I spent a fantastic Sunday afternoon at the horse show. Doc drove us about two hours to the Royal Polo Club Equestre Dar Es-Salam in Rabat, where “la Semaine du Cheval” (the Week of the Horse) is going on. This event is a weeklong competition presented by la Federation royal marocaine des sports equestres, under the High Patronage of His Majesty the King Mohammed VI. This year, this event incorporates the Moroccan national championship in jumping and dressage.

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Hassan Metsqual accepts his new Championship title.

Doc was mobbed as soon as the car turned into the polo club parking lot. He is obviously a popular fellow with the jumping crowd. One rider seemed to be particularly happy to see Doc; it turns out that he is Hassan Metsqual, a contender for the Moroccan national title in jumping. The reason he was so happy to see Doc is that his horse, Ramazoti is a 13 year old that Doc nursed though acute laminitis three years ago. She then ran into some hock problems with persistent back pain, which Doc addressed as well. Hassan asked us to wish him luck and headed to the barns.

The competition was very entertaining. Best of all, Hassan took top prize and is the new Moroccan champion. During the second round, he and Ramazoti completed the only flawless run of the competition for the win. The crowd went crazy.

I did get a sense of how serious Moroccans are about their horses. Far from the intense labor and neglect