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La Grande Observer Daily Paper 07/28/14

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Home arrow Online arrow Photos arrow NATIONALLY RANKED HORSE


RANKED RIDE: Cathy Eaton and her horse Sophie are ranked among the top five nationally in the American Warm Blood Registry. (The Observer/GARY FLETCHER).
RANKED RIDE: Cathy Eaton and her horse Sophie are ranked among the top five nationally in the American Warm Blood Registry. (The Observer/GARY FLETCHER).

By Gary Fletcher

Observer Staff Writer

ENTERPRISE Theres more good news for an Enterprise equestrian who placed second in the Northwest Regionals Open Dressage Competition last month.

Cathy Eaton learned this week that, based on their scores, Eatons new mare Sophie is now ranked in the top five in the nation in the American Warm Blood Registry. Eatons mount now is also fifth place nationally in the American Warm Blood Society.

Eatons horse is in the national running for the federations Performance Horse of the Year at the training level.

Eaton, 45, is up for the federations national Rider of the Year Award.

The riders standings are still being tallied for the federations award banquet in December.

This was the first season of competition for Eaton and the mare that was 3 years old when Eaton bought her less than a year ago.

Young horses like Sophie dont usually do well competitively, Eaton said. A new rider on a new horse is not ordinarily a wining combination in the competitive world of dressage.

Eaton is so encouraged that, rather than remaining at the training level, she plans to move up to a more competitive level next season.

Dressage is the most classical form of riding and evolved from a system developed for producing easily controlled horses that would be battle-winning assets for army cavalries.

Troopers needed to control their mounts with one hand while their other wielded a sword or firearm in battle.

Horses are trained to respond to the voice and subtle movements of the arms, leg and pelvis.

By the end of World War II, all the cavalry schools were gone. The mainly military or aristocratic activity became an almost totally civilian pastime.

Dressage was first included in an Olympic program in the 1912 Stockholm Games.

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