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Riding school horse dies after being shot | The London Free Press

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Andy and Sharon Russell with Zydeco at Century Farms in Mt. Brydges. On Sunday afternoon they found a horse named Tage had suffered a bullet wound and had to be euthanized. (DEREK RUTTAN, The London Free Press

 

A Strathroy-area couple were stunned to find Sunday that one of their horses had been shot to death, apparently by a hunting rifle.

Source: Riding school horse dies after being shot | The London Free Press

The owners of a London-area riding school frequented by children were shocked to find one of their 27 horses mortally wounded in a shooting

they say has also baffled police.

Tage, a bay gelding, was found alive by Andy and Sharon Russell with a bullet wound under one of his legs Sunday.

The horse had been grazing in a pasture at the Strathroy-area property about 2 p.m. when he was shot.

“I was teaching lessons in the arena. The horses I wasn’t using were all outside eating,” Sharon Russell said of when she saw the dark brown horse crumple to the ground.

Sharon Russell operates the riding school on their 50-acre property between Strathroy and Mount Brydges.

“The horse was in distress. I could see that he had an injury, like a gash,” she said.


“Tage”, a horse owned by Andy and Sharon Russell of Mount Brydges, Ont., suffered a bullet wound and had to be a euthanized on Sunday. (Handout/The London Free Press)

“It can’t get up, it won’t get up, we can’t determine why.” Andy Russell said of the moment he left the house to join his wife.

“We do see blood on his leg. Maybe he’s been kicked, we don’t know.”

“I did not hear a gunshot,” added Andy Russell. “(The blood) was all down his leg. He didn’t walk anywhere, He was hit and he went down.”

A veterinarian and an officer from Strathroy-Caradoc police identified the wound in the horse’s lower chest-shoulder area as a bullet wound.

The vet was the first to arrive. Since they were getting nowhere examining Tage, they flipped the animal over.

“I didn’t believe it,” Andy Russell said of his reaction when the vet told him the wound was caused by a bullet.

The police officer who attended the property after said the wound likely came from a hunting rifle larger than a .22, Andy Russell said.

Tage was euthanized and buried, but the Russells still don’t know who shot the animal or why.

“We don’t know” what happened, said Andy Russell, adding hunters sometimes use the adjacent property.

“I am going with the assumption that it was a hunter,”

A neighbour said he saw four men with orange hunting vests in a pickup truck Sunday.

“Police verified that it was a hunting rifle,” Sharon Russell said.

Strathroy-Caradoc police couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

Although the riding school is insured, individual horses are not, Sharon Russell said. They’re on the same level as pets, she said. She acquired Tage when he was two years old and that was 25 years ago.

“The (Arabian horses) do tend to live until they’re 32 or so. I just think this poor horse didn’t deserve this crappy ending,” she said.

The couple say they and their two children have lived on the property for nearly 23 years, but nothing like this has happened before.

“We have no enemies,” Andy Russell said. “I know it’s stupidity. I don’t believe it’s intentional,”

About 15 young riders are on the property at any given time.

“We’re just so lucky that it was a horse and not a child,” Andy Russell said.

danbrown@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/DanatLFPress

January 3, 2018 |

Chloe Duffy Qualified to Compete with Ontario Young Riders

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The North American Junior and Young Riders’ Championships (NAJYRC), is the premier equestrian competition in North America for young riders, age 14-21. Young equestrians from Canada, the United States, Bermuda, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands compete in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines of Show Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing, as well as Reining, Endurance and Para-Dressage. The competition is run under rules of the FEI (Fédération Equestre Internationale), the international governing body for equestrian sport.

The NAJYRC began in 1974 as an eventing challenge between the United States and Canada. A Dressage Championship was added in 1981, and Show Jumping was added in 1982. The first complete NAJYRC was held in British Columbia, Canada in 1982.

Chasing a dream involves dedication, determination and sacrifice. Our Young Riders dreams are to one day compete for the Canadian 3 day event team at a future Olympics. To achieve this, they must spend endless hours in the saddle, in the barn, traveling to competitions, perfecting the skills to get them to the top. As they make their way through the levels, they become part of the Ontario Horse Trials Association Young Rider’s Program, with their goals to compete at the North American Junior and Young Riders Championships. The NAJYRC, held every summer, is an important step on the path that will take them to their dreams of international competition.

