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Working on What Matters

The annual meeting of U.S. equestrian sports’ governing body used to be a big yawn. Literally. From the days when the organization was the American Horse Shows Association, through its transformation into USA Equestrian in the late 1990s, it often became a struggle to stay awake during rule change forums. The exceptions were the few-and-far-between exciting topics, such as mandating safety helmets or prohibiting certain popular “medications” in competition. Although discussions went on endlessly, it sometimes happened that even when...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Bellissimo’s Big Plans for Tryon’s Future

There’s no question that the competitive highlight of 2018 will be the FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, N.C. But show impresario Mark Bellissimo already is looking beyond the September compilation of global championships to other competitions that can be showcased at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The man who is also behind Florida’s Winter Equestrian Festival never overlooks an opportunity. He sees the WEG, an incredibly ambitious and consuming project in itself, as a curtain-opener for future marquee events at TIEC. ...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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Kick Them In The License

I’ve been hearing this refrain for decades: horse show managers shouldn’t hire and pay stewards; that needs to be done by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. But it isn’t. Stewards, who are supposed to report on how a show is abiding by rules and standards, may fear losing their jobs if they are critical. And indeed, they have been fired, or at the least, not-rehired by managers, simply for detailing a show’s shortcomings – as they are meant to do in an effort to improve competitions. At the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association’s annual...

By: Due South // Nancy Jaffer

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