28 Mar 2011

Horse-boarding: the new extreme sport

Horse Boarding

First came skateboarding, then mountain boarding & now comes horseboarding – the newest extreme sport becoming a craze in Britain.
The sport, where participants are towed behind a horse at around 55kph on an off-road skateboard, was invented by 31-year-old pro stuntman Daniel Fowler-Prime.
The sport can to fruition five years ago after Fowler-Prime strung a rope between his off-road mountain board and a horse.
Now he has developed the daredevil stunt into a fully fledged sport and he is looking forward to hosting the UK’s first ever horse boarding championships in a few months time.
horse board
In the competition adrenaline junkies stand on a modified skateboard, known as a mountain board while holding onto a rope and trying to maintain their balance as the horse is spurred into a gallop by its rider.
Stunt rider Daniel Fowler-Prime, who has worked on films such as Kingdom Of Heaven and The Da Vinci Code, invented it after messing about on a farm with friends.
‘There’s a raw surge of natural power that you wouldn’t get from any other sport. The acceleration is explosive and a lot of skill is involved. You have to be prepared to take a few knocks because falling off has been compared to getting out of a car at 30mph.’
He added: ‘Horses generally take to it very easily.’
Mr Fowler-Prime is a founder of the Extreme Horse Riding Association and opened the National Horse Boarding Training Centre at Seisdon, near Wolverhampton.
He has organised the first championships, involving races on a 100m-course, later this year.
What do you think about this latest craze? – tell us your thoughts in the comments box below.
Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/859066-horse-boarding-the-new-extreme-sport

23 Mar 2011

Star of National Velvet Dies aged 79

Elizabeth taylor
The star of National Velvet Dame Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor, sadly died today at the age of seventy-nine.
The Oscar-winning star died this morning at a medical centre in Los Angeles from congestive heart failure, according to her spokeswoman Sally Morrison.
Dame Elizabeth, who had been in ill health for a number of years, was taken to the hospital with heart failure six weeks ago.
Born in Hampstead, north London, Taylor relocated to the US in 1939 and made her screen debut as a nine-year-old. She found fame as the child star of Lassie Come Home and National Velvet before graduating to adult roles with the 1950 comedy Father of the Bride.
In National Velvet, 1944, twelve-year-old Taylor plays the part of a young girl, helped by a jaded jockey as she prepares a wild but gifted horse named Pie, for England’s Grand National Sweepstakes. The film is regarded as a classic – especially if you love horses, which of course we all do.
Away from the cameras, Elizabeths own life was punctuated by health problems, yet until today, there was something resilient about Elizabeth Taylor – a fighting spirit belied by her famous good looks. “I’ve been through it all, baby,” she once boasted.

18 Mar 2011

Shooves: Shoes that are Hooves!


Shoes made in the style of real horses’ feet and legs, complete with genuine horse hair, are to go on sale at the Cheltenham Festival.The knee and ankle-length zip-up hoof shoes were commissioned by betting company Betfair to celebrate 100 years of the festival, which starts on Tuesday.
The horseshoes are being sold for £1,300 a pair, with all proceeds going to charity.
Model Louise Dainton, 25, who posed on a turf catwalk wearing the human horseshoes, said:
“I’m not sure they are for everyone but I definitely want a pair of hooves.”

London 2012 Tickets now on sale


Tickets for the London 2012 Olympics have gone on sale, 500 days ahead of the event.
Some 6.6 million tickets are available from the London 2012 website over a six-week period and organisers say all applications will be treated equally.
Prices range from £20 to £2,012 and oversubscribed events will be decided by a ballot. On Monday a giant clock counting down the days until the start of the Games was unveiled in Trafalgar Square.
Lord Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said:
“If you look at the way we have put the price points together I think we’ve done that in a really smart way. I think those prices are affordable. Yes, the big ticket events are always going to be the big ticket events, but there are plenty of opportunities to see the big stars at the lower price points.”
Lord Coe said he was confident the Games would be a sellout.
Ballot system
Organisers said they were confident they had done everything they could to avoid the website crashing as people log on for the first time to buy tickets.
The main factor is the establishment of a 42-day sales process which means each application between now and 26 April will be treated in exactly the same way.
People can apply using a paper form obtainable from branches of Lloyds TSB in England, Bank of Scotland in Scotland or libraries in Northern Ireland between 15 March and 25 April 2011.
Sean and Jacqueline Burke, from Southwell, Nottinghamshire, reported some problems using the website.
Mr Burke told BBC News:
“We have managed to book tennis and athletics and one of the cycling events but we have had one or two problems with the website crashing. Logistically it’s quite tricky at the moment.”
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12741934

