New Orleans, site of the 2018 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention, is one of the most singularly unique cities in the world. The music, the cuisine, the history, the nightlife, the southern goth vibes … you can’t walk down the French Quarter without getting a little tingle up on your spine.
Not surprisingly, Louisiana culture has inspired a ton of event horse names. There are a whopping 20 horses with the registered name Mardi Gras, and there are dozens of variations on the word Cajun — see the word cloud above.
Admittedly, this word cloud puts a little rumble in my belly … convention-goers, if you have a chance to escape the compound, have a meal at French Quarter hole-in-the-wall Coop’s Place. Best jambalaya in New Orleans, IMO. Follow that up with a beer at Laffite’s Blacksmith Shop on Bourbon Street. Built in 1761 and formerly pirate-owned, it’s dark, allegedly haunted and the perfect antithesis to brightly lit conference rooms. And don’t forget to have get your fortune read while you’re in town! Get a sneak preview of how that 2019 season is going to go.
Louisiana has an active equestrian culture. The area is served by the Southern Eventing & Dressage Association, which hosts a number of shows and activities each year, and belongs to USEA’s Area V. Two USEA recognized events will be held in the state in 2019: Holly Hill Spring H.T. in Benton (April 19-20) and Fleur de Leap H.T. in Folsom (Oct. 12-13).
There’s quite a lot of horse racing in the state, and we’ve seen some great ones transition off track into successful eventing careers. At this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover at the Kentucky Horse Park in October, the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association sponsored a new $2,500 award for the top placing Louisiana-bred OTTB. Retired jockey and Retired Racehorse Project board member Rosie Napravnik is based in New Orleans and markets retiring Thoroughbreds for second careers.
Aside from Louisiana themed horse names, you can find little hints of the area throughout U.S. eventing. Like this water complex at Rebecca Farms, a nod to the late Rebecca and Jerome Broussard’s home in the deep south before they relocated to Montana in the mid-’80s. Included is an assortment of bayou creatures ranging from benign (crawfish, beavers) to deadly (water moccasins and alligators).
Alright, so this edition of “Event Horse Names” may have been just a jumping-off point for waxing poetic about one of my favorite corners of the earth. If you’re at the Convention, enjoy! If not, keep it locked here for all the latest — and here’s a recipe for authentic New Orleans beignets as a consolation prize.
In case you missed them, check out these previous editions of Event Horse Names: Authors, Books & Characters, Battle of the Booze, The Empire Business, Monster Trucks, Celebrities, Snow, Valentine’s Day, St. Paddy’s Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, Pumpkin Spice All the Thingz, and What’s For Breakfast?