR PROGRAM?  I AM A SECOND GENERATION HORSEWOMAN WITH OVER 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE IN BREEDING FARM MANAGEMENT.

AS A REPRODUCTIVE TECHNICIAN, I SPECIALIZE IN A WIDE VARIETY OF BREEDING FARM MANAGEMENT DYNAMICS.  I HAVE WORKED WITH OVER 100 STALLIONS OF MANY BREEDS AND HAVE FOALED OUT OVER 1,000 MARES.  I CAN HELP YOU AVOID COMMON MISTAKES AND BREEDING MANAGEMENT ISSUES.

CONFORMATION ANALYSIS AND BIOMECHANICS ARE FASCINATING SUBJECTS THAT I HAVE BEEN STUDYING FOR DECADES.  IT INFORMS MY WORK AS AN INTERNATIONAL JUDGE AS WELL AS DOING INDIVIDUAL HORSE AND HERD EVALUATIONS.

LET ME KNOW HOW I CAN HELP!

January 7th, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

WELCOME TO THE YEAR OF THE HORSE!

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This bears good tidings for the coming year, I’m thinking!!! Although last year was a very busy and productive time, with shows  and clinics in Australia, US and Africa!

I am so grateful for all of the good friends I have made around the world and never fail to be amazed at how the Arabian horse draws people together from every race, creed, economic level and geography. All are united in the love of this amazing horse!

I look forward to all the surprises this year has to offer. First off will be the Scottsdale show in February–always a great way to kick off the year!!!  Hope to see many of you there.

Meanwhile, check out my articles in “Arabian Horse World”, Australia’s “Studs and Stallions” and “The Arabian Magazine” in Great Britain.   Perhaps I’ll be judging a show in your part of the world…the bag is packed and am open to inquiries from interested show committees!

August 10, 2013

It has been a busy time. Which is a good thing.  Having a litter of puppies in the house has meant that I’ve stayed closer to home, but now that they are four months old and all but one out of the house, life is simpler, if not less frantic.

I’ve judged a few shows, done a lot of writing (check out my monthly column, “Stud Farm Diaries”  in the Arabian Horse World magazine) and have enjoyed staying close to home for a while.  However, I’ll be back on the road soon to judge some shows and do some clinics.  Check the schedule to find out where.  If you would like a conformation evaluation of your horse at a reasonable price, check out my new site:  www.judgemyhorse.com

Have been busy doing appraisals and evaluations for clients. Contact me if you need evaluations of a single horse or a whole herd.

Let me introduce the newest member of the family…Dora the Explorer..

Enjoy the last of the summer!

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APRIL 15, 2013

Have you ever wondered about what a judge REALLY thought about your horse’s conformation?  But you didn’t want to bring it to a show to find out??  I’ve set up a website where you can submit photos of your horse and I will give you an evaluation of the horse’s conformation.  I wanted to do it at an affordable price for anyone to use and believe it is good value for $50/horse.

Check out the new site at:   www.judgemyhorse.com

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March 1, 2013

Well, the year got off to a cracking start. Shortly after the first of the year, I judged the Victoria Arabian Classic in Geelong, Victoria in Australia.  Geelong is right on the coast, and it was nice to have the fresh sea breeze to take away some of the heat of summer!  However, Geelong outdid itself, sending very cold weather for the second day of the show. And none of us packed anything warm!!! But horses, exhibitors and judges toughed it out and I must confess, the cold was easier to take than the heat!

I love judging in Australia because the quality of the horses is so high. Also, I get to judge wonderful Arabian Riding Ponies, Warmbloods, and many other great horses that have a splash of Arabian blood in them.

Here is the Supreme Arabian Riding Pony, Ascot Noosa Fox (Ascot Classic Silk x Burren-Dah Party Girl)

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Her full brother, Ascot Party Music was Champion Arabian Riding Pony Gelding and Supreme Champion Ridden Exhibit. I love these ponies!

The purebred Arabians were beautiful as well, and there will be a full show report with photos in the April issue of the Arabian Horse World Magazine.

My thanks to Shelia Jones, Katherine McMahon and all of the wonderful people in the show committee for the honor of judging such a great show!!  But next time, no more tractors!!

