New FEI Dressage Tests
New FEI dressage tests are now being used at AHSA and FEI shows held in the United States. The Prix St. Georges, Intermediaire I and Intermediaire II tests were rewritten for 2000. The Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special tests have remained the same, as has the Short Grand Prix that was first offered in 1998.
All of the above tests can be offered at AHSA shows in 2000, and riders should check prize lists to see which tests are specified. FEI shows (CDIs) will use the short or regular Grand Prix depending on whether the show is a World Cup qualifier.
A new freestyle at the Prix St. Georges level has also been written and will be part of the North American Young Riders Championship in August. It is now available at shows only to Young Riders and not to adult competitors. The Intermediaire I and Grand Prix Freestyles have not been rewritten.
Horse Journal Joins Neutraceutical Alliance
Horse Journal has joined the Neutraceutical Alliance in order to pass on to our readers research information the NA collects. (See this month’s editorial.)
The NA, founded in 1998, is an organization of manufacturers and researchers interested in broadening the factual information behind natural health products, specifically nutraceuticals and herbals in animals.
The demand and interest shown by consumers far outnumbers the amount of clinical research behind these products. The focus of the NA is on promoting responsible and ethical commercialism and educating the consumer. For further information on the NA and partner Equine Research Center, call 519/837-0061 or see www.nutraceuticalalliance.com and www.erc.on.ca web sites.
The USOC has designated Cartan Tours as the U.S. agent for tickets to the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The three-day events will be Sept. 16-22; dressage Sept. 26, 27, 29, 30; show jumping Sept. 25, 28, Oct. 1.
The range of highest-priced seats at equestrian events: $34 for three-day dressage; $50 for three-day jumping and dressage freestyle; $156 for individual show jumping. Six-day travel packages are available, from $5,490 to $7,375 per person/double occupancy, including air fare from Los Angeles, hotels, breakfast and shuttles, but not tickets. Contact www.cartan.com or 800/841-1994.
Mold Warning: Corn, Rice Bran
The 1999 drought over much of the United States was favorable for the growth of the mold fusarium that produces the fumonisin toxin, which causes moldy corn poisoning.
Although moldy corn poisoning is usually described as “rare,” the risk is real. A hundred horses in Indiana are believed to have died from it in 1991, and a study of 113 corn samples that year at Purdue University showed that 44% contained enough fumonisin to kill horses. Obviously, moldy feed of any type shouldn’t be fed to horses. However, the level of fumonisin needed to kill a horse is undetectable to the eye or nose.
The USDA/FDA don’t require testing for mold toxins in horse feeds. Major brand name feed makers test their corn for fumonisin, but most small mills don’t. Bargain brand feeds, especially sweet mixes, may use corn screenings that could be contaminated. To find out if your feed has been tested, call the company and ask if they do only spot checks or check every batch of incoming corn and finished feed.
Moldy corn poisoning can be confused with any viral or bacterial meningitis, plant poisoning, suspected head trauma or EPM. Diagnosis is made by autopsy and examination of the brain.
The USDA has been developing a test to detect moldy corn poisoning before it has reached an irreversible stage. It won’t benefit horses already showing symptoms, but it can be used to treat other exposed horses.
Rice bran can also harbor fumonisin and other toxins. Check that your rice bran is labeled as “human food quality” or call the manufacturers.
The online auction of Secretariat memorabilia held in December grossed $306,068. Peggy Chenery, Secretariat’s owner, organized the auction through Southeby’s and Amazon.com to raise funds for a life-size bronze of the 1973 Triple Crown winner for the Kentucky Horse Park.
The top price of $40,500 went for a small bronze sculpture of Secretariat, jockey Ron Turcotte and groom Eddie Sweat by Ed Bogucki, who will also create the Horse Park sculpture. Secretariat’s blanket from the Belmont went for $39,100 and his Triple Crown bridle brought $25,001. A rub rag, with some staining, sold for $1,949. The 107 items sold averaged $2,860.