At the forefront of many of our minds is how we can create a more inclusive equestrian industry. If the magnitude of the question has left you with an uncomfortable feeling of inertia, try setting some actionable goals this month that’ll increase your awareness and allyship. While the onus is absolutely on all of us with a platform in the industry – whether that’s working in media, running stables, or sitting on the board of a governing body – to ensure we’re opening doors and creating a safe and welcoming space for every rider, individual actions are so important, too.
I found this Instagram post from the blackequestrians account so insightful and educational. Have you ever stumbled over the word ‘Black’? Are you unsure whether it’s a better choice than, for example, African-American? Does the thought of getting it wrong push you away from engaging in conversations in which it could come up? Take ten minutes this week to read an article or two penned by a Black writer, which will help you understand the nuances of terminology and make you that much more comfortable with it. Don’t be afraid of being corrected by someone who’d prefer you use different language. Accept it with grace, thank the person for letting you know, and commit to the change – that one small step will make a difference in creating a space that’s open to everyone. Oh, and while you’re at it, give this piece by John Eligon a read to learn about why we capitalise ‘Black’.
National Holiday: It’s National Freedom Day, which marks the anniversary of the formal abolition of slavery in 1865. It’s also the start of Black History Month – and we’re excited to bring you plenty of special content looking into the history of Black equestrians throughout February.
US Weekend Results:
Full Gallop Farm H.T.: [Results]
Galway Downs Winter H.T.: [Results]
Rocking Horse Winter I H.T.: [Results]
Your Monday Reading List:
Have you joined the insanity yet? ICYMI, Eventing Nation is now on Patreon! We’ve created a private Facebook group just for Patrons and are giving out an EN Yeti mug or wine tumbler for anyone who signs up by February 14. Click here to learn more!
As the pandemic continues its reign of terror, an event rider has called for fellow equestrians to take risk management seriously. Many of us are continuing to ride and train our horses as normal – but when Sasha Hargreaves had an accident at home, she saw firsthand just how over-capacity the medical system is. [‘We must minimise risk’: eventer’s eight hours in hospital highlights scale of Covid pandemic]
There are some lucky folks out there who are in a position to get out competing right now. I enjoyed this reflection on the eight things you learn on returning to the ring – and not just because it gave me a chance to live vicariously through someone else’s far more exciting life. [Eight Things I Learned This Week]
Liz Halliday-Sharp certainly made the most of her 2020, winning the USEA Rider and Lady Rider of the Year titles. But she’s not the only member of her team to top the rankings – Cooley Stormwater has been named the USEA Seven-Year-Old of the Year. [Cooley Stormwater: 2020 USEA 7-Year-Old Horse of the Year]
How well do you know affable British star Alex Bragg? We’re willing to bet at least half of these fun facts about the rugby-player-turned-farrier-turned-rider will come as a surprise to even keen fans of Alex and his top horse, Zagreb. [Horseball, water treadmills and a French connection – nine things you didn’t know about Alex Bragg]
Opportunity of the Week: Want to take your horse to college, but don’t have the means to transport them across the country? Brook Ledge Horse Transportation can help. Their new scholar programme will award one student with a return trip for their horse – and you don’t have to be on an equestrian course or team to be eligible. Check it out here.
Follow of the Week:
Celebrities who ride have been a major topic of conversation since Chrissy Teigen donned her first pair of tall boots and rolled around her living room floor in wholly relatable agony. But my attention’s been caught by Selma Blair, the noughties queen of film whose MS diagnosis in 2018 brought a new wave of attention to the nervous system disease. Nearly one million people in the US are affected by MS, which can cause pain, numbness, and loss of hearing and motor functions, and for which there’s not yet a cure. But Selma’s candour about her condition, and her outspoken hope and optimism, prove that your life doesn’t end at diagnosis – and we’re thrilled to see her back in the saddle, exactly as she’d hoped for when she first broke the news two years ago.
Looking for More Insanity In the Middle? Meet the New EN Patreon! We’re running a special launch promo: join as an EN Patron at any level by February 14 and receive a free EN Yeti tumbler or wine mug!
Irish Olympian Camilla Spiers is getting more than she bargained for from her tough new trainer…