Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

A "good, bad, and downright ugly" edition of Jumping Back In for readers today, to highlight the highs and lows of this week's equine industry news.

  • I'll start off with some good news. reported yesterday that the Humane Society of the United States has awarded natural horseman Pat Parelli "Humane Horseman of the Year" for his work in retraining rescued horses to enhance their adoptability and ensure that they get second chances after recovering from abusive or neglectful circumstances. Parelli is well known across the globe for his work teaching owners how to communicate better with their equine friends and overcome behavioral issues with natural horsemanship techniques. Bravo to him for extending his skills to the service of rescued horses.
  • As for the bad news, at least it has a happy ending. Horse & Hound magazine reported that a Fat Face advertising campaign featuring a macho male model forcibly reining his horse in some misguided attempt to express his brand's marketing dominance has been withdrawn from circulation, after equestrian community outcry over the campaign. That an advertising campaign showcasing such blatant disrespect for horse well-being would get past that company's editing room is surprising in itself, but at least they had the decency to pull the campaign.
  • The ugly news, and it really is downright ugly, comes to us from England, where a man pulling a trailer on the back of his vehicle purposefully sideswiped a woman riding a Westphalen gelding. The horse suffered severe lacerations down the entire length of his body and unknown amounts of psychological trauma. I am not entirely surprised, knowing the other types of abusive situations that have plagued the equine industry this year, but it is almost unfathomable to me as to what type of person could inflict that type of harm and trauma to both horse and rider.
  • And to wrap up, we'll go back to the good news and wish Zenyatta a very, very lucky #13! The super mare is vying to win her 13th straight victory when she competes at Santa Anita in this Saturday's $300,000 Lady's Secret Stakes (gr. 1). This year has seen the ladies of Thoroughbred racing reach unparalleled success in terms of speed and endurance, and I salute their efforts. Ladies first!

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