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‘How is he going to understand me, I don’t speak Dutch?’ — and other bizarre questions asked when selling a horse

When we asked you what the strangest questions you had been asked when selling your horse, we were inundated with replies — from the lady who wanted a horse to match her wedding dress, to the buyer who was after a discount because of a winter coat

1. “Can we buy it for £1,000 less because it has a winter coat?” — Rachel Stock

2. “‘Is it ready to go out affiliated jumping?’ asked of an 11.1hh beginners’ lead rein pony who had been a lady of leisure for the previous two years. Unless they were planning on buying her a trampoline they were on a hiding to nothing.” — Joanna Broughton

3. “‘How is he going to understand me, I don’t speak Dutch?’. I answered ‘not to worry, neither does he’…” — Astrid Bolton

4. “I was selling a cream mare once and the lady brought a photo of her wedding dress to see if the mare would match her wedding dress (champagne coloured!)” — Christina Mulqueen

5. “Is the grey faster than the bay because he wears shoes?” — Cheryl Cundall

6. “What does it eat?” — Julia Chaplin

7. “I was selling a set of showjumps, and a woman rang and asked if they would fit in her car” — Linda Jenkins

8. “‘But I wanted a spotty one’. Then why have you come to try my Chesnut gelding, advertised with pictures?!” — Abi Hitchcock

9. “When I was looking to buy a few years ago, I became very confused with the ‘For Sale’ ads I was seeing online in Ireland. People were asking for £1000s for horses advertised as 16.2 ISH. I could not understand why people would ask for so much money when they couldn’t be bothered to put a measuring stick to their horses rather than just rounding their height off. To my complete embarrassment I asked just that question when prospecting and was bluntly told ISH meant Irish Sports Horse… I bought a cob in the end!” — Elaine Lynch

10. “While selling a yearling I was asked ‘Is it broken in?’,  ‘Is she spooky to ride?’ and ‘Would she be suitable for my nine-year-old?’” — Daisy Dukes

11. “Selling a £10,000 horse lorry I was asked  ‘Would you take £1,000 cash?’  Me: ‘Did you miss off a 0?’ Lady: ‘No but it’s for cash’!” — Emily Wilton

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12. “Would you keep him for three weeks so we can try him after our holiday?” — Charlotte Knight

13. “While looking for sharers, the ad stated ‘she’s a plod who loves hacking’. I was asked: ‘How high does she jump? Has she done dressage? Can I take her to PC camp?’ Answers: logs, no and absolutely no.”

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Three riders prepare for British eventing team debuts

Three riders will make their senior GB team debuts in the first eventing Nations Cup of the season next month.

Alexander Bragg, Olivia Craddock and Danielle Dunn – H&H’s Badminton first-time blogger – have all been selected for the squad due to travel to Strzegom, Poland (17-21 May).

The riders, picked following their “strong spring form”, will be joined by Franky Reid-Warrilow, on her second Nations Cup appearance.

Alexander will ride 12-year-old gelding Redpath Ransom, owned by Mrs Debbie Nuttall, Mr Mike and Mrs Naomi Roe. Olivia was selected with her own and Mrs Beverley Sheikh’s 10-year-old gelding Billy Liffy and Danielle will ride her own and Mr Stuart Hodder’s 12-year-old gelding Grandslam.

Frankie returns with her 14-year-old mare Dolley Whisper, with whom she rode on the British team at the Aachen and Ballindensk Nations Cups, finishing third individually at the latter.

Nana Dalton and Will Furlong take up the reserve places.

“An impressive seventh place for Olivia Craddock and Billy Liffy and 14th place for Danielle Dunn and Grandslam in the CIC3* at the recent Burnham Market International saw them secure their spot along with Alexander Bragg who has already enjoyed two CIC3* completions on Redpath Ransom this season,” said a British Eventing spokesman.

“Following the cancellation of the Montelibretti (Italy) leg of the series, which was scheduled to take place this weekend, Strzegom will welcome riders for the opening event of the 2017 competition.

“Last year GB took second place in the overall series following a close competition which saw Germany lifting the trophy with just 20 points separating them from the British squad.”

