William Micklem's Blog (50)

EVEN MARK TODD CAN BE LED ASTRAY – Part 4

It is to the advantage of the European stud books to be quiet about their thoroughbred genes as they develop their highly successful brands…and that is what most have become. They are often presented as breeds but in fact they are brands, and part of a marketing system rather than a method of showing the true breeding of horses. A number of leading sires are even approved by all the major European stud books, and therefore have registered offspring in different stud books. In addition many…

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Added by William Micklem on August 7, 2009 at 4:00am — 41 Comments

EVEN MARK TODD CAN BE LED ASTRAY – Part 3

The Horse and Hound is the most prestigious equestrian magazine in the UK, the equivalent of the Chronicle of the Horse in the USA. I was writing an article on horse breeding for them, including details of the ‘Holstein’ stallion Cavalier Royale, the Irish based stallion that has produced so many top class event horses, including World Silver medallist and winner of Rolex Ben Along Time and Mary King’s wonderful international pair, Call Again Cavalier and Imperial Cavalier. Their breeding…

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Added by William Micklem on July 31, 2009 at 6:00am — 43 Comments

EVEN MARK TODD CAN BE LED ASTRAY – Part 2

When we breed a mare and a stallion it is a fact that we breed the brain as well as the body. Nothing strange about that, and trainer after trainer, coach after coach, and expert after expert all continually repeat the line about the need for a good temperament…a good brain for working with humans. Unfortunately this message is often ignored as we put greater emphasis on beauty and brawn rather than brain. Or we misinterpret the message by breeding the type of docile horse that will put up…

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Added by William Micklem on July 24, 2009 at 10:00am — 12 Comments

EVEN MARK TODD CAN BE LED ASTRAY – Part 1

So be honest… before buying your groceries who looks at the list of ingredients on the back of the box as well as the appealing tag lines on the front? Probably not many of us, but now the research indicates that we are becoming much more aware of the true contents of the beautifully packaged and photographed goods on display. We have learnt that ‘90% fat free’ actually means 10% fat, which is a high fat content and probably also includes a high sugar content. We have learnt that ‘100%…

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Added by William Micklem on July 17, 2009 at 7:30am — 21 Comments

PARTNERSHIP & COURAGE – THE WINNERS

Oh what a difficult job! As we debated the merits of the fifty six wonderful entries in the Partnership and Courage competition we did consider taking the easy option and just pulling the winners names out of a hat! However that would not be fair to the truly exceptional entries…so here goes with our assessment and announcement of the winners:



POETRY



This is a much more difficult form of expression than many people realize. Most people start by using a structured approach… Continue

Added by William Micklem on July 10, 2009 at 10:30am — 14 Comments

COURAGE & PARTNERSHIP COMPETITION

Why did I choose Courage and partnership as my two themes? Winston Churchill can explain the former...."Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others." And Partnership? I believe the Power of Partnership is the key to fulfilling your potential and indeed in some cases to even go beyond what would appear to be possible.



To be either a good coach, student or rider you need to be a good team player because each is half…

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Added by William Micklem on July 3, 2009 at 3:30am — No Comments

AVOIDING THE DARK SIDE

I wasn’t quite honest last week as I praised Arkle, arguably the greatest steeplechaser of all time…or to be more exact I was being disloyal. Disloyal to my childhood hero Mill House, who was the magnificent winner of the 1963 Cheltenham Gold Cup, and destined to be the King of steeplechasing for many years. So in 1964, when Mill House was hot favourite to win his second Gold Cup I could only watch in shock as Arkle swept into the lead to record the first of his three triumphs in this…

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Added by William Micklem on April 24, 2009 at 9:00am — 7 Comments

ADDED VALUE FOR ALL

Grand National fever again last Monday. This time the €250,000 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in Co Meath, not far from the famous Dreaper stable which once housed the greatest steeplechaser of all time, Arkle. It was won by the English trained, but Irish bred, Niche Market, brilliantly ridden by 19 year old Harry Skelton. There is a showjumping connection here as Harry is the son of British veteran Nick Skelton, who in recent years came back from serious injury and retirement to be one…

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Added by William Micklem on April 17, 2009 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

FROM ORDINARY TO EXTRAORDINARY

Every April in the UK the world stops for The Grand National Steeplechase at Aintree. It is the richest race of the year with the incredible prize money of £900.000. The winner immediately becomes front page news on every national newspaper and will still feature in quiz questions round the country twenty years afterwards!



I was brought up with the history of the Grand National and those famous Aintree fences, Beechers Brook, The Chair and The Canal Turn…..1954 The Queen’s horse…

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Added by William Micklem on April 10, 2009 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

IT'S SIMPLE - LET'S REDESIGN THE HORSE'S HEAD

There is no doubt about it...we need to put our top equestrian brains together and come up with a new design for the horse's head with six main aims:



THE DESIGN BRIEF



1 We need to desensitise the area around the poll.

2 Make the top jaw narrower or the bottom jaw wider so they are both the same width.

3 Move the exit point for the motor and sensory nerves that is just under the cavesson noseband.

4 Fuse and strengthen the delicate ends of the bones at the…

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Added by William Micklem on April 3, 2009 at 11:00am — 25 Comments

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