I was able to take a couple of days to check out some wildlife–my dear friend David Ross took me to the Melbourne Aquarium where we got to see King Penguins–they were on a short term loan for exhibit. A great environment had been made for them, complete with ice slides and northern lights.  My first time ever to see these amazing penguins. The only ones that are bigger are the Emperor Penguins.  We also saw sea-dragons and sea horses (appropriately) along with a multitude of other fish.  It is a superb aquarium, located right on the riverfront in Melbourne.

Katherine and Margaret McMahon took me to see the fairy penguins on Phillip Island. In the evenings, the penguins come out of the ocean and walk up to 1K to their burrows (yes, burrows) to feed their chicks. They only come up to feed them every few days. The chicks stand outside of the burrow and wait patiently.  You can’t take photos (rightfully so) as it disorients the incoming penguins. But here is one (not mine) to show what they look like. They are very tiny as their name implies–about 6-8 inches tall.  It is astonishing to watch the obstacles these penguins overcome to get to their chicks throughout the feeding period.  Kudos to the Parks department on Phillip Island for providing an absorbing viewing experience while not allowing humans to interfere with the penguins.

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So it was sort of a penguin trip–and for a child of the Rocky Mountains, that is pretty darn exotic.

But here is one of my favorite Australian mammals (after wombats)

Tasmanian Devil

Tasmanian Devil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 3, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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MAY ALL THAT YOU WISH FOR COME TRUE IN 2013!

While I won’t be at the Sydney Opera House, I won’t be all that far away, either. I’m heading down under to judge the Victoria Classic Arabian Horse show in Geelong, Victoria, Australia on the 12-13th.

I will also be conducting a clinic on the 11th, so hope to see lots of people there!  Check with the show committee for more information for those in Victoria.

Looking forward to seeing great Arabian horses–and love, love, love the derivatives!!!

Check out the January issue of the Arabian Horse World for a report on the US Nationals and my report on the Pretoria, South Africa show.  I am launching a new service in early February…   watch this space!

December 23, 2012

To All My Friends And Clients,

May You Have Peace In Your Heart and All Good Things For The New Year!

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Thanks to Heather and Hennie Van Den Berg at H2 Pics in South Africa who took this amazing photo!

September 16, 2012

SOUTH AFRICA!

I was honored and delighted to travel to Pretoria, South Africa to judge the Gauteng Championships last week. Held in conjunction with a large Agricultural show at the Pretoria Showgrounds, I had the opportunity to see some very nice halter and performance horses.  South Africans RIDE their horses, and I couldn’t have been more pleased to see the Champion Senior halter mare also take the Country English Pleasure Championship as well!   There was a time when halter and performance horses were the same horse. Over the decades, I have seen this change to “halter” horses and “performance” horses.  Breeding a beautiful horse that is also a riding horse is what it should all be about.  My congratulations to South Africa for doing just that!!!

I also had the delight to judge a young English trainer who is a force to be reckoned with. Every horse that Victor Botha brought into the ring was impeccable in the bridle–light, upright and responsive. His English horses trotted off both ends and were balanced with good engagement behind.  If he makes his way to the USA, look out!

I had an absolute brilliant time in Pretoria and the hospitality shown to me by the Arabian horse community in South Africa was top class.  I am already making plans for a return trip!!

Sunrise–Black Leopard Camp

After the show, it was off to Black Leopard Conservation camp for some time in the bush to see wildlife.  Black Leopard camp is a unique place in that they are working very hard on leopard conservation in South Africa. As an apex predator, any habitat that supports leopards is considered very healthy. They are trying to determine how much territory a leopard requires among other projects.  It is a worthy endeavor and I fully support their work!  Highlight for me was the 5am trap runs with Tara, the head researcher. It was beautiful to see the sun come up on the mountains and we invariably saw lots of wildlife!

Male Kudu–Black Leopard Camp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Black Leopard Camp, it was off to Tangala Game Lodge in the Thornybush Game Reserve.  Home to the “big 5″–(Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino)  Tangala was built in the 40′s has no electricity and is lit totally by lamps at night. Exactly the type of experience I was looking for.  Had incredible wildlife viewing. Best for me was the black rhino and her baby, but can’t forget the cheetah and her kits and the wild dogs and their pups.