A further eight legs will take place this season, including the home event at Houghton Hall, Norfolk (25-28 May).

The new senior eventing selection committee is inviting riders to apply for the 2017 Nations Cups squads. Combinations will in future be selected by the committee to “provide continuity across the selection process while still providing an open and transparent system”.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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Soldier wins Willberry race for young daughter with leukaemia

A soldier beat a host of famous faces from the equestrian world during the Pertemps Champions Willberry Charity Race held at Cheltenham yesterday (20 April).

Ben Moore, who partnered the David Pipe-trained Three Star General, said he was riding for his young daughter, Grace (pictured, below) who is battling leukaemia — the former conditional jockey having also fought cancer himself.

Credit: David Betteridge

The 12 riders were selected from more than 600 applicants and raised approximately £110,00 for charities, The Bob Champion Cancer Trust and Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony charity.

“It has simply been an unbelievable day. The atmosphere has been electric and what a race those 12 riders gave us,” said Bob Champion. “We are so delighted to have raised so much and must continue to do so, as we fight this terrible disease that effects so many people indiscriminately.”

Click here to donate money to the worthwhile causes.

The 39-year-old winning rider, who is based in Melton Mowbray, said he and his daughter decided he should apply for the challenge while he was in hospital receiving treatment.

He beat Sheikh Fahad Al Thani — from the famous Qatar Racing dynasty — aboard the David Simcock-trained New World Power into the runner-up spot.

The remaining riders were closely grouped behind including Olympians Mark Todd and Tina Cook, racing presenter Alice Fox-Pitt and event rider Ben Hobday — the latter beat cancer having been diagnosed in 2015.

“It was great fun and they were a fantastic bunch of people. It was so brilliant that Ben won the race,” said Mark.

Many racegoers, plus the jockeys’ families, enjoyed the “emotional” occasion at the home of National Hunt racing in Gloucestershire.

They were also treated to a display of equine superstars with William Fox-Pitt’s Chilli Morning, dressage hero Valegro, the former Nicky Henderson-trained Sprinter Sacre and Nick Skelton’s Olympic mount Big Star parading in the paddock before the charity race.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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Accessible Icon Update: New Federal Guidance Deepens Quandary for Businesses Facing Contradictory State Requirements

Disabled sign pinned on cork noticeboard

As we previously reported, New York State and more recently, Connecticut, passed legislation requiring the use of the “Accessible Icon” in lieu of the traditional International Symbol of Access (“ISA”) in new construction and alterations whenever an accessibility sign is required by code.  But Title III of the ADA and the Architectural Barriers Act (“ABA”), which apply to public accommodations facilities and federally-funded facilities, respectively, still require the use of the ISA.  Specifically, the ADA and ABA require that the ISA be used to label and provide direction to certain accessible spaces and elements, such as restrooms, parking spaces, and check-out aisles.

This conflict has presented a quandary for businesses: Display the ISA as the ADA requires; display the Accessible Icon, as state or local codes require; or, display both symbols, which would multiply costs, negatively impact aesthetics, and potentially confuse patrons.

Last week, the U.S. Access Board, the federal agency that drafted the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (which the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) incorporated into its ADA Title III regulations) and also sets accessibility standards for federal agencies, issued a Guidance stating unequivocally that “the ISA must be used even where a state or local code or regulation specifies a different symbol.”  Although the DOJ, not the Access Board, enforces Title III of the ADA and the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, the Guidance could be considered by a court in a Title III enforcement action, given the Access Board’s relevant expertise.

Is the ISA Really Outmoded?

The Accessible Icon Project began as a “street art” campaign that was apparently intended to replace the “traditional,” static figure displayed in the ISA with a more active, dynamic and positive depiction of individuals with disabilities.

The ISA (left) and the Accessible Icon (right)

The effort to replace the ISA with the Accessible Icon has faced recent hurdles.  In May 2015, the Federal Highway Administration (“FHA”) issued an Interpretation Letter stating that the use of alternative symbols of accessibility are not acceptable for traffic control device applications because they are not “unmistakably similar” to the ISA.  The agency went one step further, commenting that the use of non-conforming symbols, including “by approval of local authority,” “compromises the enforceability of these devices.” (emphasis added)  The Interpretation Letter also noted that the Access Board has not adopted or endorsed any alternative designs.

