Horse Sport Enews More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! Email* We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. SIGN UP America reclaimed the individual World Championship title at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in The Horse Park at Kentucky, USA this afternoon, but it wasn’t the hot favourite, Shawn Flarida, who stood tall and proud as the host nation’s flag was raised. The loss of a stirrup would cost the 2002 World Champion dearly, and it was team-mate and fellow gold medallist in last Sunday’s team event Tom McCutcheon who stood top of the podium.Underlining the US domination of the sport right now, US rider Craig Schmersal took silver medal position, while defending World Champion Duane Latimer from Canada had to settle for bronze.ELECTRICThe atmosphere in the packed stadium was electric all afternoon as the 21 qualified riders battled it out, and Latimer took the lead when third-last to go in the penultimate group. However the man who took the FEI World Equestrian Games™ by storm in Aachen four years ago was not riding his great horse Hang Ten Surprize. It was a “catch-ride” he picked up earlier in the year, the considerably less-experienced six year old Dun Playin Tag, that put the leading score of 222.5 on the board.Schmersal immediately bettered that however when his faithful 12 year old stallion Mister Montana Nic earned a mark of 223.0. The 38 year old rider was plenty pleased with his result – “my horse is always fighting for me, I asked him for 110% today and he delivered”.There were just three big names left to run after the final arena drag and McCutcheon got the best of the ground when first of these, racking up a great score of 228.00 to forge well ahead with Gunners Special Nite. He knew from the outset that he was putting on a great show with his American Quarter Horse stallion. “For me a pattern like that is just right, and the first stop was really strong. He was really hooked up, and for everything I wanted to do he was there for me. He just gets stronger and stronger” he said. FAR FROM ASSUREDWith Italy’s Stefano Massignan and his own team-mate Shawn Flarida to come however, McCutcheon was far from assured of the title and it was a tense wait as the final two took their turn. Massigan had produced fantastic performances throughout the week, but when he was penalised for cross-canter with his palomino stallion Yellow Jersey, McCutcheon could see the glint of silver. That silver turned to gold however when it all fell apart for last-man-in Flarida. Trying to recover from a broken stirrup the man from Springboro, Ohio unintentionally touched the horn of the saddle which automatically incurs five penalties and, after a review by the judges, his chances were blown. Flarida’s loss would be McCutcheon’s gain.Talking about the development of the sport of Reining since it became an FEI discipline, McCutcheon commented that riders are now more likely to prepare for the big events in a different way. “For sure it used to be that after his six year old year most horses ended up as non-professional or weekend horses, but that’s changed and we now train and keep the horses a lot longer”. Silver medallist Schmersal’s Mister Montana Nic is something of a phenomenon as he is still so successful at the mature age of twelve and his rider said that this was due to him being paced, with shows specially chosen for him and a careful maintenance programme.HUGE HITThe Reining Championships were a huge hit with the crowds packed into the Alltech Arena in which enthusiastic fans were breaking the sound-barrier with their screams of support for their favourites all week long. US Chef d’Equipe, Jeff Petska, said the experience had been “a whirlwind for me, I’m very fortunate to be around these riders, it was my job to make sure they got the chance to do what they do best and it went off smoothly”. What they did best this week was to take both the World Team Championship along with Individual Gold and Silver. A pretty good week all round.Facts and Figures:– 21 riders competed in today’s final– Gold medallist, Tom McCutcheon, was a member of last Sunday’s winning US team.– Defending champion, Duane Latimer of Canada, had to settle for bronze medal position.– Favourite to take the title, America’s Shawn Flarida was penalised for touching the horn of his saddle after a stirrup broke.– Flarida still completed his pattern despite the loss of the stirrup.Quotes:Bronze medallist Duane Latimer “the crowd were great, screaming real hard and encouraging us all the way – it was great fun – but if I had the chance to do it all again I’d do a little better!”Duane Latimer “You can’t compare the horse I rode today with Hang Ten Surprize at Aachen – I’ve only had this horse since April while I had Hang Ten since he was a two year old – I’m very happy with this horse today”.Gold medallist Tom McCutcheon “the team medal was very special because it was great to be on that podium with such great guys but in the individual I’m delighted that I could do what we did today for my horse – he’s been special all his life and has had many second places – I’m glad I could do this (taking first) for him today!”RESULT:ALLTECH FEI WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES™ – INDIVIDUAL REINING CHAMPIONSHIP1 (Gold) – Gunners Special Nite (Tom McCutcheon) USA 228.02 (Silver) – Mister Montana (Craig Schmersal) USA 223.03 (Bronze) – Dun Playin Tag (Duane Latimer) CAN 222.5
Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! Email* Jump Canada fully supports the campaign by Equine Canada to raise funds for the 2014 World Equestrian Games set for Normandy, FRA next summer via the recently announced $20.14 for 2014 campaign.Here is a statement released by JT Taylor, Elizabeth Bordeaux, and Mark Samuel of the Jump Canada Board:Our team needs and deserves all of our support.In fact, we are so strongly in support that we, the current and past Chairs of Jump Canada, are issuing personal challenges to everyone else involved in the sport!Here is what we propose: Starting in January, we will donate $20.14 a month until August, when the WEGs begin. And we challenge all of our Jump Canada members and counterparts at the other disciplines to do the same.JT Taylor hereby challenges the other discipline chairs to match his monthly contribution.Elizabeth Bordeaux challenges all EC board and committee members to join in the fun.Mark Samuel challenges all high performance athletes to match his offer.And, Jump Canada athletes challenge athletes from all other disciplines (both Olympic and non-Olympic) to join the $20.14 challenge!We hope all disciplines will step up to this worthy cause. And, we wish ALL of our disciplines the best of luck at the WEGs next summer!JT John Taylor, Elizabeth Bordeaux, and Mark Samuel Tags: Equine Canada, Jump Canada, Jump Canada Board, John Taylor, Mark Samuel, 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Elizabeth Bordeaux, We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business. Horse Sport Enews SIGN UP
On March 3, the Russian proxy representatives of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) reportedly gave permission to their military to launch preemptive attacks against Ukrainian forces along the frontline (Armiyadnr.su, RBC, March 3). Despite both sides announcing a comprehensive truce last July, 14 Ukrainian service members were killed since the start of 2021. Many more were injured by shelling, landmines and sniper fire that has intensified from the Russia-backed separatists’ side (Pravda.com.ua, February 28).Throughout this time, Ukraine has continued to reach out to and develop its relations with strategic Western security partners. As recently as February 25, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who praised Ukraine’s ongoing reforms of its defense sector as well as reaffirmed the Alliance’s support for its Euro-Atlantic ambitions (President.gov.ua, February 25). Meanwhile, in Washington, the Joseph Biden administration recently announced an additional $125 military aid package to Ukraine (Kyiv Post, March 2).Yet despite the notable military assistance and political backing the country has been receiving from its international allies, by some measures the situation within the Ukrainian Armed Forces remains gloomy. According to reporting published last autumn, throughout the period 2018–2020, around 77,000 contract soldiers resigned—a third of Ukraine’s total military personnel, numbering about 250,000. “If before, the Ministry of Defense was one of the most open bodies, now it is the most closed,” said Mykola Sungurovsky, the director of the military program at the Kyiv-based Razumkov Center. The commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Colonel General Ruslan Khomchak, admits the military suffers from a problem of personnel turnover, but he noted that the same issue plagues all other armies around the world. And the reasons for these resignations among Ukrainian service members vary, including problem related to housing shortages or lack of fulfillment of some social guarantees. Khomchak asserted the Ukrainian military has to significantly change its mentality, its upbringing, ideology, military culture, and so on (BBC News—Ukrainian service, October 21, 2020).In a recent interview, Colonel Serhii Sobko, a former commander of the 128th Mountain Assault Brigade, pointed out that those Soviet-style Ukrainian officers who dodged the war in 2014–2015 are now returning to the chain of command, which is adding new uncertainty to the Armed Forces’ proclaimed NATO path. Sobko recounted that, in 2018, he unexpectedly lost a promised ten-month study position at the US Army War College (Carlisle, Pennsylvania), which at the last minute was reassigned to another Ukrainian officer. Purportedly, Sobko was told he would instead be receiving a military promotion, but even a year later, no such elevation was ever given. He attributed this episode to his showing insufficient deference to the high command and refusing to accept the status quo within the military: “If I was quieter and did not raise any problems [in the army] to the command, military service would have been more comfortable for me” (YouTube, March 2, 2021).During a trip to the frontline last month, President Zelenskyy affirmed that Ukrainian units are allowed to proportionally respond to instances of enemy fire (Ukrinform, February 11). But despite such assurances, many on-the-ground commanders still hesitate to give the order to fire back, in order to avoid further complaints from Kyiv. As this author personally witnessed during a visit to the Donbas line of control in mid-February 2021, following any exchange of fire, Ukrainian troops are required to prove they did not