Friday Video from SmartPak: An Accidental Pas-de-Deux

As eventers, we’re used to adopting a certain kind of mindset where the first phase of competition is concerned: that is, most us just want to get it over and done with so we can get to the fun bits. All too often, our horses seem to agree with us.

Britain’s Imogen Murray encountered something else entirely while competing at Oasby Horse Trials today: a horse that would rather be between the boards than out on course, thank you very much. The Lesser-Spotted Dressage Enthusiast is a rare breed — it’s estimated that there are probably less than a hundred breeding mares left in captivity, and all of them are too busy flicking their toes to produce any progeny, so hopes aren’t high for its longevity. But as Imogen rode through her Intermediate test with Roheryn Ruby, she was able to enjoy (?) a not-so-fleeting glimpse of one of the last remaining LSDEs in the wild. A nobler sight has surely never been seen, and the female mating call of “LOOOOOOSE HOOOOORSE” is music to any horse-spotter’s ears.

Quite remarkably, Imogen and the eleven-year-old Ruby managed to stay in the zone and on the pace, producing an impressive test for a score of 26.1. Imogen, with her impressive five-star results aboard top horse Ivar Gooden, has already cemented her title as One to Watch, but we’d like to join the Ruby fan club now too, please. Check out the video at your own peril — there’s officially no excuse to ever lose focus in a dressage test again once you’ve seen it.