Access Board: the ISA is Still the Recognized Symbol of Accessibility

The Access Board’s Guidance states that the ISA has become a “worldwide” symbol that “reflects considerable analysis by, and consensus of, an international collection of technical experts,” including the International Organization for Standardization, which is a non-governmental organization that represents over 160 national standard-setting agencies.  In addition to the ADA Standards for Accessible Design, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ADA Standards, ABA, International Building Code (“IBC”), National Fire Protection Association Standards, and ICC A117.1 also require the ISA.

No Endorsement of the Accessible Icon as “Equivalent Facilitation”

Businesses in New York or Connecticut where they are required by new state laws to use the Accessible Icon in new construction and alterations could display the Accessible Icon and take the position that its use satisfies the “equivalent facilitation” provision in Section 103 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design.  Under Section 103, businesses may use “designs. . . as alternatives to those prescribed [by the ADA], provided they result in substantially equivalent or greater accessibility and usability.”  However, no court or agency has ruled on this issue.  The Guidance does not comment on whether the Accessible Icon would constitute “equivalent facilitation” but instead defers to the courts, and encourages those advocating for a new symbol to contact the International Organization for Standardization.

The Guidance stresses the value of uniformity and recognition over what some believe is a negative (or at least limiting) depiction of individuals with disabilities.  The ISA “promotes legibility, especially for people with low vision or cognitive disabilities,” according to the Guidance.  This supports the Access Board’s conclusion that, irrespective of conflicting state or local requirements, businesses must display the ISA where required by federal standards.

Businesses Should Carefully Consider the Use of the Accessibility Icon in Future Projects

The situation is confusing, but one thing is clear:  Businesses that do not use the traditional ISA symbol where it is required by federal law face litigation exposure under Title III of the ADA, and the Access Board’s Guidance makes the “equivalent facilitation” argument more challenging.  Businesses in New York and Connecticut should seek guidance on whether local permitting authorities have the ability to waive the Accessible Icon requirement, the consequences of not using the Accessible Icon, and the implications of using both the Accessible Icon and the ISA.

Edited by Kristina Launey and Minh Vu.

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H&H question of the week: how do I teach my horse to jump a bounce?

Four-star event rider Coral Keen provides one H&H forum user with some helpful advice on how to introduce bounce fences to a horse

James Condliffe
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Q: Introducing bounce fences: “It’s time to introduce something new to my seven-year-old’s showjump training. She’s perfect at grids and she loves jumping down them. Recently my trainer has asked me to practise some bounce fences with ‘Dusty’. However bounces for us often end in poles flying around. My instructor asked us to gradually decrease the striding until we have a bounce but Dusty really seems to just not get it. Are there any exercises that could help to get her brain around it? Is there anything anyone else has tried with their horses, successfully, or any ‘mind-tricks’ which will help her out?”

A: My first thought would be to use canter poles on the ground and then raise them up very slowly.

Start with five poles placing them either in a straight line, or on a circle, four yards (3.6 metres) apart.

Canter over them on both reins and once your horse has established a good canter through them, maintaining a steady rhythm, raise alternate ends.

I would have the first, third and fifth poles on the floor, and raise alternate ends of the other two.

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Once your horse understands this and is catering over them, again in good rhythm, put the last pole up, and slowly build this until eventually you have all five up.

It may take a couple of sessions, but you are better off doing this really slowly, so that your horse has time to figure out her timing, as from what you’ve said, it’s a timing issue and she doesn’t quite understand what is required.

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By keeping them low, and raising them up individually, you will give her time to think about what she is doing with her legs, and she should start to get it.

The key thing here is not to be in any rush. It may take a few days to accomplish this exercise fully, but once you do, the poles should stop flying.

