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Blogger Catherine Haddad Staller

February 17, 2011

Maximus Retires


Dear Rita,

“Maximus Retires” seems like a funny title, as if he made the choice to do so when in fact, I am the one who made the choice for him. Maximus would never choose retirement if he was in charge of his own life. He is too much of a warrior for that!

I bought Maximus (who was then named “Junker”) from Daniel Ramseier in Zurich, Switzerland, at the beginning of 2003. He was delivered to my stable on my birthday in March, but our magnificent partnership was not a waltz through the rose garden from the very beginning. We got off to a rocky start.

February 8, 2011

The German National Horse Show System

Dear Rita,

I have a friend and show organizer from the United States visiting me this week. Our horse search has taken us to a few small horse shows to view some of the prospects in action, and through my friend’s many and varied questions, I began to realize that many of the things I take for granted in the German show system are not common in the United States.

January 13, 2011

World Cup: How It Works

Dear Rita,

We are in the midst of World Cup season, which is one of the most exciting times of year for me. World Cup is a winter tour that culminates in a Final held in March or April every year. The location of the Final is not fixed, and different countries vie for the privilege of holding it each year.

This year, the Final will be held in Leipzig, Germany, approximately four hours from my home in Vechta. This is the first time in the history of World Cup that the Final will include the three disciplines of jumping, dressage and driving all under the same roof!

December 20, 2010

Catherine's Christmas Picks

Dear Rita,

It is that time of year again! I love Christmas for the lively cheer of the season, but the pressure of GIFT GIVING got too extreme for me decades ago, so I just did away with it. Yep. I declared a war on ALL GIFTS and demanded that my close friends take the time to meet for a glass of wine, tell stories and jokes and just be together in the holiday cheer without all that wrapping paper and stuff.  Works wonders for me. Christmas! Bring it on!

December 18, 2010

London CDI-W: Ranked First in the Western European League!

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro and I have just returned from a fun-filled, successful horse show in London. This is a trip that I really enjoy, and it is becoming an annual pilgrimage for me at Christmastime. The Christmas show at London Olympia is definitely worth the trip!

December 16, 2010

GRFS: On Good Management and Magic Mushrooms

Dear Rita,

The kindest gift you can give your horse is a passport to good health. When we buy horses, take them home and put them in the stable, we also assume responsibility for their happiness and well-being.  Like all things in life, the simplest approach you can take is usually the best one.

November 23, 2010

Stuttgart CDI5*: W Rocks the House!

Dear Rita,

In Stuttgart, I finally managed to ride the Grand Prix test that I have been trying to ride since August. W felt great, the test flowed, and even though there is still loads to work on, everything starts to feel a little easier now. 

Here is a video of our ride: 

November 19, 2010

Stuttgart CDI5* Update: Fourth In The Grand Prix!

Breaking News: Winyamaro finished fourth in the Grand Prix behind 1) Isabell Werth/Satchmo 2) Ulla Salzgeber/Herzrufs Erbe 3) Hubertus Schmidt/Dark Diamond. Full story after the freestyle!

Dear Rita,

Winyamaro and I find ourselves in Stuttgart, Germany, this weekend for the CDI5*. We are accompanied by our trusty assistant trainer, Gizmo, and Winny’s beloved groom, Anna Pettersson.

November 9, 2010

CDI-W Lyon (France)

Dear Rita,

The French really know how to do a horse show! I showed Winyamaro last weekend (Oct. 28-29) at a World Cup qualifier in the Eurexpo stadium in Lyon, France.

November 1, 2010

Leeches: Beneficial Bloodsuckers

Dear Rita,

Try not to be squeamish about the subject matter! Leeches can be very helpful in treating various sport horse injuries, particularly when the injured area needs increased circulation.

History of the medicinal use of leeches dates as far back as 500 BC with an almost frenetic increase in their use during the European Renaissance period. The continued increase in the use of leeches throughout Europe and the Americas through the 1800s pushed Hirudo Medicinalis nearly to the point of extinction in its natural habitat.

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