A happy and prosperous 2012 - may it become a great one for all,
with many good and exciting moments!
2011 was a year with exciting shows and interesting moments - in breeding, showing, changes and politics. ECAHO had a change in leadership and on the board, WAHO placed new rules for the breeding and registration of foals by embryo transfer, and the show scene had it's eclat when a video appeared after the Aachen show where several horses were seen being handled and shanked roughly in the show ring. This video publication resulted in a kind of "wake-up-call" bringing special attention, not only in the public but also to the people responsible and to the group of trainers and handlers themselves. And to the great result that in the following major shows, the horses were treated much better and nicer during the presentation, and the trainers started up their own organization called ETHA (European Trainers and Handlers Association) to (re)present their interests as a group.
The year of 2011 also showed up that the competitions are becoming stronger and stronger. The level of quality is very high, with the horses, the professionalism, but also the money involved. More and more potential people enter the show bizz and go for gold. A good horse is the base, but now also a big money is needed to bring even a high quality horse forward. At the top, it gets more and more 'crowded' and tight, and the network increases.
Showing and competitions can be a great fun and excitement - as we saw in the 2011 World Championships in Paris. The show ground and hall really trembled, the screaming and noise from the fan clubs for their top contenders were unbelievable, and the national flags of countries waved everywhere. The 'show' was there, and also a lot of money. Yes, success is sweet, at the end for each who get it! But besides all this show excitement, we also should not forget the breeders - all the big and small ones. It is their hard and daily work, taking their (sometimes small) money and all the risk to breed a good horse, hoping to have bred sooner or later a really exceptional and outstanding foal that may later on will be a top winner, or bring some good money back to finance the future for such a 'normal' but passionate breeder. Also those 'normal' breeders should have achieved a great respect and maybe even much more attention - as they also are often the people who make a base and breed those horses, also often the famous show cracks! So let us enjoy the glamour of the show, but let us also see the breeders more in the spot and public attention.
Enjoy the coming year and let's see what 2012 will bring! Good luck to all breeders and owners, and many beautiful horses in the show ring, but also in the nature and pastures, and many good and healthy foals!