It’s so fun to have a young horse again, and I’m enjoying every minute of training my baby squid while my older horse is rehabbing. Why do I call him a baby squid, you ask? Because he is 17.1 hands of limbs, neck, and tail, and hasn’t yet figured out where to put any of them. Sometimes there’s success and sometimes there’s flailing, or as I like to put it, flailure. Still, how can you resist a sweet face like that?
U.S. Weekend Preview:
Derbyshire Farms H.T. [Website]
Phillip is getting some mainstream press coverage as he begins Water Cube’s re-training. Water Cube, a 4 year old off track thoroughbred co-owned by Michael Phelps (yes, THE Michael Phelps) and named after the swimming venue at the Beijing Olympics, has begun his training as an eventer with Phil in the irons. Despite not making much of a go at the track, Water Cube attracts attention thanks to his connections, and NBC reports that while Water Cube is too young to make the Rio Olympics (!), he could potentially be a prospect for Tokyo in 2020. [Gold Medalist Phillip Dutton Tests Out Water Cube]
Matt Brown is posing some thought-provoking questions in the wake of Philippa’s death. Matt emphasizes that the Saturday of Jersey Fresh was the worst day he has ever experienced in the sport, and it wasn’t just Philippa’s incident that contributed. He asks why the jump she died at wasn’t pulled, why the officials weren’t willing to pull fences that multiple horses were falling at. He asks why we aren’t using available data to use kinder shapes to ask similar questions. The sport will need to change, but it can change without losing the feel and test that we all know. [We Need to Reevaluate the Sport]
A young British rider is calling for riders to wear helmets at the jog-up. Nineteen year-old Rebecca Page was kicked directly in the face by her mount Liberty Bell II at their second CCI1* at Houghton Hall last weekend. While she suffered no concussion, she did have to be taken to the hospital to have twenty stitches just above her eye. Although the rider did not expect to be able to compete, she actually ended up finishing on her best dressage score to date, after wearing her helmet to jog on Sunday. [Rider Call for Hats to Worn at Trot-Ups]
The #inspiredbyhannah hashtag has taken off across the pond. Hannah Francis, an eighteen year-old battling aggressive bone cancer, was afraid that she would be forgotten after she was gone. Now, Hannah’s Wilberry Wonder Pony foundation has raised over a hundred thousand pounds to help those with cancer. Riders can buy Wilberry merchandise donated to raise proceeds, or make a donation to give a ride to Wilberry around the cross country course. Wilberry has even gone around Badminton, hitching a ride with Ben Hobday on Mulry’s Error, himself a cancer survivor in just this past year. [#inspiredbyhannah]
SmartPak Product of the Day: I was fortunate enough to get kicked directly in the head this weekend by my young horse, who aimed at a fly with an unshod hind foot while I picked his front feet. Lucky for me, I was wearing this helmet, purchased less than two years ago. Charles Owen offers a replacement program if you fill out an incident report form on their site and I’ve already talked to the good folks at SmartPak. Make sure to replace your helmet after any blow to the helmet itself, folks! [SmartPak]
Even Phillip has to endure some major squiddage, even with horses who are Derby runner-ups.