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Capone I Corner By Judy Wardrope


he was out of competition when he should have been at his competitive peak. Fortunately he made a dramatic comeback in 2011 at the age of 15, winning grand prix classes at both HITS Thermal and Spruce Meadows. At first glance most observers see Capone I as


H


big, solid and powerful. He is all of those things, but one only has to watch him perform to see that he is also light on the forehand, quick with his knees and scopey. Let’s see if we can understand why he has these qualities. As we have come to expect from athletes,


Capone’s lumbosacral gap (just in front of the high point of croup where the articulation of the


e was a serious grand prix contender for several years, but due to unusual circumstances not related to his ability,


point of view


vertebrae changes) is bisected by a line drawn from the top point of one hip to the top point of the other. This is ideal positioning for the transfer of the power created in the hindquarters as well as aiding in the lifting of the forequarters—in other words, strong coupling. The further back the LS gap is from the line from hip to hip, the less athleticism and the more risk for injury for the horse. Also, horses with poor LS placement often appear to be long in the back, which Capone certainly does not. Like all the top jumpers, he has nearly identical


measurements from point of hip to point of buttock and from point of buttock to stifle protrusion. This equality of lengths makes for efficient coiling and uncoiling of the rear spring without undue strain on the hocks. So far we see a strong transmission and an


40 September/October 2011


Conformation


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