Friday News & Notes from SmartPak

Decorating dedication by Emily Daily.

I’m so lucky that I live on a dirt road, because honestly this year I would have been so screwed without it. My hacking almost always involves crossing a river (or three) to access the best fields and trails, so that’s pretty much been out with all the rain and flooding this entire year, and now it’s just all mud anyway so not much fun for trot sets. Thankfully, all my horses are used to long and slow road work, and really it’s the best footing we have. I’m also lazy as hell this week and I ride one horse and pony the other one while my dog runs in front. Pretty sure my neighbors think I’m insane.

National Holiday: Winter Solstice

News From Around the Globe: 

Stumped about that last minute shopping gift for me for that special someone? Luckily for you, Dirk Schrade and Kai Ruder have put together an immaculate catalogue of horses from 4-8 years of age, and all of them look like they’d fit in my stocking. You can even bid online in your pajamas while sipping a warm hot chocolate. [Online Event Horse Auction]

An Irish showjumper who was subject to a tirade of online abuse after his ride died at a show is aiming to set up a website to help others who find themselves targeted in a similar way. Kevin Thornton was banned by the FEI for four months last year, in relation to the death of Flogas Sunset Cruise at a show in France in 2016. The idea behind his website is to provide appropriate legal counselto individuals who find themselves attacked online as well as psychologists or therapists  if they desire emotional support through the ordeal. [Top Rider Forms Website to Support Victims of Online Bullying]

American Pharoah is livin’ his best life down under at Coolmore Australia. We’re still anxiously awaiting results from his first crop of foals, but the fervor hasn’t died down for his services on either hemisphere. He’s heading back to the US soon to begin his 2019 calendar of ladies, but check out this video of him galloping across a luscious field in Australia. [American Pharoah in Australia]

The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch Moy Farm has emerged in the past decade as a powerhouse for upper and lower level eventers alike throughout the year. With three USEA recognized events from BN to CIC3*, FEH & YEH classes and championships, a Beginner Novice Long Format Event, and countless unrecognized events and derbies, there is almost nothing that MDHT can’t do. From humble beginnings to one of the must-attend events of the year, MDHT is where it’s at. [USEA Events A-Z: MDHT]