 

Cheetah with kit–Tangala

 

 

My first trip to South Africa will certainly not be my last–it is an amazing country with wonderful horses, warm people and extraordinary wildlife!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2012

 

 

High Park Fire

 

 

 

 

 

 

June was brutal here in Colorado with the Waldo Canyon Fire and up here in northern Colorado, the High Park fire.  Having had to evacuate 40 horses in the face of the Bobcat fire 12 years ago, I understand a little bit of what is involved. We did everything wrong–no fire plan, horses not trained to load in a trailer, etc.  However, we were fortunate and got them all out in time. Others were not as fortunate. If you have horses in fire country, please have a plan. If you have no plan make one now!  Also have “identity” halters (not nylon) for your horses in case you have to turn them loose.

I have more info on what to do BEFORE the fires come in the July issue of “The Arabian Horse World”

I judged the Estes Park Arabian show at the end of June. On my off time, I headed up into Rocky Mountain National Park. We are so fortunate to have this in our backyard.   Here is a handsome young moose who I found in my travels.

Note the antler buds…will be fun to come back in autumn and see the antlers in their splendor.

Was very hot for the high country.  The elk were at the very top of trail ridge road (12, 000ft). I was shooting up such a steep slope, all you can see of a couple of these bulls are the tips of their antlers….

How many elk can you see? The answer is three..

May 25, 2012

Foaling season has well and truly arrived!  I spent 11 nights in a row up all night in the barn with a high risk geriatric mare. She started dripping milk 10 days prior to foaling.  Lots of sleep deprivation for me (the mare slept just fine!) but thankfully the mare foaled a beautiful, healthy filly!

A healthy filly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Meabdh, at one month of age–one of the wonderful Gypsy cobs at my friends, Parnells Irish Cobs.  Meabdh is practicing for the Belmont Stakes!

 

 

 

 

 

Meabdh practicing her racing technique

 

 

 

 

 

There is nothing quite as cute as a sleeping foal! This is a palomino filly by Enzo out of a cremello Saddlebred mare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 30th, 2012

The Las Vegas show was a great show, as expected. I love the way the show committee continues to think outside the box. The stallion presentation was wonderful, and standing on the arena floor with *El Nabila B, Enzo,  Justice, MPA Giovanni and Pyro Thyme SA was thrilling. Seeing these stallions up close and personal took me back to the days of the Arabian Horse Fairs of the 80′s and the “Living Legend” row of stallions.  Wonderful.

Sandro Pinha, *El Nabila B, David Ross and myself

My report on the Arabian Breeders World Cup show will be in the June issue of “Arabian Horse World” magazine.  I will also have an article on weaning foals in the upcoming issue of the online magazine, “Oasis”.  Let me know what you think.

 

March 2, 2012

Scottsdale!!! Is there any better place to be in February?  This year the weather cooperated for the entire show. And it sure paid off in the crowds coming to see the show.  I have never seen the stands so packed. That is a good thing!

This is my educational show of the year to assess everyone’s breeding programs–watching 60 or 70 yearling fillies or colts at one time only happens at this show. One can learn a lot.

My report on the Scottsdale show will be in the April edition of “Arabian Horse World” magazine.

 

One of the many “unique” dogs at the Scottsdale show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 10, 2012

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like bananas!  A new year snuck in and although spring is supposedly in the air, the snow on the ground would say otherwise.  Foaling season has started and breeding season begins in days. Gentlemen, start your engines!  I love this time of the year.

I was in Scottsdale for the Open House series just after Christmas. What a great way to spend that down time between Christmas and New Year’s.  A well organized and very enjoyable way to see a lot of good friends and good horses. Look for my report in the February issue of the Arabian Horse World magazine. I also have a piece on “Golden Rules for Foaling Mares” in The Arabian Horse magazine in England.   The biggest show of the year is just around the corner….time to see who the hot contenders are in Scottsdale–lots of new superstars-in-the-making will have theirfirst outing.

See you in Scottsdale!

         FROM THIS TO THIS       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 23, 2011

I wish everyone a very happy Holiday and all good things for the New Year!

