Saturday, September 18, 2010

WEG: Arrivals As The Blog Turns By Ruthie Harbison

So horses have been arriving to the park slowly in batches of 8 or 9. We have been told to expect 48 horses to arrive today so things are stepping up. Most of the endurance horses are here, some dressage horses have arrived and a handful of eventers from Australia and one from NZ. Things are still pretty quiet around the barn with most stalls being empty. The stabling was arranged according to discipline not by country so all of the horses from dressage are together and all the eventing horses are together etc. Security is definitely stepping up now which is causing a bit of havoc as gates that you could use before are now closed and no one seems to know where people are supposed to legally park at this point. We have been forewarned that the parking situation will only continue to worsen. We have had it easy so far being able to park in the stabling area but we have been told that will be no more as of Monday.

I had a little run in with the law while taking my xc photos. Luckily I have been running all summer and made it back to the truck before my pursuers. I am taking this as a sign that I can no longer wander up to the xc jumps and take photos of them now that they are flagged. I think today I will try to see if I can get some photos of the driving hazards - they look amazing!
The great thing about being in the barn is that you meet a lot of very interesting people from different countries. I met Juan Briz from Guatamala the other day. He is grooming for Jaime Mansilla in endurance on the grey mare Candalita. Candalita is of unknown breeding but they believe her to be 1/4 TB, 1/4, Arab, 1/4 QH and something else. She is probably the only horse here competing barefoot and Juan is her trimmer. He says they have been training her in strap on easy boots and she will compete in the 100 mile endurance phase in glue on easyboots. Interesting fact about Canadalita is that she was a loaner horse since the rider's top horse was not old enough to compete here at WEG as he is only 7 and FEI requires the endurance horses to be at least 8.

There has already been heartbreak in the barn for Pedro Pablo from Chile. His endurance horse got his foot caught in its haynet the very first night it was stabled here at the park and fell down and was injured. Luckily the horse will recover, but what terrible luck. All the other riders from the other disciplines have been very sympathetic to his situation as everyone who competes understands that kind of heartbreak with the horses. Unfortunately Chile only sent three endurance horses so now they no longer have a team. Pedro has been a real trooper about it and says he needs a halter with 'shit happens' written on the side of it.

Well this is it for now. I will send more updates as I can but the pictures will keep coming!
Don't forget to post questions for me if you have them.



  1. At least two other barefoot horses are competing in endurance - Monk and Samiam from the US.

  2. Hi Ruthie,
    Just wanted share some history on "barefooting in the FEI" I leased DJB Wersus,to a Japanese rider in 2005, Kanako Hayashi and he was the first horse (to the best of my knowledge) to compete & complete a World Championship absolutely "Barefooted". Time 9:23.
    In the 2009 Kentucky Cup, the endurance Test ride for WEG, I had 7 farm horses entered, all running totally "barefoot", no boots, nada. DJB Juniper and I finished in 9th place on that muddy course, and June is the US's 1st alternate at the present time for the WEG 2010. My farm, Cypress Trails Equestrian Center, is also home to the three Namibian Team members mounts, one Columbian, one Swede, and very nearly my daugher for the US team who was one of the 10 longlisted. All these horses will be going in a week, with "no iron, no boots, only a bit of Hoof Armor perhaps. If the course is muddy, "barefoot" will be a tremendous advantage. Crossing pavement is much safer on a barefooted horse than shod and there are quite a few road crossings. All in all, its a perfect "barefoot" course. Darolyn Butler (Dare to be Bare)