March Madness: Bracket Battle of Event Horses

 Well, it’s March.  That can only mean one thing: the entire American office world is consumed by the madness of brackets, seeds, Cinderella upsets and cutting down nets.  Office pools and corporate lunches rest in the delicate balance of obscure schools like Northern Iowa vs. Sam Houston State.  Yes, it is time for that grand spectacle of NCAA Tournament basketball, and life is looking really good from my (blue) part of the world.

Not to be outdone, the “ENCAA” has created it’s own bracket busting challenge.  Our selection committee has sorted through many of the sport’s great horses, considering their SOS, RPI, and FEI numbers.  We have chosen the top 32 event horses and pitted them against each other to determine who is the best.  I hesitate to name the winner the “GOAT” –greatest of all time– so we’ll just call him the 2010 EN Champion (a “Helms Title” if you will; I’m sure UNC will hang a banner for it).  The winner will be selected by YOU, as readers will have the opportunity to vote the most-deserving horse on to the next round.  We decided to include only retired horses, *not* those currently competing, as their legacy is not yet finalized.

As with NCAA fans, you are free to quibble and whine about the seeding of this bracket, who was left out of “the dance,” and brag about who you believe is better.  Witty, amusing, nostalgic, or clever comments regarding the horses in question may receive additional votes at EN’s discretion (like NCAA referees, we take bribes).  So please vote, offer your opinions or smacktalk, and boost your favorite horse to the top.   

You will notice there are two sides to the bracket: US and International, who will meet in the finals.  (Also note that the O’Connors were able to fill an entire region by themselves…now that’s dominance!)  We will provide a brief biography for each horse, to refresh your memory on some of these great competitors and assist you in your selection.  Good luck, and may the best horse win!

ROUND 1 VOTING will begin tomorrow, Tuesday March 8, with the 1 vs 8 seed match-ups.  New match-ups will be posted every day through March, except weekends.  Get to it, EN! 

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*note: reflecting the insights in the comment section, the bracket has been updated as of 11:55pm 3/8/10

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