Entries in World Equestrian Games (10)



thoroughbred park sculpture

The Thoroughbred Park Sculpture Collection by Gwen Reardon
(Photo : Gwen Reardon)


If you are not packing for Kentucky, what are you doing?

With the world's biggest yearling sale, Keeneland September Sale, underway for just over a week and the World Equestrian Games starting as the sales end, it would seem that if you are not in Kentucky or packing your bags to leave, then you must be missing something!

Reports from the sales are that trade continued to be robust during Monday's session, which was headlined by the $450,000 paid for a colt by Tapit.

As the sales wind down to end on Sunday 26th September, the World Equestrian Games kick off on Friday the 25th September at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. There will be an influx of people from all over the world, not least of which will be a contingent of South African's to support our riders as the show the rest of the world what South Africa is capable of.

Most exciting is that our eventers are competing on South African horses, internationally, for the first time. News from the team is that the horses arrived safely in Cincinnati and travelled like old campaigners. They will be trucked across to Lexington today to take up their temporary residence in the Kentucky Equestrian Park.

The flight from Europe formed just one of the 10 charter flights transporting the almost 450 horses, departing from Belgium's Liege airport between 16-29 September, to the United States.

The eventers, Paul Hart, Douglas Welsh, Heidi Wood, Martyn Swanepoel and Graham Winn start competing on Friday 30th September in their dressage classes, with the Cross Country on Saturday 2nd October and culminating on Sunday 3rd October with their show jumping. The closing ceremony will be held on Sunday 10th October.

The first of the SA riders to compete will be Shane Borland in the Reining classes on the first day of the games, followed the next day by the Endurance team, including Dominique van Zyl.

Click here for the full 2010 Altech FEI World Equestrian Games event schedules.

We look forward to great results from all of our South African teams and wish them the very best of everything from the Vuma team.

Click here for the full SA equestrian Team.



paula hart and heartbreak hill south african eventing team

Paul Hart and Heartbreak Hill
(Photo : Vumafeed)


The South African Eventing team depart for Kentucky in 12 days time.

Reporting on their progress from their training camp in St Jean, on the west coast of France, Paul Hart tells us that they are well on track and he believes that the horses are going to peak at the right time!

Paul says that St Jean is beautiful and they are doing a lot of beach riding for fitness, which started in earnest last Saturday. The going is great and not too soft.

They are training towards their optimum time for WEG which is 12 minutes at 570m/minute. The WEG track is 7km long and they are incorporating a lot of interval training to ensure peak fitness over the cross country course.

Their morning training continued yesterday and Paul had the following to say :

"We went to the beach to do fitness training yesterday again. We got there at seven am to perfect conditions.

We started with 20 minutes trotting and then seven minutes canter at 500m/minute followed by a two minute walk and back to canter for another seven minutes and then another two minute walk followed by a 10 minute trot on the beach and a minute walk in the sea for their legs.

Harry loves the sea and every time he thinks I won't notice he tries to roll in the water! In the afternoon we lunged for twenty minutes and then hand walked them for 30 minutes.

We are also cycling about 25km a day so we can stay fit!"

It sounds like our team are well on track to do us proud and we wish them the best of everything as they get closer to their goal.

The World Equestrian Games start on 25th September in Lexington, Kentucky. Will you be there?



paul hart and heartbreak hill

Paul Hart and Heartbreak Hill
(Photo : Vuma Horefeeds)

WEG 2010 : It's Nearly here!

There are a mere 57 days until the start of the Altech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010, in Lexington, Kentucky.

For Vuma Champions Paul Hart and Heartbreak Hill, what seemed like a far off dream has suddenly become an immediate reality, writes Suzanne Boswell of SCB PR & Communications.

Harry is doing well and is fit and ready to compete in their last preparation event which is Martinvast (Normandy) from the 19th to the 22nd of August.

Paul is busy with all his preparations as he leaves for France next week Thursday to train and prepare and will only be returning to South Africa post WEG. He is feeling very optimistic about the event. All preparations are going well.

"It all seems to have come so fast - it seems like the horses were in quarantine the other day and now there are only 57 days left.  In some ways I don't want this to end as it has been such an amazing experience and I have been overwhelmed by everybody's kindness and generosity. I am sure that Harry and I will do you all proud"

I would also like to say a big thank you to all my sponsors big and small as it is through your commitment that this dream has become a reality." concludes Paul.

