Thursday, May 28, 2020

eurodressage: Maifleur, Dam of Valegro, Passes Away

Valegro, out of Maifleur.

Maifleur, the 26-year-old dam of Olympic champion Valegro has passed away, as reported by The mare was owned by her breeders, Joop and Maartje Hanse of The Netherlands. They started breeding in 1978, and Maifleur was the great-granddaughter of their first mare. Valegro was the second of her six foals.

For more, please visit

Photo: Florence.Skowron / CC BY-SA (

Monday, May 25, 2020

Horses Recognize Human Faces

Does your horse recognize your face? It's hard to know for sure. You know your horse recognizes you, but it could be your smell, your body language, or other factors.

Scientists have put it to the test and shown that yes, horses do recognize familiar faces. Not only that, they remember faces they knew, but haven't seen in six months. Not only that, the horses used a computer to prove it! That means they could recognize a two-dimensional image of a person - quite impressive abstract thinking - and they do it better than dogs!

Read the fascinating article: click here.

Photo: Marc-Lautenbacher / CC BY-SA (

Friday, May 22, 2020

Foundation Friday: Wolkentanz I

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

164 cm
Breeder: Gerd Luhr

Wolkentanz is very much a product of the family Lühr who live in Borgholzhausen in Westphalia. Gerd Lühr and his wife, Ursula are devoted to their Hanoverian breeding program.

Wolkentanz I, born 1991, is a "Sunday child." He was a correct foal with good basic gaits but was a bit too small. State stud manager Dr. Burchard Bade evaluated him at the inspection: “That is the way how a horse should move.”

Wolkentanz I remained on the farm because of his size until Heinrich Lampe ... bought the small chestnut for his daughter Stefanie. The buyers and the breeders believed in the powerfully moving and impressive youngster. Martin Berkenbusch raised him. He was accepted for the stallion inspection in Verden. Before Stefanie Lampe was able to decide whether or not she wanted to sell him state stud manager Dr. Bade had already secured the young stallion for the state stud.
Wolkentanz won the Three Year Old Stallion class at the Bundeschampionate in 1994, and stood at Celle until 2014.
In the 2017 Hanoverian Stallion book, Wolkentanz I has a dressage score of 132 with a jumping value of 83. He has an FN dressage value of 141 on the young horse breeding values, and a value of 134 for the "big sport."

There's much more to read about Wolkentanz I on the Horse Magazine website! Click here.

Meet some of the stallion descendants of Wolkentanz I on Click here:

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Dressage at Devon Cancels 2020 Show Due to Virus

May 20, 2020 (Devon, PA) It is with deep regret that the Board of Directors of Dressage at Devon announces the cancellation the 2020 competition. This was a difficult decision but the uncertainty of the time has made it necessary to ensure the safety of our competitors, vendors, sponsors, spectators and our wonderful volunteers.

Operating an international competition at a venue such as Devon is a large undertaking. Our team has worked diligently to review the equestrian governing bodies’ requirements to hold a competition, as well as federal, state and local regulations. It became clear that holding the competition this September, while ensuring everyone’s safety, is not realistic.

Additionally, the uncertainty of the environment has had a significant impact on our suppliers, vendors, competitors, volunteers and sponsors. It is difficult for them to plan and commit their resources and their support – all of which are crucial to the success our show.

There is, however, good news. We are very pleased to welcome our new Board members - Christina Morin Graham, Maureen “Mo” Swanson, Jessica “JJ Tate and Karen Ramsing- Bixler, each of whom brings a unique set of skills and will add energy, expertise and commitment to our efforts to make the 2021 show a success. We are thrilled that they have agreed to become a part of Dressage at Devon.

We wish you all a very safe and healthy remainder of 2020 and please know that we are already planning for a very special Dressage at Devon 2021.

— Lori Kaminski, President/CEO, Dressage at Devon

Friday, May 15, 2020

HSUS Calls for Breeding Restraint

Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic, the Humane Society of the United States Funds Over $100,000 in Grants to Equine Rescues and Calls for Horse Breeding Restraint

May 15, 2020 - The Humane Society of the United States will be providing over $100,000 in grants to equine rescues experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The grants are made possible by donors and funding partners. Additionally, the Humane Society of the United States’ Responsible Horse Breeders Council is calling on all horse breeders to consider the anticipated economic downturn and resulting effects on the equine market due to this pandemic and reexamine their planned breeding activities this year.

The economic uncertainty resulting from this crisis is challenging the ability of some horse owners to be able to afford to feed or otherwise care for their animals – and they are increasingly turning to equine rescues to surrender or rehome their animals. These organizations are facing their own pandemic-related economic challenges, with fundraising events cancelled and donations down.

