26 September 2010

Hamish and Dave Are A Tease

With this short little video offering, and after tempting us with an Anky interview! But it's still very funny, so we forgave them. You can also follow Hamish and Dave on their blog, which actually appears to be Hamish's blog, just like @hamishanddave is Hamish's Twitter account and Dave is apparently not allowed near any of it. Hamish is clearly in charge of this operation to a degree we find concerning. Is Dave oppressed? Or does he happily play the knuckle dragging neanderthal jester? After all, he did get a free trip to America and maybe even some free socks at Wal-Mart. But don't be surprised if there are some fireworks about halfway through this thing. A sidekick can only take so much. Stay tuned.

20 September 2010

Hamish and Dave's Airport Sendoff

Our favorite entertainment-style equestrian reporters, Hamish and Dave, have wasted no time with their first effort, a very informative yet fun look at getting the Australian horses ready for flight. Well done! And thanks to what is surely the best equestrian federation in the world, Equestrian Australia.

19 September 2010

Lawsuit Update

Despite having dropped her lawsuit against Eurodressage's Astrid Appels, superstar Anky van Grunsven appears to have set off a whirlwind of legal activity throughout the FEI Nation. We'll try to provide a complete roundup.

First out of the gate, Astrid Appels has sued KroketjeMet, the maker of the popular Larry King video, feeling defamated* by her depiction as Sarah Palin and demanding removal of the clip from YouTube. Like any Continental worthy of an EU passport, Dr. Appels is apparently not a fan of the Wacky Alasky. But it's not "censorship," because that would be hypocritical. You betcha.

Sarah Palin likewise has filed suit against KroketjeMet as well, feeling defamated by her depiction as Astrid Appels. "I don't like this kinda 'gotcha journalism,'" Ms. Palin stated. "It's kinda like that Katie Couric character asking me all those tough questions on TV about what magazines I read up here in Alaska and stuff like that. Gotcha, you betcha! Plus where the hell is Belgium, anyway? I can't even see that from my house! 'He' may have a lot of beer, but we've got Budweiser, and that's the only beer that matters."

KroketjeMet in response has sued xtranormal.com for not providing enough flexibility in character choices. The FEI Nation has collectively joined that suit making it now a class action.

Upon learning that Budweiser and indeed all of Anheuser-Busch had been bought up by Belgian brewing giant InBev, Ms. Palin decided to also sue Belgium, as soon as she finds it on a map.

In another interesting development, Ms. van Grunsven has sued her own husband Sjef Janssen, ironically for exercising his right to "free speech" by allegedly calling Dr. Appels "een superbitch" and "die Duitse journalisten maffia," helping Dr. Appels to rally the masses against them and ruining a quiet, everyday lawsuit. The great irony of it all being that as private speech, Mr. Janssen's actions (as reported) were easily far more protected by law than what a journalist might get up to in editorializing news reports, and since unpublished could never be "slanderous" (sic), as claimed by Dr. Appels. Or even libelous. Not to mention his actions were legally irrelevant since he was not even a party to the suit, that last basic fact conspicuously lost on Eurodressage's cohort, Dressagedaily.com.

Mr. Janssen has not yet decided on who to sue in response, but he's probably working on it. Maybe the entire Internet. Or its inventor, Al Gore. Or the FEI, because when in doubt, it's best just to blame them. Lawsuit bingo!

Subsequently Astrid Appels has sued Astrid Appels, having apparently defamated herself by publishing Mr. Janssen's private and thus previously non-"slanderous" remarks. We hope she hires less amateurish attorneys this time around as those guys were clearly hacks from the start. (likely one reason why this thing had to be moved to the court of public opinion.)

The FEI then sued Anky van Grunsven for starting this whole rollkur circus up again just when they thought they had gotten away with it all. They do not, however, feel defamated, because. . .well, they're used to it.

Another dressage superstar, Moorlands Totilas, has cemented his status by suing the publisher of Klubequus.org. Mr. Totilas feels defamated by his depiction as a "gaited warmblood" and insists no photos of him may be used in relation to odd varieties of horses bred, trained and sometimes abused to do weird things with their legs.

Respected actor and sometime homeless rap artist Joaquin Phoenix has also sued Astrid Appels, surprisingly feeling defamated by a recent tweet in which she likened him to someone living in a cardboard box. Mr. Phoenix tweeted in response, "@eurodressage, u rly r a superbitch."

