The second Friday in August marked the opening for the 2008 Olympic Games. American members of VHR chat stayed up into the morning, waiting to catch a glimpse of the first six eventers performing Dressage. Those few brief moments of air time were not enough to hold the community over through the horseless weekend, but thankfully, due to the wonderful invention of internet streaming video, horse-starved rabid members were able to get their quick fix before the Equestrian games aired the following Monday.
      Throughout the next two weeks, the community rooted for their favorite of nine countries participating in this year’s Equestrian Games. Eventing, Jumping, and Dressage were divided into Team and Individual events, leaving six chances of taking home the gold. Australia took the lead during the Dressage segment of Eventing with a very low penalty score of 102.8. However Germany bumped them down to second with their Cross Country score of 158.1. But Australia held firm during the Jumping segment, and was awarded silver for over all Team Eventing, leaving bronze for Great Britain. Germany took home gold in Individual Eventing, however the United States made a come back by bringing home Silver and Great Britain taking the bronze.
      Winning gold since 1984 for Team Dressage, the Germans once again have proven the old adage to be true, when you find a winning formula don’t change it, adding a third gold medal to their name. Those paying close attention could see the unspoken battle for gold between Germany and the Netherlands, with a 1.167 difference in score, the Netherlands took home silver leaving Denmark the bronze.

      With Germany already having three golds under their belt, this foreshadowed a potential Equestrian smack down for Individual Dressage. Who better to face off with Germany than the Netherlands? Together Dutch owner/rider Anky Van Grunsven, and gelding Salinero, the beautiful bay Hanoverian, received the gold by a 2.03 difference in score, making this the second gold the pair won for Individual Dressage (having won in 2004).

Hello players!
      This newsletter is yet a brilliant example of our community and your efforts! It is put together by the players and volunteers, and I hope it continues! I think this should be a lot of fun and I thank you for your contributions and efforts!
      I also wanted to thank everyone for allowing these wonderful years of doing what I want to do- make games! I know many are wondering, when is the next update? When are new breeds coming? Well I am doing the best I can right now with all this. I am currently finding a few minutes between moving (I was a few critters over my pet limit so they asked me to leave) and a exciting new project to answer these questions.
      Before I go on to this exciting new project, I thought I would explain a bit about my current daily life. Well I am a sucker for animals if you haven't noticed yet. And since I spend a lot of my spare time helping out animals who were left behind in moves along with many other homeless lovables, leaving my pets behind was out of the question. Besides, They are all part of my family.
      We spent a few months trying to get a loan, after false information from my loan broker and my poor father who is always there to save my butt, things just didn't work out. So this last week I had to find a house- with a backyard for my doggies if possible. Long story short, I found a great place, and now it is past midnight and tired of packing and cleaning, so here I am!
      Now, to talk about the really cool new project! Orbis Games has partnered up with Myrtlewood Horses to incorporate their realistic plush toy horses in our 3D game Virtual Horse Ranch II. I am sure many of you will agree, once you check out their website that these horses are beyond

way cool! I have Heather (the clydesdale from the site), and my husband and John laugh at me when they catch me petting or braiding her mane.
    We have more details posted at https://www.orbisaccounts.com/myrtlewood/ and you can also sign up there!
      Next is to answer your questions I am especially sure many of you old timers have! In the month of September, I have a game conference here in Austin and a wedding in Hawaii to attend thanks to my dad's airline miles. I am taking out the middle 2 weeks for that.
      If I am not just catching up on support and daily business during any other times- updates for vhr and vp are my top priority. We have many ideas and improvements compiled by a few volunteers that should be easy to implement. I expect this to be done by latest, the end of October for VHR and VP. I am going to hope for the end of September however.
      Paypal will be done daily still except on Sunday (unless Saturday is missed). My husband has been great about making sure this is done once or twice daily lately. So if you do not have your upgrade done within 24 hours- please do still let us know!
      And once again I have to give a big shout out for all the players and volunteers. I am so impressed by the community and community achievements everyone has accomplished! If I can encourage everyone to try and click at least one ad a month that interests them, that will help us keep up on the server bill and keep us going.
      I also want to thank the support and donations we have received for our shelter. We have over 300 of the most wonderful animals ready to home, and once again in jeopardy of having it shut down. I am doing everything possible to help avoid this, as I don't ever want the potential downfalls of what would happen if it was shut down. Please read the article here about the brindle boxer written by the shelter Vice President- one that your support personally saved.  ...CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Thank you everyone!
'Nefertete' -Shannon Cusick