I photographed this ranch horse on the way to work one day….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1, 2011

I wrote the following for a U.K. Arabian horse magazine. Realizing I am stretching my neck willingly across the chopping block, this is a subject that I just have to talk about.  As a horse judge for over 30 years and as a judge of livestock as well, I have seen what selecting for just one or two traits and ignoring the rest of the animal has done to other horse and livestock breeds. Utilized correctly, the score card is the fairest and most useful tool for evaluating breeding stock.  It will ensure that the most complete horse rises to the top.  Using it incorrectly out of ignorance can be fixed. Using it incorrectly by intent hurts this breed.

I grew up on my family’s Arabian horse breeding farm in Colorado.  Of course, all my friends rode Quarter Horses or Appaloosas or Paints. When they really wanted to say something insulting, they would say, “Who would want one of those cow-hocked A-rabs?”   Ah, those were the days.  Wouldn’t it be great if the worst thing we could say about the conformation of Arabians were that they were cow-hocked?

 

How is it that a breed that made its mark on the ability to cover vast distances very efficiently (and sound) now has such a variety of serious faults in feet and legs?  I have been a USEF judge for over 30 years and I remember well the excellent legs that horses had back in the 70’s and 80’s.  Short cannons, wide tendon attachments, round feet with good heels. Now in the show ring it is a rare thing for me to see solid construction of feet and legs.  The most common faults I see are long cannon bones, narrow tendon attachment below the knee, narrow tendons, weak pasterns, club feet, no heel, calf knees, toe out, offset cannons.

 

Why have these faults become the norm rather than the exception?  Two reasons come to mind fairly readily. One:  Breeders.  There are a variety of bloodlines that have consistently produced major leg faults through several generations, yet because these same bloodlines produce long necks or typey heads, breeders continue to use them.  Two: judges.  As long as judges continue to award championships to horses with major leg faults, people will breed to those horses.  Judges have a huge responsibility in that they often determine what horses will become future breeding stock.

 

There is a third reason, however and that is we have no performance requirements for breeding stock. Back when we showed in the 70’s our show horses did everything. They showed in halter, then driving, or English or Western. Poor feet and legs didn’t last long in that environment.  We have now evolved to a point where we have “halter” horses that never are required to carry a rider and therefore their leg faults do not have any serious impact and we have “performance” horses.  For breeders of racehorses or endurance horses, leg faults are weeded out pretty quickly.  In the halter ring, if a horse has calf knees, the attitude seems to be “who cares”—look at that beautiful neck and head!  If that same horse had to cover a lot of territory carrying a rider, once those calf knees were subjected to stress, strain and concussion, it would have a very short useful career.  What is even worse, is that instead of going under saddle, it is bred—thus passing on the same fault to its offspring.

 

With the advent of the score card, I was filled with optimism. At last it would be possible to reward a horse for a great head, excellent topline, etc., but if it had calf-knees, it would be reflected in the score.  So rather than ignoring the fault and making the horse a champion or using the fault to roll the horse to the bottom of the class (in the pre-score card days) the horse would be rewarded for good traits and lose some points for lesser traits. No horse is perfect. But a point system used properly will insure that the best overall package wins. It may not be the most extreme horse, but it will be the most overall correct horse.  Horses can win with leg faults–if the horse is stellar everywhere else, that horse deserves to win. And will win, even with an honest leg score. This information is useful as breeders can make an educated choice—breed for the good points if they want, realizing that they might sacrifice something in legs. That is their choice.

 

However, what is happening far too often in the show arena is a lack of courage on the part of judges. Consistently, I see judges staying firmly in the “safe” zone of 14-17 points (on a 20 point system) on feet and legs. No matter what the conformation.  This then begs the question: Are they awarding a horse with calf knees a 17 (I’ve seen this more times than I can count) because they don’t recognize that the horse has calf knees?  Or awarding the 17 because it is a good horse everywhere else and they simply don’t care.  Neither is acceptable.  There seems to be an underlying feeling that giving a low score (when deserved) will incur the wrath of the owner, embarrass the horse and prevent the judge from doing shows in future.

We are instructed in the US to give horses with a major fault a score no higher than 10.  Yet I rarely ever see a horse score less than 13 or 14.  Even with multiple major faults, ie: calf knees, club foot.

