by Fran Jurga | 8 February 2010 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
Max the logging horse is dreaming of dressage this winter.
And his dreams may come true...on the international stage.
This post sounds like the prelude to a children's book. There's that one about the Viennese cart horse that gets to stand in with the Spanish Riding School's Lipizzaners. And the one about the rundown London wagon horse that is called into service and hitched to the Lord Mayor's float to lead the annual parade. James Herriot's Bonny's Big Day is about a retired Shire who's pulled out of the field to win best pet at the local fair with as much fanfare as if she'd won Horse of the Year.
Now we can add Max the Logging Horse, who is practicing his heavy-hooved piaffe in the forest this winter, in preparation for his debut at the world's premier outdoor dressage show, the CHIO Aachen's World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany.
On Friday, July 16th, under the motto "The heavy brigade is on its way", about 70 draft horses (called "cart horses" in Europe) as well as carriages and working teams are expected to compete in the "First North Rhine-Westphalian (NRW) Cart Horse Day" at the Aachen show.
Working teams from the city and the countryside will be presented as well as impressive four-in-hand and even ten-in-hand teams. Cart horse dressage will be demonstrated and the strong horses will also be performing a quadrille. A prestigious? champion mare will be crowned.
"We are looking forward to a magnificent program for the whole family; cart horses are impressive animals with top characters," commented Frank Kemperman, Chairman of the Aachen-Laurensberger Rennverein e.V. (ALRV), the organizers of the CHIO.
The dressage riders and show jumpers will need to keep a tight rein on their mounts when these fellows rumble by. The refined warmbloods will be face-to-face with their cold-blooded root-stock. And they'd better watch out that the big boys don't steal their show, or at least inspire a children's book or two.
Photo of Max by Andreas Herrmann, thanks to Niels Knieppertz of the World Equestrian Festival.