10 Mar 2011

New Equine Anti Doping rules announced

Doping feat

A new set of National Equine Anti Doping and Controlled Medication rules have been announced by the BEF.
The British Equestrian Federation yesterday announced a new set of National Equine Anti Doping and Controlled Medication rules (BEFAR), which will see more anti-doping tests taking place across the disciplines.
The new rules, which closely mirror the FEI guidelines, will affect all BEF Member Bodies in FEI disciplines and will be incorporated into their rules on publication of their forthcoming rulebooks.
FEI Disciplines refers to the following BEF Member Bodies: British Dressage, British Eventing, British Equestrian Vaulting, British Horse Driving Trials Association, British Reining, British Showjumping and Endurance GB.
All disciplines will be fully compliant by 1st January 2012. The BEF Member Bodies concerned have welcomed this standardised system, which will create a clear policy for all members across those disciplines, with all adhering to the same prohibited substances list, sanctions and procedures. British Showjumping will be the first Olympic discipline to join the system on 1st April 2011.
The new system will see an increasing number of anti-doping tests across the disciplines and all affiliated members should expect their horse to be tested, whether they are competing at grass roots level or at a National Championship. The Equine Anti Doping and Controlled Medication Rules for international competitors remain unchanged.
It is important to note that the new system, in line with the FEI, adopts their prohibited substances list in its entirety, including a ban on Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Under the new National system, these will be classed as Controlled Medications, which, if found in a horse’s sample during competition, will result in a violation.
The BEFAR and prohibited substances list can be found on the BEF website, click here to see the list.

Zara Phillips sets the date

Zara Phillips marry

Event rider Zara Phillips and rugby player Mike Tindall are to be married in Edinburgh on 30th July, Buckingham Palace has said today.
The couple, who met in Australia in 2003, announced their engagement in December, just weeks after Zara’s cousin Prince William said he planned to marry Kate Middleton on 29th April.
The wedding of the Queen’s oldest granddaughter, Miss Phillips, 29, and Tindall, 32, will take place at Canongate Kirk, Scotland on the Royal Mile.
Zara has achieved many sporting successes in eventing, including winning individual gold in three-day eventing at the World Equestrian Games in Germany in 2006. She also followed in her mothers footsteps by becoming BBC Sports Personality of the Year later that year. Princess Anne won the award in 1971.
Zara has missed two consecutive Olympic Games after her horse, Toytown, suffered injuries, but is hoping to compete in the London 2012 Games.

Did you know… Zara is qualified as a physiotherapist, specialising in Equine Physiotherapy.

Greenwich Park will not be damaged during London 2012

Greenwich Park

The London 2012 equestrian manager, Tim Hadaway, is confident that London’s oldest Royal Park, Greenwich Park, will not be damaged during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The iconic park, which dates back to 1433, will host the Olympic equestrian and modern pentathlon events in July and August 2012 as well as the Paralympic dressage competitions the following September.
A temporary main arena for 23,000 spectators will be built within the grounds of the National Maritime Museum but Hadaway insists that such structures, which are vital for the success of the competition, will cause no long term damage.
Hadaway said that Greenwich Park will be closed to the public for as little time as possible following concern from residents.
“We have listened to people’s concerns and have reduced the time of full closure for the park from six to four weeks, from approximately July 6th to August 3rd, 2012,” he said. “Our intention is to re-open sections of the park as soon as possible following completion of the eventing competition.”
In addition, certain areas will remain closed between August 29th and September 9th for the Paralympic Games but a lot of the park will still be accessible to the public.
All of the structures being put in for the Games are temporary and will be removed fromt eh sventy-five hectare site after the games.
Hadaway claimed test events, which are taking place at Greenwich Park later this year, will cause minimum disruption to residents. The first is an invitational event for equestrian from July 4th -6th, while the second is the modern pentathlon World Cup final from July 9-10 which offers London 2012 qualification spots.
This does beg the question, what will the Olympic Legacy be, for the sport of equestrianism?
The Legacy for London Advisory Group says this:
Although the facilities at Greenwich will be temporary, they will be constructed to the highest standards and equine specific equipment purchased for the London Games should be stored or distributed for use where needed in the future. The “Legacy for London Advisory Group” has been set up to ensure that the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games leave a lasting UK wide legacy in terms of participation, facilities and general interest in equestrianism.
To read more on this story why not check out Inside the Games.
How can I get involved and volunteer for the equestrian competitions?
If you are interested in volunteering for specialist positions, applications have now closed. If you are still interested at volunteering otherwise at London 2012, then just click here.