All of the above can and do happen. However, judges must rise above the fear of “sticking out’ or losing shows or making an owner angry. They must have the courage to do the job they were hired to do. Objectively judge the horse and award the appropriate point score.

 

It does no one any favours to skew the score to avoid making anyone unhappy. All that happens is an owner may be led to believe their horse has great feet and legs (and therefore lets breed a lot of foals) when in fact they are being misled. Poor conformation of feet and legs will continue to persist in the gene pool because the culling for undesirable feet and legs that might occur naturally if the horse’s legs were subjected to stress, strain and concussion doesn’t happen in the halter arena. The one governor we have on the system—honest, objective scores doesn’t seem to be working very well.

 

There are honest, courageous judges out there. But they often are passed over by show committees—often because the owners and trainers that support their shows don’t want the truth. They want to market horses. High scores equal happy owners—even when those scores are false. Yet those incorrect scores are insuring that major faults go straight to the breeding shed.  Everyone—owners, breeders, trainers and judges—need to give some serious thought as to how our actions affect this breed. It is time for someone to point out that the emperor has no clothes.

 

 

October 7, 2011

Autumn is my favorite time of the year, and in Colorado, it is simply gorgeous!!

Just came back from judging at the Minnesota Fall Festival.  It is always a show where you are sure to see some great young halter horses.  The fact that it is an all amateur show is also enjoyable.  This show was one of the earliest to have a stallion service auction with a futurity payback. Its hard to believe that this was the 30th annual show!  The auction and jackpot yearling classes paid off very well for the exhibitors–the yearling champion colt (unanimous on 5 cards) won over $30,000 in two days!

The performance classes were also very nice, with high quality horses in the western, hunter and saddle seat classes.

The Minnesota Horse Breeders are doing a great job!

September, 2011

Judging the Community show was at least as much fun for me as for the exhibitors!  There were several classes for special needs riders that were very competitive and a lot of fun!

The open classes were very interesting–everything from Quarter Horses to Arabians to Fijord Horses to Shires! All in the same class!  It was an enjoyable day for all and a good re-charge for my judging batteries!

August 14, 2011

I will be judging an Arabian Community Horse Show on August 20th north of Denver. I think it is important to give back to the industry and support these shows. Everyone involved is a volunteer (including the judge) and it is all about helping the exhibitors. I’m looking forward to having a lot of fun this Saturday!!

June 6, 2010

I have a new article out in latest  Oasis Magazine on stallion behavior.  Your show stallion has more in common than you think with a wild horse! You can check it out at:  www.oasismagazine.com

In the June Arabian Horse World magazine I spoke with some amazing women who were trapped in the California wilderness in a triple digit heat wave when their horses spooked and were lost. It is an amazing story of courage…and loss.    In the same issue, my Stud Farm Diary column profiles a woman who had a foal with epilepsy and what she wants other breeders to know about her experience.  www.arabianhorseworld.com

May 1, 2010

MICHAEL BYATT OPEN HOUSE

Michael invited me to speak at his annual open house and I was delighted to attend.  I have always wanted to see Marwan Al Shaqab and Gazal Al Shaqab and had high expectations after seeing dozens of their offspring all over the world. I was not disappointed.

Both stallions were stunning in different ways. I used to take care of Kajora, Gazal’s dam, so it was very special to step into his stall and see a bit of her in him.  Likewise, I judged Little Liza Fame at Scottsdale when she was Jr. Champion mare and was thrilled to see her at Michael’s at the grand age of 24 years old!   Seeing Marwan face to face was an emotional experience. He has an aura about him that is indefinable–something that goes beyond his obvious beauty–a mark of greatness that you see in few stallions.

The open house was a celebration of great horses, a chance to see the paradise Michael has created for his horses and his clients and a chance to see old friends and make new ones.  Whether you met someone who had flown in from Brazil, or a neighbor from just down the road–everyone was having a cracking great time!  Kudos to Michael and his staff for a wonderful event.  I especially enjoyed learning from  the interviews Michael conducted with Gene LaCroix and Doug Dahmen.

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IF IT’S APRIL, IT MUST BE LAS VEGAS!

LAS VEGAS was a wonderful show, as usual!  The quality seemed the highest I have seen in the history of the show.