And finally in other Hollywood news, Prince has sued The Carrot, feeling defamated by our usage of The Symbol Formerly Known As The Artist Formerly Known As Prince in relation to The Training Method Formerly Known As Rollkur. Prince insists he does not condone rollkur by any definition and has never done rollkur by any definition with any horse, ever. Stated The Artist's attorney, "Despite his image, even Prince is not that kinky."

And that's our lawsuit roundup for the week ending September 19.

*yes we know defamated is not really a word, but since it entered the vernacular via a real live journalist/blogger, we think it's an improvement on the original

16 September 2010

True Innovation From Down Under

A delightful reader sent us this video and I figured maybe you had to be Australian to get it. Or at least drunk. But then I saw an Equestrian Australia news item and it made a lot more sense. Turns out EA is the first equestrian federation to officially, publicly demonstrate a sense of humor. This is true innovation. They are bringing "entertainment-style" reporting of the WEG to the masses of Aussies who have to stay home. And to any others who can understand what they're saying. Brilliant.

We expect great things from these guys and will be following them closely. Don't hold back. The adult beverages should help. Comedy: it's contagious.

We Were Captioning Photos When John Was Still In Short Pants

Thanks to Arden for the fascinating Horse Mania pics from Lexington. This is an outdoor exhibit that you will see if you go to the WEG, in case the mostly horseless FEI exhibit leaves you craving some equine art. Especially if all you could afford was a lousy grounds pass and you only got to pet a penguin, you can go downtown and at least get to pet a fiberglass horse. Although I suspect the artists frown on that. You can see all the creations on the Horse Mania website. I like the chocolate one best. Yum!

As for photo captions, there have been some excellent ones at HaHaHorses recently, and sometimes they even win! Remember kids, the more funny people participate, the more funny there will be. And most importantly all proceeds go to equine charities!

15 September 2010

Innovative WEG Demonstration Event

In the fine FEI tradition of equine irrelevancy, the WEG should feature the following innovative demonstration event, horseless show jumping! Because who needs horses when you have strippers?

This one came from Eventing Nation awhile back, and as always with EN, it's the little bits of humor John adds that make it all worthwhile:
This video is BSFW--barely safe for work--in the sense that you can watch it and still go to heaven but you definitely don't want a co-worker to wander up behind you because they will not understand.
These guys sure can jump though.

Here's an example from the innovative, mostly horseless FEI photo exhibit and then of course there are the innovative, entirely horseless FEI awards coming up in November. All very inspirational. Actually all this pic inspired me to do was rent Thelma & Louise, but maybe that was the point.
Photo: Liz Gregg

We Can Caption Photos Too

If you don't recognize this fascinating character, you must have just joined us. Read this and it will all make sense.

12 September 2010

Sunday at the Movies

Xtranormal.com has officially taken over the FEI Nation, or at least the dressage end of it, with offerings for everyone no matter what camp they're in. We're just going to post all the ones we've seen and offend everyone at once. The brilliant Ilovethecarrot started this magnificent trend with the antics of FEI president Dubya, and we'll be sure to publish Ilovethecarrot's next opus which should be coming along any day now, from that cinematic hotbed Afghanistan to you.

Now Showing at the Rollkur Circusplex 6, Suitable for Almost the Whole Family with Free Popcorn!

Theater 1: WEG News Farce, by Dressagefortherestofus
Carrot Rating ***
I love this news format, and the part where they plug the sponsor product is hysterical: "Sounds like quite the innovation for today's equestrian lady." Then they debate pro vs. anti: "Jane, you ignorant slut..."  Hope to see these guys again during the W-E-G!

Theater 2: Larry King Interviews Astrid Appels, by KroketjeMet
Carrot Rating ***
Brilliant, nice to see the political backdrop get some air time. "Journalist and blogger" (lol) Sarah Palin was an inspired choice! Or, knowing xtranormal, perhaps the only choice...

Theater 3: Dressage Queen, by Dressagefortherestofus
Carrot Rating ***
This one has been a smashing success. It grew on me, I think some bigwigs didn't get it and that made it funnier. I love that she's a real queen and everything. Definitely some choice bits here.