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Medical Marijuana Laws May Be Associated With A Decline In The Number Of Prescriptions For Medicaid Enrollees [Web First]

In the past twenty years, twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have passed some form of medical marijuana law. Using quarterly data on all fee-for-service Medicaid prescriptions in the period 2007–14, we tested the association between those laws and the average number of prescriptions filled by Medicaid beneficiaries. We found that the use of prescription drugs in fee-for-service Medicaid was lower in states with medical marijuana laws than in states without such laws in five of the nine broad clinical areas we studied. If all states had had a medical marijuana law in 2014, we estimated that total savings for fee-for-service Medicaid could have been $1.01 billion. These results are similar to those in a previous study we conducted, regarding the effects of medical marijuana laws on the number of prescriptions within the Medicare population. Together, the studies suggest that in states with such laws, Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries will fill fewer prescriptions.

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‘I love you, Megs’: Tributes paid to young rider killed in car accident

Tributes have been paid to a “passionate” equestrian who died in a car accident at the age of 18.

Megan Harding-Jones, of Epping, died when the Volkswagen Polo she was driving left the A414 in the early hours of Saturday morning (15 April).

Megan worked as a groom for Ashlea Silk-Jones, whose parents run Brook Farm Training Centre in Essex.

“It is with great sadness that Perry and Katharine Harding-Jones announce the tragic death of their beautiful and much loved daughter Megan in a road traffic accident on Saturday 15 April. No other people or vehicles were involved,” read a statement from Megan’s family, which asked for privacy while they deal with their loss.

“Megan was a fun loving, vivacious teenager who was passionately devoted to equestrian life.

“An accomplished and talented rider; Megan loved her horses and competed in local and national equestrian events.

“Any words are inadequate to express the deep loss felt by Megan’s family and friends at such a sad and difficult time.”

Ashlea also paid tribute to her friend on Facebook, describing Megan as a “naturally gifted young rider”.

“Not once did you ever moan, you always had a big smile on your face and asked what was next,” she wrote.

“You were such a talented, grateful young lady who always worked so hard every day…. still with your beautiful big smile at the end of the day.

You were so grown up for your age, maturing into a lovely polite young lady who would help absolutely anyone. I honestly am going to miss you so much… my day isn’t complete without hearing your stories.

“RIP angel, you may be gone, but you will never ever be forgotten, you have touched a lot of people’s hearts and we are so, so devastated. I love you Megs.”

Anyone with information on the accident is asked to call Essex Police on 01245 240590.

Original Source File

Equestrians protest against Facebook’s ban on horse adverts

The equestrian community is fighting back after Facebook’s recent crackdown on the sale of horses on its site.

The social network has a long-standing policy stating that horses and other animals are not to be sold on its platform, but for many years there has been little regulation of the rule.

However, in recent months a number of adverts have been taken down by Facebook, leaving private and professional sellers frustrated.

The policy states that items, products and services sold on Facebook must comply with its commerce policy, which prohibits the sale of certain items including animals.

Petitions and protest groups have been launched including “Get Facebook to Rescind the Ban on Animal Sale Posts”, which has over 33,900 signatures.

The petition was launched by Russell Mcpherson and will be delivered to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

“Facebook has banned animal for sale adverts, it will cause more horses to be slaughtered and dogs and cats to be dumped,” he claimed.

“Small, reputable breeders and farmers will lose their primary place to market their animals to good homes, forcing them to turn to high risk alternatives like auctions.

“But the puppy mills and the irresponsible breeders will continue as they always have, making money off the uninformed.”

Numerous protest groups also operate on Facebook, including “Horse Sales/Revoke FB Ban”, which has more than 12,600 members.

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“This closed group is to provide a united voice to Facebook related to the positive effect that Facebook and the horse industry have on each other,” said a group spokesman.

Fellow Facebook group “Animal sales ads should continue on Facebook” also calls for change.

“Facebook has been a significant outlet for support and sales for breeders and sellers of all species of animals,” said a group spokesman. “This group is formed to show Facebook the subscribers wish to have these adverts continue.”

Supporter Denis Kinchen said that despite the inconsistency of Facebook’s enforcement of the ban, it is happening and is “just a matter of time” before more sellers are targeted.

“This affects a huge segment of the global economy, hundreds of millions of individuals globally and the benefit and welfare of an unimaginable number of animals across the species spectrum,” she said.