The classes were very deep and impressive!  I particularly wanted to see Panarea by Palawan. She did not disappoint–what a spectacularly beautiful mare!!!!  I was nice to visit with friends from all over the world.  The premiere of “The Path To Glory”  was very special and brought up a lot of great memories of people and horses I have worked with over the years. It is a great overview of the Polish Arabian!

MARCH

SPRING?

We are right in that season that is part spring, part winter.  The days are getting a bit longer, but not much warmer.  Snow is predicted for tomorrow!

FEBRUARY

Scottsdale 2011

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The year really begins with the Scottsdale show!  This year the show was bigger than ever with over 2200 horses!  Saw lots of superb horses and got to see friends and clients from all over the world–because all Arabian horse people want to be in Scottsdale in February!  I was especially happy to spend some time with two great friends who were judging the International classes–Alan Preston from Australia and Renata Schibler from Switzerland.  We always have a great time when we can hang out together, so it was fun to show them some of the sights of Scottsdale when they weren’t judging.

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NOVEMBER, 2010

National Stud Show, New South Wales, Australia

I first judged this show 11 years ago and it was a blast!  This time the show was held at the Sydney Equestrian Centre, which was still under construction the last time I judged in NSW.  It is a lovely setting for a show, and there were three rings running all day for the four days of the show.

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I don’t have pictures of any of the Arabians as I was judging, not taking photographs, but the quality of the horses was excellent. One of the delights of judging in Australia is getting to judge the “derivatives”.

These are horses that have a certain percentage of Arabian blood and include: Arabian Ponies, Riding Ponies, Arabian Warmbloods, Ango-Arabians, Quarabs and Part Arabians.  It is always really interesting to see how the Arabian blood has influenced these different types of horses in Australia.

Of course, as a wildlife nut, there is no more astonishing array of animals on the planet than what you see in Australia.  I have a particular fondness for Wombats…

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How can you NOT love that face!

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Can you find the baby koala in this picture?

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Tasmanian Devils are amazing animals that don’t deserve their fierce reputation. They are very threatened in the wild by a facial cancer that is decimating the population. It is crucial to establish healthy populations in a variety of locations to prevent the spread of the cancer.

This one is a very healthy looking specimen.  Taken at Featherdale Animal Park–very near to where the show was held and has only indigenous Australian animals and birds.

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In addition to unique animals, Australia also has extraordinary plants. This is a Waratah, the state flower of New South Wales

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NOVEMBER 2010

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Where did the summer go?

We had a long breeding season, but still and all, I looked up and it is November!

August found me in Canada, for the Canadian Arabian Nationals.  I was one of the “hats” judging working western classes.  Our panel consisted of Margo Shallcross and Jim Hitt as well as myself and we had a great time!  Other than some ground issues that prevented us from using the brand new arena for reining, the show went well.  We were a pretty tight judging panel and enjoyed some very good runs.

We managed to see a little bit of the halter and some of the performance classes on the finals night, and the quality was quite deep.  I like Canada and the Canadians are always a lot of fun to be around, but unfailingly polite and nice. We could all take a lesson from them!

Our judging panel–the “Hats” judging Working Western at the Canadian Nationals.

Margo Shallcross, Jim Hitt and myself (and a few of Canada’s finest!)

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I went to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Museum outside of Regina and must say that it is a superb museum and interactive center. !!  I highly recommend it!!!

APRIL 2009

April found me in Ireland, my home away from home, where I went to take care of a dear friend for a week.

Thanks to Eyjafjallajokull the Icelandic volcano, my visit was extended by another eight days, while the airspace over Ireland was shut down.  Therefore, instead of being at the Arabian Breeders World Cup in Las Vegas, I was watching it on a computer feed from Ireland. Not quite the same thing….

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A gallery of observers, the Burren, County Clare.

In May, I found myself in Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands in Washington State. This is a place I’ve always wanted to visit.  Amazing wildlife such as sea lions, harbor dolphins, Orcas, Bald Eagles, etc.

Lighthouse

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Ever wonder where Wilson ended up after “Castaway”?

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Resident Orca in the San Juans doing a flip..

JUNE 2009

June started out judging at the 30th Annual Egyptian Event in Lexington, Kentucky.