Theater 4: Larry King Interviews Gerd Heuschmann and Klaus Balkenhol, by KroketjeMet
Carrot Rating **
This one has some moments. I love Napoleon! And Klaus as the police officer inexplicably in front of the Bird's Nest, for some reason that's funny.

Theater 5: FEI TV Today by Tongueincheek
Carrot Rating **
I like this one even though the Dutch lady is often unintelligible. "And of course PAP LDR is still the same LDR you know and love." "You just have to be careful that no one takes a picture or video...or they will publish it, and will even cut your head off."

Theater 6: The State of Dressage, by nooyawkmint
Carrot Rating **
These harmless, lovable characters touch on discipline demographics: "Will the petitions stop them too?"

11 September 2010

Horses: Still Not At The Heart Of Horse Sport

Under the heading of Still Not Getting It, the FEI has announced an "innovative" photography exhibit to be presented at the WEG, courtesy of Alltech, Naturally. But then, what at the WEG isn't courtesy of Alltech, Naturally, these days?

Here's what's hilarious about it, in the fine tradition of the lack of an FEI Horse of the Year award. The "innovative" exhibit named Inspire features one photo of a horse (Totilas, who must really be something!), and 15 photos of people. Just people, sans horses. People with teammates, mentors, babies and the like. I don't get it.
Most of the images unite two people in rural or urban backdrops and highlight the bond of admiration and inspiration between them.
Because that's what equestrian sport is all about, the bond between a rider and a horse FEI sponsor baby. Disclaimer: I'm really not a baby person. I mean, I understand the need to perpetuate the species and all that, but I just like puppies better. Unless I can get my ranking points frozen and then woohoo! Somebody come along and knock me up right now!!!
Commented Chief FEI Yes Man Alex McLin, "This contemporary exhibition highlights the love, respect, passion and diversity that are inherent to our sport."
And simultaneously extracts the core distinct inherent feature of the sport, thus rendering it irrelevant. But "inspirational." Got it. God this is boneheaded.

Dubya's campaign strategy is starting to look very savvy:

In related news, Totilas (NED), deemed the sole equine worthy of featuring in the FEI photo exhibit, has already written his autobiography at the tender age of ten, as reported by Dressage-news.com. And he's got not only his own website but a satirical takeoff mocking his gaits for which he's probably even contemplating a lawsuit (that's when we know he's really a superstar). Methinks he's trying to become Carrot Horse of the Year before the WEG even happens, but rest assured our incorruptible judges will keep their minds open.

More Bunny Hops

Courtesy of the greatest news source in all equestrianism, Phelps Sports, here's George Morris with the reins leash at Falsterbo:
Photo by the fabulous Erin Cowgill

Everyone loves rabbits:
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Even lazy ones:
Try as we may we cannot find the origin of this one

07 September 2010

So What Are You Proposing, Exactly?

I was planning on giving the FEI a friendly reminder that it's "first draft of rule changes" time, just in case they "forgot" again like last year. But alas, no reminder was necessary. There was even a press release about the New List, which of course contains the whole story like always!
The List Group has proposed a list of prohibited substances for 2011 which represents a practical solution that respects horse welfare and ensures a level playing field. This list does not allow NSAIDs in competition, but does allow post-competition usage of certain NSAIDs, specifically Phenylbutazone (bute) and Flunixin (banamine), in low dosages between competitions for the well-being of the horse; but only to the extent that the medications will neither be detectable nor affect the performance or welfare of the horse at its next competition.
But you guys, "post-competition usage" of bute and banamine is already allowed "to the extent that the medications will neither be detectable nor affect the performance or welfare of the horse at its next competition." In other words I think you just served up a heapin' pile o' bullshit right there. That sounds like the status quo wrapped up in some kind of funny business. So what does it mean?  Either it's just a PR move to keep pro-NSAID people from fully grasping that nothing has changed (fail), or I think they must plan on redefining rollkur and then banning it what it means for these two medications to be "detectable" (a brief layperson-friendly editorial about this concept is conspicuously located at the top of the FEI document list, further elaborated in two Congress abstracts, pp 17-22). Meaning they would be changing the detection methodology and the point at which positives for these two substances are determined and prosecuted. Clever. NB: this is scientifically distinct from going to thresholds.

03 September 2010

Dog Party!!!

A reader sent this fantastic video which really puts a smile on your face.