shoot first. Rebukes from commanders for discharging a weapon can end with involuntary resignation, ultimately ending the individual’s military career. In off-the-record conversations with this author, Ukrainian soldiers complained of effectively having to hide their activities from the high command while fighting for their own land.A related problem, according to frontline troops, is overwhelming volumes of paperwork, which was not seen since 2014. Instead of fulfilling their direct duties, many service members now must deal with military bureaucracy, which includes answering thousands of formal request telegrams and filling out military reports that must be written by hand. One Ukrainian officer recently shared on his Facebook page that, last year, he received 3,853 incoming telegrams, letters, proofs, requirements, instructions, and other documentation—which averages out to at least 10 documents a day. In 2019, there were fewer such documents—3,491. So if the current trend holds, Ukrainian troops in the trenches may expect even more paperwork this year (Facebook.com/StanislavDiegtariev, February 17). Some service members joked to this author that they were members of the “Ukrainian paper army” (Author’s interviews, February 2021).All this seriously undermines troop morale and motivation, while also potentially explaining the mass personnel attrition in the Ukrainian Armed Forces over the past couple years, especially among those who experienced fighting in Donbas. Many of them say they joined the army to fight the enemy and push it off of Ukrainian soil. Instead, they must deal with a daily routine and obey orders that, in their eyes, does not bring victory any closer. Such sentiment, if widespread, is particularly dangerous during periods of heightened violence across the frontline and deliberate provocations from the Russian side (Zn.ua, March 3; see EDM, March 11).For now, the relatively high monthly salaries of up to 30,000 hryvna ($1,000) still attract many Ukrainians to sign a service contract with the military. This option has become particularly relevant amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, when many Ukrainians lost their jobs and have had to find other sources of income. Moreover, military service comes with crucial social safety net elements, including free housing, pensions and so on.The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian parliament) is currently considering legislation that would allow the president to call up 150,000 military reservists without first declaring a general mobilization or martial law (Babel.ua, March 5). The successful ability to absorb such large numbers of service members into the Armed Forces—all while maintaining morale and preserving a high level of combat capabilities to resist Russian military aggression—is not a trivial matter. If this bill is adopted into law, it will add further urgency and necessity to adopt deeper reforms that bring the Ukrainian military in line with NATO standards.
Sturgill Simpson was the featured musical guest on Monday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where viewers were treated to a remote, full-band performance of “Life of Sin”.A reworked bluegrass version of the Metamodern Sounds in Country Music tune appeared on Simpson’s Grammy-nominated 2020 studio album, Cuttin’ Grass Vol.1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions). For Monday’s Tonight Show performance, Simpson and his band set up shop at The Station Inn, one of Nashville’s more notable intimate music venues. The six-piece band eased their way through the traditional country-inspired song, which featured a sublime mandolin solo courtesy of Sierra Hull.Related: Sturgill Simpson Blasts CMA Awards For Excluding John Prine [Video]Watch Simpson and his band’s performance of “Life of Sin” from Monday’s episode of the Tonight Show below.Sturgill Simpson – “Life of Sin” – The Tonight Show (1/4/20)[Video: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon]Simpson is coming off a busy 2020 which saw the popular Nashville singer/songwriter release both Cuttin’ Grass Vol.1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions) and its companion album Cuttin’ Grass – Vol. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions). The guitarist also teamed up with Z2 Comics for the release of a 144-page Sound & Fury: The Graphic Novel, themed around his 2019 album by the same name.
Edward FurlongWhat do you think? Send your suggestions to [email protected] Morten Møller HolstSource: Alamy
DALLAS (AP) — Imani McGee-Stafford had 11 points and 10 rebounds as Texas advanced to its first Big 12 tournament championship game since 2004 with a 59-46 win over Oklahoma on Sunday.McGee-Stafford’s layup with 5:15 left wrapped up a 14-0 run that put the Longhorns (22-9) up by 10 points.Brady Sanders also had 11 points for preseason Big 12 favorite Texas, which plays in the title game Monday night against regular season champion Baylor. The Lady Bears are going for their fifth consecutive tournament championship.Oklahoma (20-11) made only 26 percent of its field goals (15 of 58), and went without one for more than 10 minutes in the first half before Gabbi Ortiz made a 3-pointer with six seconds left.Peyton Little and Gioya Carter each had 11 points for the Sooners, who led 34-30 on a 3-pointer by Carter with 10:35 left before the late Texas run.