A few days ago, I came across Tammy La Gorce’s article about how equestrian vaulting–“gymnastics on horseback”–is gaining popularity in areas across New York. The article follows one particularly determined performer named Miranda Marcantuno, 11, who has been riding since she was six.
I thought the multimedia slide show was fun to look through to see the young riders practicing stunts on cantering horses that you might expect from circus performers. You can read the article here.
Also, check out the American Vaulting Association for more details about the sport.
I thought I’d share a relatively new blog by the talented writer Jennifer Sergent. I first got to know Jennifer’s work through the now defunct Washington Spaces Magazine. Spaces closed its doors in January, which is a shame not just for Jennifer, but for architects and designers in the DC Metro Region. The magazine was beautifully produced and showed off some of the best interior design and residential architecture in the District and surrounding areas. (I’m proud to report that one of our projects–an old bank barn converted into a party barn–graced the cover.)
However, Jennifer’s new blog–DC by Design–helps fill that void by continuing to bring light to great design in our area. She’s also had recent pieces in the Washington Post and the Examiner. Whether you live in Washington or are just a fan of all things design, I think you will find DC by Design a blog worth bookmarking.
I received the following press release today and thought I’d pass along the information.
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2010
Contact: Bridget Patrick, 517-241-2669 or firstname.lastname@example.org
State Veterinarian Urges Pet and Livestock Owners to Vaccinate Against Rabies
Rabid horse identified in Lapeer County is state’s third rabies case this year
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture’s (MDA) State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead today urged Michigan citizens to be pro-active and have their pets and livestock vaccinated against rabies and other diseases after confirmation that a horse in Lapeer County tested positive for rabies.
“It is essential pet and livestock owners take steps to vaccinate against rabies and other diseases because of the possibility human exposure to the disease from interaction with infected horses, cattle, dogs, and cats,” Dr. Halstead said. “By working with their veterinarian, owners can take significant steps toward providing a safe and healthy environment for their families and animals.”
A quarantine was issued on the Lapeer County horse farm and will be monitored by county animal control officers. Feral cats and any pet cat on the premises showing clinical signs consistent with rabies or with a history of biting someone within the previous 10 days will be tested.
Six people, including the owner, trainer, and veterinarian, that may have been exposed to the rabid horse are receiving a series of preventative rabies shots. No other humans or animals are known to have been exposed at this time.
This is the third case of rabies in Michigan thus far in 2010 – a skunk was found to be rabid in St. Clair County and a bat was found to be rabid in Kent County.
A standard vaccination program for pets and livestock includes vaccinations required by law, along with vaccinations for diseases commonly found throughout the state. Licensed vaccines are also available for horses, cows, sheep and goats.
“It is important to make sure animals attending fairs or exhibitions, field trials or shows receive additional vaccinations to protect against diseases they may be exposed to in group housing or stressful situations. Owners should consult their private veterinarian to develop an appropriate vaccination program specific for their animals,” Halstead said.
State law requires ferrets and dogs be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. It is also important to make sure that cats kept indoors also be vaccinated as bats frequently get into homes exposing the cats.
Dr. Halstead also recommends the following vaccinations:
- All horses against rabies, Eastern/Western Equine Encephalitis, Tetanus, and West Nile Virus.
- Having dogs checked for heartworm and intestinal parasites, along with vaccinations against canine distemper, parvovirus, and adenovirus.
- Having cats checked for heartworm and internal parasites and vaccinations for cats include rabies, herpes virus, calicivirus, and panleukopenia.
Blackburn Architects’ work at Ketchen Place Farm is featured in the Spring 2010 issue of Architecture DC Magazine. Created by the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the AIA, Architecture DC provides local architects and members of the trade with news and information within the architectural and design industry.
HBO has signed on Dustin Hoffman to star in Luck, an upcoming drama about horse racing culture. The show is slated to begin filming in spring. For more information, check out the blurb in Thoroughbred Times.
We haven’t received our copy of the March 2010 issue of Dressage Today yet (the DC blizzard last week made it nearly impossible for mail delivery in the District). If you have the March issue handy, please take a minute to read my response in the Ask the Experts section of the magazine and let me know how I did. The question I was presented with: What difference does a green barn make to a horse? What are the most important elements to consider when designing sustainably?
That question came from Diane Barber, owner of the Los Angeles-based firm Equestrian Designery – Interior Design for Equestrians, which specializes in—you guessed it—equestrian-style interior design. Diane is also an avid equestrian and author of several articles about her equestrian experiences for publications like Dressage Today. Some of her work may be viewed on her Web site here.
Anyway, I’m not sure if this particular Q & A will make it to the Equisearch Web site, home of magazines like Dressage Today and Practical Horseman, but they do maintain an online compilation of Ask the Experts that you may be interested in reading.
My wife pointed an article out to me a few weeks ago and I’ve been meaning to post it, although I’m sure many of you have seen it by now. It’s an article in the New York Times about Ann Leary, a writer and the wife of the actor and comedian Denis Leary. Ann is a horse lover—actually, an animal lover in general—and has written a couple of books and maintains a pretty amusing blog. Some of her blog entries are about her horses, others are about life on the farm she shares with her family in Connecticut, and others still are just about life in general. All in all, a good read you might want to keep bookmarked. Definitely check out the New York Times article if you haven’t already, if only to look at the photos of her family’s beautiful horses and their 1850s farmhouse.
If you haven’t yet, please read this article by Joe Drape for the New York Times about the malnourished and neglected horses found at Ernie Paragallo’s farm in upstate New York. In April of this year, the thoroughbred breeder and owner Paragallo was arrested and eventually charged with 35 counts of cruelty to animals. Since then, horse lovers across the county have come to the rescue for many of these animals. While that doesn’t change what these horses went through, it’s comforting to reaffirm what most of us already know: that the horse community is filled with people who are willing to go the extra mile to help a horse in need.
Blackburn is pleased to be a part of Build-On: Converted Architecture and Transformed Buildings by the Berlin-based publishing house Gestalten. The collection showcases extraordinary adaptive reuse projects designed by a variety of architects. Blackburn’s renovation of an 1800s bank barn into a “party barn” in Leesburg, Virginia is featured. The book is available through Gestalten and book retailers worldwide.
I thought I’d share some photos of the ongoing renovation of the bank barn project in Ohio. The last time I wrote, the barn–which is being converted into a guest house–had just been relocated to a new position on the site in order to maximize views. (An important feature considering the extensive porch/decking that will outfit the rear of the barn.)
Recently, the crew installed SIPS panels on the roof and walls to insulate the barn without compromising the old barn’s interior. The exterior of the SIPS were then clad in reclaimed barn wood to give the exterior the same “old barn” feel as the interior while still providing the owner with the modern comforts expected in today’s homes. The original slate shingle was carefully removed and replaced with SIPS attached to the original roof boards. We never anticipated reusing all of the original slate, for fear that too much of it would break, but I’m happy to report that– in the end– no new slate was needed.
A lot of care has gone into maintaining and restoring the original character of the barn including the replication of the original rafter tails and the thin profile of the roof overhang. The four louver windows on the front and rear of the building were replicated as well as the large (soon-to-be-louvered) windows at both gabled ends. The louvers at the front and rear are hinged like an old fashion shutter, concealing the operable, double hung low-e windows. The large barn doors at the front can close across the entire window wall and entrance for maximum privacy or security.
The next phase will complete the interior work (including the grand fireplace that is a centerpiece of the large open living area) and construct the porch and decking at the rear of the barn.