Bracket Battle of Event Horses: FINAL FOUR, World

That time in March with lots of basketball insanity but whose name is copyrighted by the NCAA March Madness is well underway at Eventing Nation and we continue our Final Four (also trademarked by the NCAA) matchups today.  Yesterday, Dan’s three Rolex victories were just too much for the extraordinary Tailor, but the USA couldn’t have a better horse in the finals than Dan.  

“Kim” had yet another great story, this time about Tailor:

Eight years ago, when my children were 4 and 7, we went to Rolex for cross country day. Custom Made had been retired, and he was there at Rolex to meet his fan. (I believe the O’Connors were signing autographs also, but not when we were there). Tailor was in a portable corral with a tent over it–probably 20 x 25 feet. His fans were allowed to come up to one side of the fence. My children, wildly excited, reached down and pulled up handfuls of grass, and held them out to him. He walked over, looked my son straight in the eye, and gently ate the grass from my son’s hand. Then he stepped sideways, looked my daughter in the eye, and ate the grass from her hand. Then he paused and looked me in the eye. I had the oddest sense that if he could have, he would have shook my hand. The people beside me, imitating my children, offered him grass, and Tailor did the same thing for each of them–stopped, looked, ate the grass–all down the row. Which was when I realized he was standing on grass–he could have been grazing with his butt towards us, but instead he was acknowledging his fans.

As an aside, it started raining hard at lunchtime, but my son was an enormous fan of Bruce Davidson’s and refused to leave until he’d seen Little Tricky ride. We were therefore 3 of the 7 people still at the Head of the Lake to see Bruce and Tricky come through like it was some kind of equitation class, easy-peasy and Bruce grinning from ear to ear.

For the record Kim, I was another one of the 7 watching Bruce ride through that hurricane.  I doubt I will ever see a more incredible ride in my entire life.  I should also mention that, while some people did leave because of the weather (dressage folks come to Rolex too, you know), I remember a lot more than 7 people sticking around to cheer Bruce on.  And, despite the wind and rain, those of us remaining made one of the loudest cheers the Head of the Lake has ever heard.  

TODAY’S MATCHUP:  Best of the World

On the other side of the bracket we have (1) Charisma facing (6) Murphy Himself.  Charisma has absolutely steamrolled through this Bracket Battle, winning his first three matchups by 98%, 86%, and 84% of the votes.  The tiny, part-Percheron, two time Olympic champion who was nicknamed ‘Podge’ for his love of food is going to be tough to stop.  Charisma’s opponent, Murphy Himself has had an impressive tournament with wins over higher seeds in two previous matchups, and the horse, who succeeded under both Ginny Leng and Ian Stark, has become a fan favorite.  Can Murphy Himself keep up his upsets, or will Charisma defeat yet another opponent?

1. Charisma                                                vs.                        6. Murphy Himself

VISIONAIRE EDITED TO ADD VIDEO:  Murphy starts at about 1:50 in the video; he’s shuffled in with Glenburnie, and it’s hard to tell the two grays apart!  Murphy is the slightly darker one, often doing outrageously bold things (as usual).  Charisma starts around 3:00.  He really does look like a pony under Mark Todd!


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