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U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Annual Meeting Focused on Innovation

The first national equestrian federation annual meeting that I attended was in 1980. Held at New York City's historic Waldorf Astoria hotel, it projected a sense of entitlement in quite a different era. The organization was called the American Horse Shows Association then, the key players were horse show managers and the aura was old money, prestige and privilege. Cecile Dunn, 84, goes back even further, An Arabian and Friesian committee member who was on hand at the USEF convention in West Palm Beach last week, she went to her first AHSA...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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It’s Farewell to Laura Graves’ Top Partner Verdades

Verdades, a pillar of the medal-winning U.S. dressage team through two world championships and the 2016 Olympics, is being retired at age 18 by rider Laura Graves, who owns him with her "soon-to-be husband," Curt Maes. In making the announcement yesterday, Laura said it became apparent that Diddy, who hadn't shown since finishing second in the FEI World Cup Finals last year, was not going to be in top form this year. Because of his age and mileage, it long was a question whether he would still be competing when it came time for the Tokyo Oly...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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An New Interesting Initiative for U.S. Eventing?

What would you think about pari-mutuel betting on eventing? Don't laugh – I'm serious – or rather, the U.S. Eventing Association is. The perfect opportunity will be available with the transition of the Fair Hill International Three-Day Event to the nearby Maryland Special Event site, where the Fair Hill races have been held for 85 years. There's legal betting for those races, and USEA board member Eric Markell will be looking into how the new Maryland 5-star at Fair Hill, scheduled to debut Oct. 15-18, might become part of that. Could...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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George Morris Ruled Permanently Ineligible by U.S. Center for SafeSport

George Morris, banned by the U.S. Center for SafeSport pending an appeal on charges of “sexual misconduct involving a minor,” has lost his bid for reversal of the judgment. Following arbitration last week about incidents alleged to have taken place between 1968 and 1972, the 81-year-old trainer, author and Olympic medalist Tuesday was made permanently ineligible to be involved with the sport that was the center of his life. That means no more coaching, or even clinics that include U.S. Equestrian Federation members, who would be subject ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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It’s an Exciting New Day for Fair Hill and U.S. Eventing

For 31 years, the Fair Hill International Three-Day Event served as a much-anticipated goal for the major U.S. eventing season. Run over hilly terrain, in the 3-star division, it offered an indicator of readiness for graduating to the next level, while a horse that could handle the 4-star test usually was deemed a good prospect for the Kentucky 5-star the following spring. Fair Hill got a leg up after the Dutta Corp. became the title sponsor in 2013. Now it’s time for another big step, as the Fair Hill name will be attached to the Maryland 5...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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New York Becomes Prized Addition to Longines Global Champions Tour

The Longines Global Champions Tour has sported a bevy of glamorous venues around the globe: Shanghai, Berlin, Paris, London and St. Tropez, to name just a few. But LGCT impresario Jan Tops knew he needed New York City to make his catalogue complete. “We were just missing this one,” he said, explaining why 51 CSI five-star riders from 19 nations and their 95 horses last weekend found themselves on an island accessible only by ferry for the LGCT finals. Most of those who came had never heard of Governors Island in New York Harbor, but once t...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Texas Show Joins the World Cup Show Jumping Scene

With 14 venues in three countries for the 2019-2020 season, the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League ™ required major surgery after the decision that there would be only eight qualifiers for three years starting with the 2020-2021 season. Notable casualties that will not continue in the league after the current season ends next year include such big-name fixtures as the American Gold Cup in New York, Thunderbird in British Columbia and Live Oak in Ocala, Florida, which is in the enviable position of being the last qualifier i...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Equestrian Journalists are Latest Targets of SafeSport Awareness

The furor over the SafeSport lifetime ban of George Morris has morphed into a movement not only to support the beleaguered trainer, author and former U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe, but also to campaign for changes in how SafeSport operates. The U.S. equestrian community has realized, as James Baldwin put it, “if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us th...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Major upgrade for HITS Ocala in the works

by Nancy Jaffer The sale this month of 16 HITS shows in California and Arizona means an upgrade for the company’s offerings in Ocala, Fla., according to CEO Tom Struzzieri, who now will be able to direct his focus toward only one circuit in the winter. “I think it’s going to be a renewed commitment, and a little extra cash to be able to do it,” he said. While declining to give an exact figure, he said “millions more” will be invested. HITS’ West Coast shows were purchased by a partnership headed by Steve Hankin, presid...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Supporters Rally Around George Morris After SafeSport Ban

A tidal wave of reaction met the news that former U.S. show jumping coach George Morris – the world’s most famous trainer in that discipline – had been issued a lifetime ban by the U.S. Center for SafeSport in connection with “sexual misconduct involving (a) minor.” The decision is being contested and disputed by the 81-year-old Olympic medalist, who said in a statement he is “deeply troubled by the U.S. Center fo...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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