The Final Round Blogger Contest entries are in–and in a twist of seminal intrigue, we’re offering you the opportunity to weigh in on each article before we declare a victor.
Their Final Round Assignment: Two basic requirements for every post on Eventing Nation: words and visuals. You’ve proven you’re capable of the words bit; now we need to know you’ve got an eye for aesthetics. Your Final Round eventing-related article, themed “Insanity in the Middle,” must be at least 200 words (there’s no word limit) and visually enhanced–the more creatively, the better–with at least one photo you’ve taken, or diagram you’ve created, or video you’ve shot, etc. We stress that access to expensive camera equipment is unnecessary; see Wylie’s FEI pictograms for proof that imagination, at least in the context of this assignment, will be your most invaluable asset. Words and visuals will be judged 50/50 on the same basis as previous entries (Interesting, Funny, Informative, Creative).
In reverse alphabetical order, here’s Yvette Seger’s final installment (for Yvette’s previous entries, see Round 1, Round 2). Stay tuned for entries from Lauren Nethery, Emily Diagnault and Jenni Autry. Entries are presented unedited for fairness’ sake (though please note, Yvette’s entry was created during USPC Championships-East). Thanks for your hard work, Yvette, and thanks as always for reading, Eventing Nation. Please leave feedback in the comments section.
Bio: Age: Too old for Young Riders, but too young for the Masters division (36)
Background: Little. Blonde. Different.
Character-Defining Qualities: I’m originally from Cleveland, so I have this strange habit of checking to make sure bodies of water are not flammable. I like the color red, and bacon is my favorite food group.
Embarrassing Tidbits: I’m not really embarrassed by it, but I am known for having full on conversations with my horse on cross-country…conversations in which I throw my voice so that it sounds like he’s answering me. And my start box song is “Straight Outta Compton.”
Entry: Cult-like Phenomenon Strikes Equestrian Community, Proclaims to Bring Insanity to the Middle
LEXINGTON, VA: While politicos in the U.S. debate the merits of the Presidential candidates (and their pets), the equestrian community is attempting to ward off the effects of a cult-like organization that calls itself “The Eventing Nation.” While the discipline of eventing is a well-established and popular sport among equestrians, individuals who proclaim to be members of the Eventing Nation are recognized for taking the sport to absolute extremes, including mandatory training sessions in extreme weather conditions, forcing members to conduct exercises in full riding apparel, and even cross-training in local discount stores. The cult seems to affect riders of all ages. One mother at the United States Pony Club’s National Championships East – currently underway at the Virginia Horse Center – became concerned when her daughter started marking doorways, local streets, and even stretches of I-95 with red flags on the right and white flags on the left, in “an effort to contain the insanity to the middle.”
A recent Google search uncovered what appears to be a recruitment video for the group. The video outlines some of the core qualities required of Eventing Nation members, including training practices and apparent corruption of younger recruits to make them more malleable to Nation practices. The video unwittingly chronicles the disturbing interactions of this group with members of the general public, including taunting of FEI judge, Wayne Quarles. Mr. Quarles refused to discuss this experience with the Eventing Nation, stating only that it was “too traumatic to talk about at this time.”
This video is shown below to increase awareness of actions and behaviors that may be indicative of an individual’s recruitment to this fringe group. If you suspect that a friend or family member has become “insane in the middle,” lure the afflicted individual to a securable location by flagging the entrance with red and white flags, and call the authorities.