Chloe Duffy , 16 year old local Sombra Equestrian Athlete and her 10 year old Off Track Thoroughbred Oro Veradero have qualified to compete on the Ontario Young Riders Eventing Team.   Such qualifications came to pass after competing this winter in Florida on the Eventing Circuit with an upgrade at The Florida 3 Day International CCI* Event this past Easter weekend.  Chloe Duffy and Oro Veradero’s Eventing Coach is  Jessica Phoenix;  Four – Time Pan American Games Medallist from Cannington Ontario.

Chloe feels this is such an honour to be able to represent her province and community this summer at the North American Junior & Young Riders Championships at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell, Montana July 19th-23rd, 2017.

As per noted by the Board of Directors of the  Ontario Young Rider Committee each athlete is required to raise their own funds to attend such an incredible opportunity.   Chloe’s fundraising goal is $10,000.00 in Canadian funds which will go directly to the total cost of travel flights and entry fees for both Chloe & Oro Veradero.   The plan is to fly both Horse and Rider from Kentucky to Montana.

Chloe and her family are working closely with their  Community of Sombra  to organize a fundraising event in June.

Follow Duffy Equestrian on Facebook and Instagram

April 29, 2017 |

Announcements for April 2017

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Join me LIVE every Thursday morning at 10 AM for a reminder of what’s happening this week in the horse show world. Here is what you missed this week. Please send me your announcements by text to 519-852-2808. This can be events or any other news you would like to share with local equestrians.

I missed 2 events which are happening: April 8th, 2017 is a dressage schooling show at Kilbyrne Farm which I hope to be at to capture some video for you and then on April 22nd, 2017 is a Dressage Test Ride judging clinic which you can get full details about at http://londondressage.com Check out the video and radio below.

(more…)

March 31, 2017 |

News for the week of Feb 22, 2017

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Horse show and clinic announcements for the week of February 22, 2017. Join me LIVE on Facebook every Thursday at 10 AM EST The Link is:

https://www.facebook.com/londonhorsesports and https://www.facebook.com/events/1873705449510996/

If you are busy like me and want to listen to the replay while you ride or do your chores, you can subscribe to one of the media players in the sidebar. iTunes for iPhone and Stitcher Radio for Android phones.

This weeks episode is sponsored by Professional Edge Equine. Providers of equine massage therapy and health products such as Sea Buck, Nibblenet and more. Visit them at www.ProfessionalEdgeEquine.com for ordering details. Click more to watch the video.  (more…)

February 24, 2017 |

LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP QUALIFIER DRAMA HIGHLIGHTS DAY ONE AT ROYAL WEST

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Buy Tickets Now

Oct. 20, 2016, Calgary, Alberta:  It was opening night at the Agrium Western Event Centre in Calgary for Royal West featuring the prestigious $132,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Calgary presented by pandaHAUS Equestrian on Oct. 29.

At the top of the bill on opening night was the $35,000 1.45m Camelot Stables Cup (presented by Golden West Radio). A full field of 39 on Werner Deeg’s challenging course provided a stirring challenge for the prize money. (more…)

October 21, 2016 |

Podcast Episdoe #29 Linda Finstad – Photographer

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Linda Finstad is a professional photographer and owner of A Sharper Image Photography in Edmonton, Alberta.

linda finstad

In this episode, Linda tells us how she got into horse show photography and gives her advice for aspiring show photographers.

She also talks about the books she has written, including marketing strategies for horse people trying to gain clients, attendees to clinics, etc. as well as her controversial book “Don’t Shoot the Horses”.

You can find out more about Linda at her two websites, www.thehorsewatcher.com, where you can read more about her books and workshops, and www.asharperimage.photostockplus.com, where you can see her horse show photographs.

A big thanks to our sponsors for this episode of The Horse Show Podcast: Holly Oaks, Darcy Lane, Lynn Whetham of Stepright Capital, and Leg Up Equestrian.