Recent history serves as a daunting but instructive reminder. During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, some horse owners struggled to be able to afford to keep their animals. Supply of horses exceeded demand, prices dropped, and healthy, usable horses became at risk of neglect, or even fell victim to the slaughter pipeline. Hay banks and other safety net programs helped to keep some horses in their homes, while others were surrendered to rescues that were themselves at risk of being overburdened – facing their own financial hardships. Today, these rescues continue to provide a short-term solution for the rehabilitation and rehoming of horses who become at-risk due to financial hardship.

“Considering the unknown extent and duration of the pandemic and its financial impacts, some horse breeders have already decided to put their breeding plans on hold for this year, while they wait to see how the economic downturn will impact the market,” said Keith Dane, senior adviser on equine protection at the Humane Society of the United States.“ Our Responsible Horse Breeders Council is applauding this move and encouraging other breeders to seriously consider adjusting their plans as well.”

“This is a wise and honorable decision,” said Melissa Forberg, a founding member of the council and an Arabian horse breeder. “We encourage every breeder in the horse industry to consider a pause or reduction in their breeding operations at this time – to preserve the value of horses currently in the market and reduce the numbers that could potentially become at risk.”

“Responsible breeders seek to ensure that the number of horses bred is in sync with market demand, and that every horse born has a reasonable expectation of having a home and appropriate care throughout its life. By making the responsible decision to pause or reduce the number of horses bred during this time, fewer horses will become at risk of homelessness, neglect, or slaughter,” stated Morgan breeder and council member Diana Kline.

The Humane Society of the United States’ Responsible Horse Breeders Council has for years advocated for more thoughtful, conscientious breeding practices.

Robin Bales, a quarter horse breeder and founding member of the council stated, “Being a responsible breeder and horse owner often means planning ahead. It is time to think about the future of any foals born in the next few years. Marketing is hard enough in the best of times and it will become harder and harder to place foals that result from breeding in such an uncertain time.”


Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States and its affiliates around the globe fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, the HSUS takes on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries, and together with its affiliates, rescues and provides direct care for over 100,000 animals every year. The HSUS works on reforming corporate policy, improving and enforcing laws and elevating public awareness on animal issues. More at   
Subscribe to Kitty Block’s blog, A Humane World. Follow the HSUS Media Relations department on Twitter. Read the award-winning All Animals magazine. Listen to the Humane Voices Podcast. Maximizing Foal Immunity

"Newborn foals are easy targets for every kind of bacterium, virus, and other pathogenic organisms. Here are some steps you can take to maximize your foal’s immunity from gestation to weaning."

This is the subhead for a recent article on dealing with foal immunity. As usual with articles on, it's detailed and interesting, and helpful. 

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

HorseMagazine: New German Breeding Values

Christopher Hector, editor and writer for The Horse Magazine

The new German breeding values were published this spring, and at the end of April Chris Hector published an article on The Horse Magazine about them. The article is by Dr. Ludwig Christmann, with an introduction by Chris Hector. The article by Dr. Christmann first appeared in German in Der Hannoveraner in January, 2020.

As usual, the article is more than just a report on the results. Chris Hector has long been critical of the breeding value calculations, and has, in his words, "written a series of articles over the years, pointing out anomalies in the ‘numbers,' ..." In the intro, he provides a summary of the history of these evaluations, including the BLUP and how it was used, and a solid critique of the BLUP, with input from Bernard le Courtois of France.

This year there were again changes to how the stallions are evaluated. Dr. Christmann explains this year's results, with deep looks into bloodlines, and the three different tables of values used this year.

Chris Hector weighs in again with his opinions, and examples, at the end.

It's always interesting to hear the opinions and explanations of experts, perhaps especially when they disagree!

Read the article here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020 Small Feet, Big Responsibility: Hoof Care for Foals

The topic is hoof care for foals, and the has a new, quite extensive article on the topic. The article is written by a farrier, and encompasses what's normal, what's not, mistakes to avoid - and even the best approach to handling a foal for farrier work.

"A youngster’s hoof care lays the foundation for his future. Here’s what you need to know about the foal’s first exam, mistakes to avoid, and common foal hoof and limb issues."

Read the article here.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Antimicrobials in Foals Overused?

Treat foal pneumonia before it happens? It's often done, but is it a good idea?

Kentucky Equine Research has looked at the use of antimicrobials in horses, and their possible overuse. As in humans, if you use antimicrobials when they aren't necessary, this can lead to the development of bacteria that resist treatment. KER refers to a recent American veterinary study that indicates they are over prescribed, with serious consequences. They used foal pneumonia as their example.