Those who collect model horses, may be familiar with the name Salinero. Recently Breyer Horses released a beautiful sculpture of Salinero performing a passage in an attempt to immortalize the gelding for all his achievements. But maybe I should stop drooling over this horse and get back on track. Wrapping up Individual Dressage, Germany held strong and took home the silver and the bronze.
     The influence of Thoroughbred blood can be greatly seen in the Olympic Eventers, however it is clear that Hanoverians rule the dressage world. Now with Eventing and Dressage out of the way, other breeds like Dutch Warmbloods can flourish and take the gold home. Gold medal horses for both Team and Individual Jumping were KWPN, registered with the royal studbook of the Netherlands. The United States team brought home their first and only gold, with Canada taking claim to the silver, this left the bronze for Norway (their only medal).
      In the Individual Jumping we see a change of pace. While the top three horses were all KWPN, it was Canada who took home the gold, and Sweden earning the silver, leaving the bronze for the United States. Beezie Madden, riding for the USA team, did 3.14 seconds better then Canada and Sweden, however had acquired four faults, dropping her back to third.
      To honor my fellow VHRians, I say this to you, Germany pwned They took home five medals, the United States took home three, Canada, Netherlands, and Great Britain took home two, while Australia, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway took home one. Over all I’d say it was a great turn out.

      Hold your horses! The Olympics has not ended. That’s right, you heard me. We still have a whole new set of competitors to watch. And no, I’m not crazy. Have you ever heard of the Paralympics? Well if you haven’t, it’s time to get familiar. Because that’s the next hot horse event coming up. Just like the Olympics, athletes compete in various events against other international athletes, Equestrian Dressage included in the package. The catch is, these athletes have overcome a physical disability. Have a visual impairment? Missing a limb or two? It wont stop these men and women.
      So mark your calendar for September 6 to September 17, and keep an eye out for more information. - For more information on these stunning athletes, here’s the place to look http://en.paralympic.beijing2008.cn/


       On an April morning a little foal named Rarity is born into the comfort of a warm barn and not so loving mother. Hawk’s miniature mare had given birth to a wet, wiggling little filly named Rarity. At 7 am that morning her proud new owners go out to the barn to find the little foal hidden underneath the water pail, wet from her birth. According to Hawk, not long after the little foal was born her mother Lil Butt Honeysuckle Rose (Honey) had rejected the baby and wanted nothing to do with her. She had been slammed against the wall and attacked by her mother resulting in an eye injury. Honey repeatedly chased her into a corner and forced the little baby under the water bucket.
       From a young age, the little filly was happy to see her human care givers. “She got happy and jumped right up wanting attention from us, even tried to wander out of the stall to the rest of the people watching.” Hawk tells me that she was delighted with Rarity from the start. Unfortunately for her, Honey decided that she wanted nothing to do with the baby and refused to let the baby get the colostrum she needed to boost her immune system. After many unsuccessful attempts by Rarity to suckle Honey, Hawk tied Honey and made her let Rarity drink.
       Hawk’s gut told her that the baby wouldn’t survive to the next morning if she was left with her mother, so she took the little baby home with her… “I picked the little munchkin up and put her over my shoulder like a baby and climbed in the van and took her home with us. By the time I got home, she was fast asleep with her head and tiny hooves over my shoulder.”
       For the next couple of days, the family had to make sure little Rarity was fed every three hours, so they bottle trained her and fed her a foal milk replacer. Imagine the dedication in that task! “I don't know how much I spent on foal milk replacer for her but I'd have to guess somewhere around $400 maybe a bit more.” But Hawk was dedicated to getting this filly off to the right start in life and continued to care for little Rarity. Living in Hawks yard during her ordeal, she had her own fleece lined dog coat, “I must admit she looks good in tweed!” says Hawk.
       Like any foal, Rarity is playful. Her rough start in life made no exception to the rule. When she wasn't sleeping or eating, she was busy chasing the neighborhood kids around my yard and investigating Hawk’s daughter’s trampoline and the flower beds.

       “I think her favorite things to do were race under the trampoline and to pretend the garden hose was a ditch to jump over.”
       After months of the same routine of three hour feedings and romping in the backyard, Rarity grew up and needed to eat solid food. According to Hawk this didn’t work out too well, “Put grain in her mouth and she'd spit it out... Didn't think teaching her to eat solids was going to be so hard, but she had no one to show her that it was good. So, we decided to bring her half brother home to wean with her which worked perfectly. She watched him eat and within minutes was doing everything he was doing.” The little horse and her brother soon had to leave the comfort of Hawks’ backyard and return to the barn. By this time, Rarity was a few months old and in much better shape then she would have been if Hawk hadn’t taken her home that evening in April. From then on this brave little filly who had a rough start in life has lived a happy life with the rest of her stable mates… and Hawk says, “Oddest part of it all, her mom is her best friend now and they follow each other everywhere.” What a happy ending to a sad beginning.

Real Life Happenings ... PAGE 1
 Letter From Nefertete
Equestrian Olympics
Inspirational Story

Your Community ... PAGE 2
The Evolution of VHR
Flavor of the Month
SandBox Farm, The Year of the Rat
Cats, Dogs & Pandas, Oh My!
Rev Your Engines!
The Zemaituka
Real Rescues

Creative Forum ... PAGE 3
Saddle Seat
Draggys Top 5!
Spot the Difference
A Short Story by Shekeira
Alabama - Editor in Chief
Bara - Jack of all trades

Broodmare paint