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Pennsylvania National Horse Show Presents the Equine Comeback Challenge
The 69th annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show, held October 9-18 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, will host the first-ever east coast Equine Comeback Challenge (ECC). Ten trainers from across the mid-Atlantic region will be paired randomly with ten mature, never ridden rescue horses for 90-days of training. Skills learned will be demonstrated in a trail class in which competitors are judged on how well they navigate 10 obstacles intended to display the horse’s willingness and performance.
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American Horse Publications Award
Pennsylvania Equestrian Honored for Editorial Excellence
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No Food, No Parking, No Toilets, Just Mud, Mud, Mud:
A Reporter Survives WEG
by Jenni Autry - October 2014

The World Equestrian Games. Undoubtedly an event on every horse enthusiast’s bucket list, this behemoth of equestrian events comes once every four years, also serving as a highlight of the season for equestrian journalists like myself who spend months on the road covering the sports we love.

But this most recent WEG, which concluded last month in Normandy, France, may yet be the undoing of the whole concept of the event, which has united the world championships for eight different disciplines — dressage, show jumping, eventing, combined driving, vaulting, reining, endurance and para dressage — since the inaugural Stockholm Games in 1990.

The two Games held prior to Normandy — Aachen in 2006 and Lexington in 2010 — were both staged at established venues well equipped to host such a large event. And while there were certainly logistical issues that go hand-in-hand with hosting thousands of horses and tens of thousands of spectators, Aachen and Lexington were largely hailed a success.

I say all this to set the scene for Normandy, where the Games were held across three separate venues in the heart of this historic region. Caen hosted several of the disciplines, like dressage and show jumping, at d’Ornano Stadium, a soccer venue where organizers laid down footing for the occasion.

Haras du Pin, an hour away from the main venue in Caen, hosted eventing, while Sartilly, an hour away from Caen in the opposite direction, set the backdrop for endurance, with the breathtaking Mont St. Michel abbey rising in the distance as horses and riders crested rolling hilltops.

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Changes Coming to Pennsylvania’s Horse Country as Supervisors Clamp Down
by Suzanne Bush - October 2014

“When have so many people been inconvenienced by so few who do so little?” Dr. Steven Siepser was the first of several speakers at a township meeting in rural Chester County recently, arguing against a proposed ordinance that would have an enormous impact on the area’s equine industry. “This is a situation where three residents on Hilltop View Road, sparked by one, felt that the initiation of a horse facility that gave lessons, that had events, would be disturbing to her and her neighbors,” he said. These residents hired an attorney, he continued, “to bring their new neighbors to their knees, basically, and welcome them to the community by suing them.”

Newlin Township Supervisor Janie Baird says that they plan to vote on the ordinance at the October 13 meeting. They have been working on this ordinance for more than a year, after numerous complaints from residents and a threatened lawsuit compelled the township to investigate. What they found was that the existing ordinance, approved in 1980, had never been enforced.  “We really hated it to come to this. It’s been really divisive in the community, but we were faced with a lawsuit to enforce our zoning,” Baird said.

The meeting was packed with people who were opposed to the ordinance. Although the people who spoke were passionate, worried about what the ordinance would do to their businesses and occasionally angry, they and the supervisors were respectful and civil.

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Editorial: Newlin Township is a National Treasure
by Stephanie Shertzer Lawson - October 2014

I am not a resident of Newlin Township, but I am a huge fan.

I have been in awe of the bucolic countryside since I first turned off busy Route 41 onto the quiet country road that is Route 926 on my way to the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup many decades ago.  The narrow, two lane road snakes through miles and miles of nothing but beautifully manicured horse farms, the ruins of old stone barn walls, historic buildings, seamless fence lines and open space perfectly configured for foxhunting—all just 30 miles from Philadelphia.

The area still looks as it did when I first saw it decades ago. And though I wasn’t around a hundred years ago, I believe it probably looked much the same then.

I live in Lancaster County, a pretty place. And this area has Lancaster beat by a country mile.

How can anything so pristine continue to exist?

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Hardest Core Stuns Racing World in Arlington Million,
Heads to Breeders' Cup
by Terry Conway - October 2014

Roll cameras. A relatively unknown local owner, trainer and jockey team up with Hardest Core to challenge a superb field of turf runners including the reigning Breeders' Cup Turf champion in the 32nd edition of the famed Arlington Million in Chicago.

In the compelling back stories that often that illuminate the horse racing world, few can match that of Hardest Core. The four-year-old son of 2007 Kentucky Derby runner-up Hard Spun is conditioned by former jump jockey Eddie Graham at his small farm outside Unionville, Pa. where the dark bay colt battled for his life last fall.  Purchased as a three-year old at the 2013 Keeneland Sale by steeplechase horse owner Greg Bentley for $210,000, Hardest Core was a 30th birthday present for Bentley's son Andrew, who has Downs Syndrome.

In front of a crowd of 31,164, Hardest Core stunned the racing world with his scintillating victory over a superb field of turf runners to win the purse of $1 million in the 1/4-mile test at Arlington International Racecourse on August 17. Closing outside from third off the turn with tremendous strides, Hardest Core (11-1) stormed down the stretch (a final quarter run in :23 2/5) to run down Side Glance, a Grade-1 winner in Australia and 9-5 favorite Magician, winner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf in the final strides. Ridden by longtime Parx jockey Erilus Vaz, it was Hardest Core's first graded stakes score.

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Quick Facts: The Pennsylvania National Horse Show
October 2014

  • The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is a non-profit event that raises funds for community and equestrian groups, including therapeutic riding programs and horse rescues. In the show’s 69 years it has raised more than $1.5 million for charities.
  • About 1,400 of the top horses and riders from across the US and from 9 foreign countries will compete. Countries represented are: Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Ireland, Japan, Switzerland, Russia and Australia.
  • Olympians and members of the US Show Jumping team that won the Silver Medal at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France will be competing.
  • The Pennsylvania National Horse Show supplements the 10 days of competition with entertainment, family activities, and shopping.
  • Parking at the Farm Show Complex is free every day.

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Look what’s coming up in the Pennsylvania Equestrian December 2014
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P.O. Box 8412, Lancaster, PA 17604