Suzanne will keep us abreast of things as they happen and from the Vuma team we wish all the South African riders and supporters a superb Kentucky experience – Hambani Kahle!

You can also follow Paul's progress on Facebook.

paul hart facebook weg 2010

Paul Hart WEG2010



muhtafal stallion

(Photo : Summerhill Stud / Vuma Horsefeeds)

"More Champions... More Legends"

I read this article a while back, written by Mandy Haskin, daughter of renowned turf writer Steve Haskin :

Click here to read "All The Pretty Horses" by Mandy Haskin...

Her words strike a chord with all of us who have horses in the blood and it made me think of my earliest memories of reading form with my grandfather (much to my mother’s horror), listening to the results on the "wireless", the absolute need to be immersed in horses as much as possible and in more recent years the incredible horses that I have been lucky enough to see and be involved with.

On two previous trips to Kentucky we saw the likes of AP Indy, Danzig, Unbridled and Storm Cat to name just a few. We also saw Horse Chestnut twice and I have been lucky enough to visit him twice again since he has been back in South Africa, at his new home at Drakenstein Stud.

Sadly, we only got to see the graves of the great Nijinsky, Secretariat and Mr Prospector and yet these legends live on in the stories of their triumphs and the people who were privileged enough to be involved with them.

One just has to read the biography of Vincent O’Brien to be awestruck by the icons that he trained and one can only imagine how Aidan O’Brien’s story will read, particularly after his fifth consecutive win in the Irish Derby.

Our own Champion Trainer, Mike de Kock, wrote a book on Horse Chestnut and at the rate he is going, he will need many more pages to recount the successes and experiences of the other great horses that he has had in his care.

Even our current Summerhill and Vuma heroes from the stalwarts, Kahal and Muhtafal, to the young guns in AP Arrow (son of the great AP Indy), Mullins Bay, Solskjaer and Way West, leave their mark on all those that see them and work with them.

Near the stallion barn is the cemetery where among the greats, lies the hero of Summerhill, Northern Guest, revered in an extract from the soon to be released Summerhill Sires brochure :

"Not long ago, when the farm’s most famous resident, Northern Guest, made his daily way to his paddock, the management gathered on the verandah to pay their respects. He’d paid for most of what you saw around you.

Towards the end, the old horse with his arthritic gait, would announce his presence with a reassuring neigh. He was not about to play the invalid. Like every great stallion, he didn’t look at you, but over and beyond, across the fields of dreams."

Yet, here I speak only of famous Legends when every horse that we are each lucky enough to be involved with has its own special place and leaves its own mark on your soul.

Among my Legends is a horse that came off the track having injured a suspensory tendon. After 14 months off he came back to us, only to get horse sickness shortly afterwards. He collapsed and his condition was so severe that the vet at the time wanted to put him down. After persisting for another day and many hours of close care, he had improved enough that while still lying down he was picking at the grass and eating carrots. To say that he is a character would be an understatement! Eight years later he is still one of my best horses and he is my Legend.

This month sees the KZN Racing season peaking, culminating in the Vodacom Durban July at the end of the month. September sees the Keeneland Sales get under way in Kentucky and as they end the World Equestrian Games start.

The Vuma team will be watching closely, as more Champions show their colours and more legends are made.

Perhaps this poem goes some way to explaining the "addiction" that we all have!

stallion bust

Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride,
Friendship without envy,
Or beauty without vanity?
Here, where grace is served with muscle
And strength by gentleness confined
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.
There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.
There is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

Ronald Duncan, "The Horse" 1954



heartbreak hill in quarantine at cape town

Heartbreak Hill (Harry) in Quarantine in Cape Town
(Photo : Vumafeed)

Heartbreak Hill prepares for France

World Equestrian Games qualifier and Vuma hero, Heartbreak Hill (Harry) is almost half-way through his quarantine at the station in Kenilworth. Being kept fit and well with daily exercise, he is certainly looking very well.

camera iconClick the icon above to see more pictures of Harry in quarantine, in Cape Town.

Harry will leave for France on 20th March, where the real preparations will begin for the WEG. The rest of the SA team will also be going to Fontainebleau where the riders will prepare themselves and their horses during their various European events.

We will keep you updated on the progress of Paul Hart, Harry and the rest of Team SA.

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