When contacted by H&H Facebook confirmed that when reported, offending posts would be removed for breaking content policies.

Original Source File

Happy retirement for Denman as Silviniaco Conti starts new career



National Hunt hero Denman has started his full retirement after enjoying a fun-filled post-racing career.

The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, formerly trained by Paul Nicholls, ended his career on the track in 2011 after winning 14 of his 24 starts.

He moved to Charlotte Alexander’s yard in 2012, where she retrained him to enjoy hunting, team chasing and grassroots eventing.

The 17-year-old, whose real birthday* is today (17 April), went home to owner Paul Barber’s Ditcheat farm last week where he will be looking after the young horses out in the field.

He will never want for anything,” Charlotte told H&H, adding that Paul’s head lad Clifford Baker has a view from his window over Denman’s new field.

“He will have the best possible care.”

Known as “The Tank”, the popular chaser excelled in his new life off the track.

“He has just been the most fabulous hunter,” said Charlotte.

“He was absolutely incredible. His jumping just went from strength to strength — Brian Hutton at Talland helped me hugely with that.

“He is marvellous — such a gentleman and he oozed quality when you rode him.”

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The son of Presenting also made numerous appearances in Retraining of Racehorses parades at major fixtures, most recently visiting the 2017 Cheltenham Festival and Grand National meeting.

As Denman starts the new phase of his life, so too does long-serving National Hunt hero Silviniaco Conti, who arrived at Charlotte’s yard three days ago.

The seven-time Grade One winner, who was also in training with Paul, ran his final race at Aintree on 6 April and was retired from the track the same day.

“He is out with my other horses in the field and having a holiday,” said Charlotte.

“He looks amazing — Paul looks after his horses so well, he looks an absolute picture.”

She added the plan is to take him hunting, which they already know he enjoys, team chasing and potentially some eventing.

“Whatever suits him — he will tell me what he wants to do,” said Charlotte.

*All thoroughbreds’ official birthdays are 1 January.

For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

Original Source File

Winter Dressage Championships day five: a hat-trick for Charlotte Dujardin while Dannie Morgan continues blistering form

Dannie Morgan

Dannie Morgan topped off an excellent week with a win in the elementary silver NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships.

From eight rides he notched up eight top-four placings across the five days.

His win today (16 April) came aboard Sarah Oppenheimer’s Headmore Davina with a score of 72.81%. They were the only combination in this class to break the 70% barrier and also won the elementary silver freestyle on Friday.

“She was amazing today,” said Dannie. “I feel like it is the best test she has done all week. She was really relaxed in her body and her frame.”

Charlotte Dujardin took her third national title of the championships in the medium gold with Brioso II on 73.79%.

Charlotte co-owns the seven-year-old chestnut mare with Carl Hester.

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In second was Lara Dyson and Jazzed Up (71.72%) with Henrietta Cheetham and Dancer Khan in third (70%) despite a mistake.

Henrietta, who also finished eighth in the advanced medium gold yesterday (15 April), was the highest placed amateur rider.

“I’m absolutely thrilled with him,” she said.

Taking the advanced medium freestyle gold was Nikki Crisp and Durable on 75.83%.

“He is such a cool customer,” said Nikki. “He is unbelievable – I didn’t even do an arena walk on him. They broke the mold when they made him.

“He is the same to ride at home as he is in the ring. His temperament and talent are split in equal measure.”

Meanwhile 19-year-old Dylan Deutrom took his first Area Festival final title in the advanced medium with Matt Hicks’ Balance on 70.59%.

“I’ve been riding him now for a couple of years, so to get here and win is a good feeling,” said Dylan. “I was really pleased with how he relaxed today.”

Zoe Dunham and her own French-bred gelding by De Niro took the prelim bronze Area Festival final.

The combination were awarded 74.86% in the first round and went on to score 71.1% in the final, pipping 13-year-old Steffi Tomlinson and Vivassa to the title by less than 0.2%.

For a full report from the NAF Five Star Winter Dressage Championships and Area Festival final – plus news, views and expert comment – don’t miss Thursday’s issue of Horse & Hound

Original Source File