Thursday News & Notes from SmartPak

When it's 70 degrees in February on a Sunday, I bathe all my ponies and take their glamour shots in the sun. Charlie, the newest member of my wolf pack. Photo by Kate Samuels.

When it’s 70 degrees in February on a Sunday, I bathe all my ponies and take their glamour shots in the sun. Charlie, the newest member of my wolf pack. Photo by Kate Samuels.

The next two weekends will have a lot of Eventers in Florida and South Carolina gnawing down their fingernails and obsessing just a little too hard over nicks or cuts anywhere on their horses. Why more than usual, you ask? Because it’s the first two Advanced horse trials of the year! Rocking Horse is this weekend, and Pine Top is next, and there will be plenty of first-timers hoping for their very first completion at the level. I always had equal parts admiration and incredulity for people who moved up to Advanced in February, because, well, it’s February! I’m a big fan of the winter break for both myself and my horses, and never could get my rear in gear to move up that early in the season. I’m into the mid-summer move up, so kudos to those brave enough to attempt it in the next two weekends, you’re more ambitious than me!

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Rocking Horse II H.T.  [Website] [Entry Status]

Paradise Farm H.T. [Website] [Ride Times]

Fresno County Horse Park CIC & H.T. [Website] [Entry Status/Ride Times]

News From Around The Globe:

New Jersey has awarded their inaugural “Horse Personality of the Year” to a 42-year-old quarter horse named Lord Nelson. Lord Nelson is apparently committed to education, having served as both a football mascot and an interactive teacher for Rutgers University Equine Science Center. He also has his own blog, written from his perspective, of course. [Horse Personality Of The Year]

Valegro has basically won all of the possible championship titles in modern Dressage, and owns the world records, so now what? A recent article in Dressage News reported that Valegro and Carl Hester will both be retiring after the Rio 2016 Olympics, a headline that caused a pretty big stir. A retirement at only 14 years of age? Never worry, as H&H has the real story, straight from Carl himself. It sounds more like a reasonable approach one day at a time, and less like an ultimate decision. [H&H Reports on Carl & Valegro Rumors]

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we want to see your “Smooch Selfies”! Snap a photo of you smooching your horse and send it to us for a chance to win a prize pack from Kentucky Performance Products — horses make the best Valentines, right? [Smoochin’ Selfies for Valentine’s Day]

15 Horsey Life Hacks? [Yes Please]

Best of Blogs: Jan Byyny’s Reflections on Lessons Learned at Pine Top

A little bit of Pine Top flashback…

 

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