We love the long format. Adore it, in fact. And it’s nostalgic that so many of you want to see it make a comeback at the upper levels, per your comments in our ongoing discussion about how to advance safety and welfare in the sport.
We love that the U.S. stills runs long-format events from Beginner Novice through Preliminary levels, and we’re thankful every day for the hardworking volunteers who keep that long format legacy alive. (And those events need our support.)
But it’s been 14 years since the long format was used at the Olympic level and nine years since it was used at major events like Rolex, Badminton and Burghley. That ship has sailed, my friends. She left us far too soon, like a candle in the wind.
To help drive home the point that it’s time to move on, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that will happen before the long format comes back at the upper levels:
1. Lainey Ashker will stop talking selfies.
2. Chinch will be elected FEI president.
3. Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro will start eventing.
4. Mark Todd will retire from competing.
5. Michael Jung will stop winning gold medals.
8. Boyd Martin will stop breaking bones.
9. Dressage will be axed by popular demand.
10. We’ll all stop splurging on Tack of the Day.
And if you’ve ever seen Lainey’s Instagram, you know homegirl is never going to stop taking selfies. In the same way, it’s unlikely the long format will ever return to the upper levels. It’s something we all have to accept as we look for answers to those tough questions about the sport.
So let’s hold hands and bid her adieu. Goodbye forever, long format. Your candle burned out long before your legend ever did.