Read the article here.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Fate of World Championships for Young Horses

Equnews has posted an article about the World Championships for Young Horses, addressing whether or not it can be held, especially since most qualifying competitions cannot be held due to restrictions because of COVID-19. The Championships for young dressage horses would be first, scheduled for August 5–9 in Verden, and they are specifically the subject of the article. Belgium hosts the FEI/WBFSH Young Horse Championships for Jumping later in September, and the FEI/WBFSH Young Horse Championships for Eventing are to be held in Lion d'Angers, France in October.

There is no news on the FEI/WBFSH website.

Read the article here.

UPDATE May 11, 2020

There is a certain lack of unified information about the first of the Championships for Young Horses: the Dressage. has posted an announcement that the FEI/WBFSH World Championships for Young Dressage Horses has officially been moved to December 9–13 of 2020, in Verden, and this has also appeared on and other sites. Meanwhile, the FEI website's countdown clock for that event is showing August of 2021.

And here is the official press release from Verden:

Verden. The date for the FEI WBFSH Dressage World Breeding Championships for young horses has been fixed: From December 9 to 13, the best five-, six- and seven-year-old dressage horses will show their great skills Verden. For the first time in its long history this important event will be held as an indoor event in the Niedersachsenhalle due to the Corona pandemic.
"The date has already been published many times in the media worldwide. In fact, it was only this noon that the FEI officially confirmed the postponement to the date proposed by the Hannoveraner Verband after internal coordination," says Managing Director Wilken Treu. Provided that the conditions valid at that time allow it, the Niedersachsenhalle will then belong exclusively to the young dressage horses. "It will be a pure world championship."
The horse show "Verden International" has been renamed to "Verden Championships" this year. The outdoor facility at the racecourse in Verden, which is currently being rebuilt, will therefore probably host the Hannoveraner Championships for riding, dressage and jumping horses from August 5 to 9. The best three-year-old Hannoveraner and Rhineland mares will be presented at the Herwart von der Decken-Show on Thursday, August 6. The qualification for the final of the Nürnberger Burg-Pokal and the international Almased Dressage Amateurs Cup will complete the programme. Another highlight is the Verden auction of foals and broodmares on August 7 and 8, which will be held in this magnificent setting. Then it says "Secure the stars of tomorrow today!
"The horse show will be smaller than usual with a somewhat 'slimmed down' programme", says Wilken Treu. A prerequisite for this is that the official regulations then in force can be adhered to. Admission to the "Verden Championships" is free on all days of the event, but is limited to 1,000 people per day due to official regulations.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Foundation Friday: FF Jazz

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

170 cm
Breeder: H. van Helvoirt

Jazz is a second generation Grand Prix dressage horse, following in his father, Cocktail’s footsteps – and like Cocktail, there is not a lot that says "dressage" about the pedigree. He comes from an era when the breeders tended to breed for jumping and dressage and let the talents of the horse decide their career. 
 In his time, Jazz produced a uniform collection of riding type foals with refinement and sufficient to more than sufficient development. They like to trot and show rise in the front. They also have tact and scope.

“There is not a mean bone in Jazz’s body,” according to his international Grand Prix rider Tineke Bartels, in an article by Claartje van Andel, Jazz: One in a million (IDS international, March 2011) “What’s more, his strength is that he’s so positive. That’s nice, a positive horse! He makes every day enjoyable.”

There's much more to read about Jazz on the Horse Magazine website! Click here.

Meet some of the stallion descendants of Jazz on Click here:


Thursday, May 7, 2020

Diet Evaluation for Pregnant TB Broodmare

Kentucky Equine Nutrition posted a question concerning an 18-year-old Thoroughbred mare's diet. She was due to foal in two months, and the owner was concerned whether she was getting adequate nutrients with what they were currently feeding: grass hay, concentrate, beet pulp, and pasture.

Check out KER's answer here.

Friday, May 1, 2020

eurodressage: Fraud Protection for Stallion Owners?

Stallion owners in Europe are feeling ripped off by breeders who take one dose of frozen semen and split it to get multiple foals - possible because of new ET and . They're asking the World Breeders Federation for Sport Horses to regulate the situation.

Read the article on eurodressage here.

This is accepted as a valid concern, and yet it doesn't sit entirely well with American breeders, who allege that have been ripped off for decades by some European stallion owners, who send them worthless frozen semen and no guarantee.

Read Scot Tolman's eloquent article on eurodressage in response.