Beauty in Baroque

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For years Dressage Today has published a special annual issue that highlights the various baroque breeds often seen in dressage, from Friesians and Lusitanos to PREs and Lipizzans. Each year this issue inspires and enlightens our staff and, hopefully, our readers about the characteristics that make these breeds so unique. And this year is no different as we meet baroque horses who have successfully competed at the Olympics and those who have made it to the silver screen.

Fuego-dressage-spain

We begin with a horse whom you might best remember from the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Lexington, Kentucky—Fuego XII. Ridden by Spanish Olympian Juan Manuel Munoz Diaz, this striking Andalusian stallion, whose name means “fire” in Spanish, brought the WEG crowd to a thunderous standing ovation after a magnificent freestyle full of flamenco-style music. Today, the stallion is retired at the Caballos de Cardenas farm in Écija, Spain, but his legend carries on in his offspring who are located around the globe. You can read more about Fuego in “A Spanish Legacy” on p. 36.

Remaining in Spain, we discover the annual Salon International del Caballo (SICAB)—a weeklong international horse show and salute to PREs. Through vivid storytelling and beautiful photos, freelance writer Diane E. Barber offers us a firsthand look at the 25-year-old event that in 2015 saw 1,109 horses, 321 vendors, 223,675 visitors and a television audience reaching 83 countries. Read “An Annual PRE Celebration” on p. 56.

From Spain we head to the magical land of Albion. Are you wondering where the heck that is? Forget looking at the map—it’s truly a mythical place in the new film “Albion: The Enchanted Stallion,” featuring Friesian breeder, Lori Brock’s stallions, Nitrous and Hans. Produced by Dori Rath and directed by Castille Landon, the movie was filmed in Michigan, Florida and Bulgaria and features well-known Hollywood actors Debra Messing and John Cleese. Brock’s stallions—trained in both dressage and trick performance—were chosen for not only their good looks but for their incredible temperament and ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscapes of the land of Albion. Read more about these talented Friesians and the movie on p. 50.

While the main focus of this issue is to highlight the baroque breeds, we haven’t forgotten to include some training pieces as well. International dressage trainer and competitor JJ Tate offers exercises on how to become a supple rider on p. 28, and on p. 32 we build on our First Level skills in this month’s “Journey Through the Levels” column.

Until next time,

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