1) To my knowledge, there are no events this weekend. There are certainly no events in the US, but I am throwing out a fun invitation: if someone knows of an event, anywhere, any place, please let us know either via comment or email. I will do all I can to cover the event from here in Ocala, no matter how small or obscure the competition might be.
2) Ronald Zabala-Goetschel is certainly one of the strangest most interesting people in eventing, which, frankly, says a lot. As you know, Ronald is the eccentric eventer from Ecuador who competed his beautiful horse Che Mr. Wiseguy at Rolex ’09 and is targeting the WEGs. I have met Ronald, and found him to be a very nice guy, an opinion that is reinforced by reading Amber Heintzberger’s great article, published today on COTH. From multiple business ventures, to an insanely large number of super-nice horses, it seems like Ronald is living the dream. Ronald obviously has some serious funding, and has spend a lot of money trying to recreate his beloved horse, including two unsuccessful cloning attempts, and has even gone as far as making diamonds out of Mr. Wiseguy’s hair. Each cloning cost around $160,000, and I can’t be sure, but I think making diamonds from hair is pretty expensive.
Stories like this tend to aggravate that slightly uncomfortable feeling hidden deep within my heart about how much money we spend on this great sport of ours when people are starving and dying of curable diseases all over the World. But, Ronald blows money with style, grace, a love of horses, and a great sense of humor, which is really all anybody can ask I guess.
The only thing Ronald doesn’t seem to have is a wife. According to the article, Ronald broke up with one girl because she didn’t like horses, and has had trouble finding a girlfriend due to his hectic travel schedule. In the article, Ronald says: “I just got a place in Pennsylvania and would like to settle down. So, if anyone reading this article knows of a nice, smart girl in the eventing world, please let me know, and I will send her my rÃ©sumÃ©!” Ditto Ronald, ditto.
3) We have published several links to stories about the conflict over using Greenwich park as the 2012 Olympics equestrian venue, and the issue is not going away. Stories keep popping up about people protesting and suing to stop the Olympics from using the historic park. People seem concerned that part of the park will be closed for quite a while, and about the long term impact to the park. This is the thread about the issue on the Horse & Hound Forum, which is like a UK version of the Chronicle forums but less cool. The latest attempt by protestors involves using a law from 1871 to stop building on a critical location. Until both sides come together and reach a compromise, this is going to keep being bad PR for the London Olympics.
4) Holly (Hepp) Hudspeth, Lauren Kieffer, and Hannah Burnett are some of the coolest people in eventing, and you all will find out why in the next couple of weeks.
5) Best comment of the week goes to Barbara who responded to our Charismatic News and Notes by writing on our FB: “Sorry about Martha [Stewart], but very interesting about Elvis. I happen to know that Elvis’ hair is alive and still growing on a teaser pony at my barn!!“
GNF coming later tonight. Go eventing.