Listen Here:

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes here: https://itun.es/ca/rQxdeb.c        or on Sticher Radio here: http://www.stitcher.com/s?fid=96991&refid=stpr
October 6, 2016 |

Ailsa Morrison on NAJYRC 2016

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Ailsa and Princess Sophia

Ailsa and Princess Sophia 

This past summer the North American Junior Young Rider Championships were held at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, Co and I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent Ontario and Canada in the Eventing 1* division.  Having competed at NAJYRC in Kentucky in 2015, I knew what a challenging and rewarding experience this would be. A goal that I had been training for had come to fruition and it was exciting to be part of such an incredibly talented Ontario team. My horse Sophie was excited at first until she learned she had a 2 day, 2000 km trailer ride to get there, but I promised her she’d get to run around a really fun x-co track and she was back on board with my plan. I left out the part that she’d be competing at 5900 ft elevation and figured I’d break the news to her once she was on the trailer and half way across Iowa.

Princess Sophia and I have been together for 4 1/2 years. I bought her from Karl Slezak and picked her up on New Years Eve. It was an awesome way to ring in the new year and set goals for the future. With Karl’s guidance and coaching Sophie and I moved up the ranks from entry to the preliminary level. In the first few weeks I had Sophie I quickly learned that she was a fiery little mare with lots of sass and I was excited for the challenges and adventures that the future held for both of us. In the early stages of our partnership, I got a good taste of her lively personality… and the dirt. Things really came together for us in the 2013 season and we were the 2013 Ontario Pre-Training division champions. Since then we have gone on to accomplish being the 2014 Ontario Training Champion and was top placed Ontario Young Rider at NAJYRC in Kentucky in 2015.  As a young aspiring event rider, I was often asked the question of why I didn’t buy something with more experience that could show me the ropes of upper level eventing?  I would tell them that the opportunity of being part of a horses journey of progressing through the levels and turning into a true competitor, and knowing that you did it all yourself is a feeling I wouldn’t trade for a four star horse.  Still to this day I would not change my answer, as the lessons that my little mare has taught me and the people I’ve met along the way are priceless.

In preparation for NAJYRC 2016 in Colorado, I headed south at the beginning of December 2015 to Ocala, Florida to continue my training and working student program with Jon Holling. I worked and trained with Jon in the winter/spring of 2015 and although there was a steep learning curve, I looked forward to being immersed in the environment that only a top level competition program can provide. Location at my home base in Belle River, is one of my biggest challenges as coaching and shows are very far away. I knew that taking time off from school to head south to train was a must if I wanted to accomplish the goals I had for NAJYRC 2016.  Sophie and I had a great winter season competing in the CC1* at the Ocala Horse Properties with our personal best score of 45 penalty points in dressage and a clear showjumping round. It seemed as though a winter of working and training hard was paying off. When I got home I stationed myself at Holly Jacks Equestrian to train until I was named to the Ontario 1* team and excitably, alongside an incredibly talented team with some good friends, I was off to compete again at NAJYRC.

Young Riders is always an experience like no other. It’s a competition that tests your ability to deal with the pressures of being on a team, the focus required to compete your best and the courage to put it all on the line. I couldn’t have been happier with Sophie in the dressage phase as she was more relaxed and obedient then ever. We did not score as well as I had hoped, but our score was still competitive enough to help put the Ontario 1* team in gold medal position at the end of day two. Next was cross-country day. Sophie tore around a difficult one star championship track, doing what she loves best to finish double clear, adding no penalty points to her dressage score. Showjumping lead to an unfortunate two rails down for Sophie and I, however the rest of the round she jumped her socks off for me. The team finished just a fraction of a point out of bronze medal position to finish fourth in the team divisions.

The relationship you have with your team truly is a unique experience. The pressure comes from not wanting to let your teammates down with a bad score and still wanting to preform at your personal best. At the end of the day, whether somebody had a good day or a bad day, you know your team was there to support you. When I watched my teammates compete I would be just as nervous for them then I was for myself!

Overall the North American Young Riders Championships is, as always, the highlight of the summer for many future top event riders and an experience to remember.

September 14, 2016 |
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