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Five Questions for Christine Gracey, MFH Eglinton and Caledon Hunt

Self-described mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, landscape architect and now MFH, Christine Gracey has been a horse crazy girl since the age of four. Eight years ago, she met some members of the Eglinton and Caledon Hunt (CAN) at a coffee shop after a hunt and peppered them with questions. After capping at two nearby fixtures that fall, Gracey was so excited and giddy after the experience that her husband bought her a subscription for Christmas.

Moving Off

When I first came to Live Oak,
I caught quite a buzz
And a greener whip
There never was

Under Piper's kind wing
My instincts grew strong
And the Masters' vast knowledge
Helped push me along

Foxhunters to Compete OTTBs at Thoroughbred Makeover

Thoroughbred ex-racehorses will be strutting their stuff at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington October 23-25, 2015 as part of the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, and for the first time since the competition’s inception, foxhunters will partake in the competition alongside equines from the disciplines of dressage, show jumping, show hunter, eventing, competitive trail riding, barrel racing, polo, ranch work and freestyle.

Founded in 2010 by advanced level event rider and trainer Steuart Pittman of Davidson, Maryland, the Retired Racehorse Project’s (RRP) mission is to facilitate the placement of retired Thoroughbred racehorses in second careers by educating the public about the history, distinctive characteristics, versatility of use, and appropriate care and training of the iconic American Thoroughbred. Penny Denegre, MFH Middleburg Hunt and past Chariman of the MFHA Centennial Committee, is the organizing force behind the foxhunter division. 

Surviving the Irish

On an indifferent morning in late August, I set off with my teenage son for the three-hour drive from my seaside home in West Cork to Limerick Show for the inaugural American Hunter Class at the Traditional Irish Horse Association’s Festival of Breeding.

I’m naturally optimistic. We left Cork an hour late (teenagers!), but I never worried. I knew we would get to the Show at the perfect time. And so we did; we sauntered up to the arena alongside the first horse in the class: a handsome five-year-old chestnut gelding ridden by Olympic eventer and serious foxhunter Michael Ryan.

Can Cross Country Jump Safety Features Translate to the Hunt Field?

Over the past decade, the eventing community experienced a number of catastrophic cross-country jump-related falls that threw the sport into a most unwanted spotlight worldwide, creating a movement to develop safer fence design and employ technology in a manner appropriate for the sport to continue to grow and prosper from Beginner Novice through the CCI**** levels.

Dr. Suzanne Weaver Smith is the Donald and Gertrude Lester Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky. For the last several years, she has been involved in analysis and testing of the frangible technology that is now used on some fences in the cross-country phase of eventing, and in developing and testing new approaches to address the problem of rotational falls. Rotational falls occur when a horse hangs its front legs over a jump, resulting in the horse and rider somersaulting over the fence. Rotational falls are the most serious falls in eventing, often resulting in serious injury or even death for the horse and rider.

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