This show was one of the first shows to use a score card and one of the first shows to use international judges. I attended this show in the early 80′s when I lived and worked in Prospect, Kentucky for Lasma Arabians.  It was very nice to be back as a judge–particularly when I got to judge with two judges I greatly admire. Renata Schibler, from Switzerland is a great friend. We judged together in Australia last year and had a blast.  Mohamed Machmoun, from Morocco is someone I’ve wanted to meet for some time. I watched his judging at the Breeder’s Cup in Las Vegas last year and agreed with a lot of his scores.

We had a fabulous time judging the show, despite high temperatures and high humidity. Something I had forgotten about Kentucky. However, watching fireflies tack back and forth over the paddocks at the Kentucky Horse Park in the evening brought back a flood of memories of walking the paddocks in the evenings amongst the mares and foals at Lasma.

*Bask is now buried at the Horse Park, and I had to go pay my respects. He was one of my all time favorite horses and I was fortunate to not only see him many times, but work with many, many of his great daughters and sons in my career. I “borrowed” a lily from the landscaping to place on his headstone.

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*Bask bronze at Kentucky Horse Park

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*Bask’s grave

If judging great horses wasn’t enough fun for the week, we also were fortunate to be invited to the opening of the Al-Marah galleries at the Museum Of The Horse.  This gallery, devoted entirely to the Arabian horse is spectacular!  It is full of artifacts from the Arabian Horse Trust as well as many interactive exhibits.  Kids have a special space dedicated to “The Black Stallion” and can also visit several interactive screens where they can pick out an Arabian horse, name it, follow its development and then make a picture of it by the end of the exhibit.

We had to go through the gallery too quickly, as the opening was just before the judging of the Championship classes at The Egyptian Event. I will definitely be back to see the gallery at a more leisurely pace.  The Championship classes at the show were outstanding. Looking out over the front and back line in all of the Championships was very satisfying.  All the horses were of superior quality.

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An exhibit from the Al-Marah galleries

Another exhibition at the Museum of the Horse that we got to visit was the “Gift Of The Desert” exhibit, sponsored by the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation. This exhibit covered the art, history and culture of the Arabian horse with over 300 items from museums around the world.  A stunning exhibition.

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Myself, Renata Schibler and Mohamed Machmoun at The Egyptian Event

As a final treat, the day after the show, Anna Bishop of the Pyramid Society, took us to visit Claiborne Farm. Anna used to work at Claiborne and we were very fortunate to have her as our tour guide!   One of the greatest Thoroughbred stud farms in the world, Claiborne has been home to greats such as *Princquillo, *Nasrullah, Mr. Prospector, Bold Ruler and of course, Secretariat.

The only other time I visited Claiborne, I was thrilled to be able to see Secretariat, who was 17 at the time. It was one of the highlights of my equestrian life!  He loved having visitors and when the groom asked if we wanted our picture taken with him, he didn’t have to ask twice!!  I got to stand next to this magnificent stallion and drape my arm over his massive shoulders. He was a perfect gentleman and I still treasure that picture.

This time I visited Secretariat’s grave, which is in a hallowed space along with all of the other greats of Claiborne who have passed away.  Usually, when a great horse is buried, the head, heart and hooves only are buried. Secretariat is unique in that his whole body was embalmed and buried at Claiborne.

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It was a thrilling ending to a spectacular week of horses at the Egyptian Event. My thanks to the Pyramid Society for the opportunity and honor of judging their show!

JUNE 2009

It’s no coincidence that with the beginning of the breeding and show season, my free time for website updating flew out the window!!!  It has been a very busy and intense breeding season thus far, with mares still coming in. That is encouraging in this economy.

Of course, with our Legends program, offering breeders the chance to breed to *Aladdinn, Bey Shah, *Muscat, *Nariadni, Khemosabi, Ruminaja Ali and Brass, serious breeders are anxious for the chance to produce first generation foals from these great stallions–for the first time in decades.

After judging in Punta del Este in January, the next show on my judging schedule was the best breeding show in the U.S.  Scottsdale is the place to be in February. It is the biggest show of the year and the launching point for many horses who will be competing at Nationals.  Ten days of judging, great horses and sun (for the most part) in February is a wonderful way to break up the winter doldrums.

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