BOSSIER CITY, LA – Southern California horsewoman Janet (Newcomb) Van Bebber made history March 15th when the former youth champion in the show ring became the only woman trainer in Quarter Horse history to have won 1,000 races.
Van Bebber, daughter of well-known judge Judy Wright and sister of veterinarian Dr. John Newcomb of San Diego County, notched her milestone win at Louisiana Downs with Playthegame Withease, owned by Robert Latham. She accomplished the feat as a single mother, raising her daughter, 13-year-old Taylor, and training race horses on her own since her husband, Steve, died in late 2000.
You don’t have to be a record-setting quarterback, point guard or track star to letter in high school sports anymore. The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is writing a new chapter in the recognition of high school sports — one that honors Equestrian athletes. The USEF’s High School Equestrian Athlete program will offer specially designed emblems and pins, exclusively for equestrian athletes in grades 9-12.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) director Bob Abbey announced Feb. 24 that less mustangs will be removed from the range and more mustang mares will receive anti-fertility treatment under a new BLM management strategy plan.
The plan calls for the BLM to reduce the number of wild horses slated for removal during the next two years from 10,000 to 7,600, unless conditions such as drought or other emergencies require removing more animals. In addition, the BLM will treat more mares with the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP). Injected as a liquid or fed in pellet form to fertile mares aged 4 to 20 years, a single PZP vaccination renders treated mares infertile for 22 months.
Whether you were one of the standing room-only crowds for the nightly Extreme Cowboy Race or an attendee to any of the popular clinician presentations, you had to sense the popularity of the 2011 Equine Affaire at the Fairplex Feb. 3-6. There was no better barometer for economic activity than the trade show, which left many of the hundreds of traditional vendors content with a successful show. Here are some snapshots.
LEXINGTON, Ky. — On the heels of last fall’s popular Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, reining and the first-ever World Championship Freestyle will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park, April 28-May 1.
One of the world’s most prestigious equestrian competitions and the only CCI**** in the Western Hemisphere, the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Presented by Bridgestone, annually attracts 50-100,000 spectators and millions of viewers on international telecasts including a 60-minute domestic broadcast on NBC.
LOS ANGELES – Representatives of the homegrown Los Angeles Horse Council met with Los Angeles Equine Committee members Jan. 24, reviewing the LAHC’s effort for a “Equestrian Bill of Rights.”
The Bill of Rights is the LAHC’s set of equine specific precepts for use by city and county officials that, if adopted, will set in clearer course for equestrian lifestyle in the future.
The wife of Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens first offered to establish the sanctuary for horses in BLM long-term holding facilities in 2008. Under the plan, 10,000 animals currently residing in BLM long-term holding pastures would be relocated to the sanctuary. The plan requests a $500 per horse per year BLM stipend to fund the nonprofit Save America’s Mustangs Foundation (SAMF) to oversee the horses’ care. In Oct. 2010, Pickens acquired the property necessary to create the 500,000-acre sanctuary in Nevada.
TEMECULA – Robert Kellerhouse has witnessed many changes over his 13 years directing the sprawling, 240-acre Galway Downs Equestrian Center. His favorite may have been a change in ownership last November when local businessman Ken Smith purchased the facility.
“It’s very exciting.” Kellerhouse said of the transaction. “For such a long time, we’ve been living on literally an annual sort of a basis here — going year-to-year. Now, we’ll be able start making real plans to have real expansion of the equestrian operation.”
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Fritz and Phyllis Grupe of Stockton and Leslie Berndl of Newcastle were named this month to the 2011 United States Equestrian Federation Driver Training Long List.
Fritz Grupe made the Pair Horses and Single Horse disciplines, Phyllis Grupe the Single Pony discipline, and Berndl both the Single Horse and Single Pony disciplines.
LOS ANGELES – A traffic-related incident that resulted in a euthanized mare and a shaken 100-year-old equestrian has galvanized the community to appeal use of storm grates termed unsafe.
On Dec. 4, a car driving on Wheatland Avenue reportedly brushed Bert Bonnett on his Tennessee Walker, Cassie, and spooked her to a curb that had been outfitted with a type of storm drain designed to prevent large debris from entering run-off. Bonnett, who was thrown into the street, survived. The mare, however, became trapped in the curbside debris screen and did not survive the ordeal despite valiant efforts by volunteers and emergency personnel, including Rene Herrera, founder of the Foothill Mounted Patrol and a city firefighter who responded.