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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

October 31, 2011

Throwback Thursday: American Excellence—George Morris Rides Winyamaro

Dear Rita,

Just before we left the good ole USA for Germany last week, one of the highlights of our American tour took place at the USET. George Morris, U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe, rode Winyamaro! Now, how cool is that?

October 20, 2011

To Insure Or Not To Be Sure

Dear Rita,

My summer/fall journey to the United States is drawing to a close. Anna Pettersson, Winyamaro, Gizmo and I will all fly back to Germany next week and gear up for an intense show season through the end of 2011. The Salzburg CDI****, London CDI-W and Mechelen CDI-W are all on the roster for us.

October 4, 2011

Dressage At Devon: A Look Inside the Scores

Dear Rita,

The CDI-W at Devon has renewed and confirmed my faith in American horse shows!


If you have not had a chance to attend the Saturday night freestyles at Devon, you have to put it on your Bucket List for next year. Dressage becomes a spectator sport in the Dixon Oval. This show has an atmosphere like no other, and that’s coming from yours truly who has shown at the greatest venues in Europe. Go to Devon for top sport!

September 30, 2011

Dressage at Devon: Why Competitors Like A Horse Show

Dear Rita,

Very often in my blogs, especially in videos, you hear me praise a show and tell you that it is one of my favorites. After attending a show a few weeks ago that failed to make it on my “Favored Show” list, I thought it might be interesting to write about what makes a show enjoyable for competitors—besides winning of course.

Three elements make or break a show for me: Footing, Stabling and Organization. I am going to use the Dressage At Devon CDI-W 2011 as a prime example of what to look for in a great horse show.

September 12, 2011

Observations: The Pan Am Selections And The Scoreboard

Dear Rita,

The USEF Dressage Festival of Champions was a well-fought competition this year for our Pan American Games Selection Trials. I think this is the best team the United States has ever selected for the PAG. We can be very proud to send these horses and riders to Mexico next month: Steffen Peters with Weltino’s Magic, Heather Blitz with Paragon, Cesar Parra with Grandioso and Marisa Festerling with Big Tyme.

September 3, 2011

Conflicts of Time and Interest

Dear Rita,

With the USEF Festival fast approaching, horses have already started to arrive at the USET in Gladstone. This year’s Pan American Games Selection Trials bring elements of excitement and suspense to the competition and the participation of Steffen Peters with Ravel and Tina Konyot with Calecto in the Grand Prix Championships will also boost spectator appeal.

August 30, 2011

The USEF Dressage Festival

Dear Rita,

It’s that time of year again when the Collecting Gaits Farms/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions takes place in Gladstone, N.J., at the USET headquarters.

August 28, 2011

My Horses Got Wheels!

Dear Rita,

Greetings from Gladstone! I arrived with both my best horses on the East Coast of America just in time to experience our first hurricane. But as I sit here waiting for the last drizzles of Hurricane Irene to subside, I realize that I have seen the likes of her all over the world even though she is normally referred to as a rainstorm with some wind. A bit anti-climatical, this hurricane thing. Lets be thankful for that!

August 15, 2011

The British Are Coming!

Dear Rita,

The warning cry of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride in 1775, although historically dubious, will resonate with credibility in contemporary times at the European Dressage Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, next weekend. The Germans and the Dutch will feel the full power of that cry.

August 14, 2011

From Hickstead To Gladstone

Dear Rita,

Life is a whirlwind! My groom, Anna Pettersson, and myself drove to Hickstead (England) at the end of July to fit in one more horse show before leaving for the United States.

We drove to Calais, parked the horse van on the ferry, crossed the English Channel to Dover, and then made the short drive to Hickstead in the south of England.

Hickstead is a fabulous show with impeccable organization. The footing is superb, the spectators are educated and appreciative, and I always have a feeling that I am in a country that exudes good horsemanship.

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