A small but passionate group of horse people gathered at Tryon International Equestrian Center on Saturday to real-talk about a topic that doesn’t get enough attention in our sport: diversity. For the 2019 Tom Bass Seminar, I was honored to be included among a panel comprised of Julian Hyde of the Equestrian Federation of Jamaica; Stanford Moore of Black Reins magazine; Julian Seaman of the Badminton Horse Trials; and Hillary Tucker from Alltech, with Melvin Cox of SportsQuest International, LLC moderating.
The conversation was thoughtful and electric. We talked about access, color vs. class, community and representation, addressing the problem during the morning session and brainstorming solutions in the afternoon. I left feeling inspired and called to action, and I promise you a full report on the seminar soon!
In the meantime, no rest for the eventing weary. After a head-spinning couple of weeks with live coverage from Boekelo, Le Lion d’Angers and Fair Hill, we now head to the penultimate four-star of 2019 at Pau. Check out Tilly’s preview of the entry list here.
National Holiday: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
U.S. Weekend Results:
Monday News & Notes:
Some incredibly inspiring stories have emerged from the Wobbleberry Challenge, a BW80 one-day event that benefits Hannah Francis’ Willberry Wonder Pony charity. The latest from Horse & Hound: [‘I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry or pee myself!’ Rider beats the odds to event on horse who cheated death] [‘This can’t be the end for me’: rider defies cancer and life-changing surgery to take on eventing challenge]
2019 YEH East and West Coast Champions have been crowned. From the East Coast Championships at Fair Hill in Maryland: Alyssa Phillips’ FE Celestino, a Mecklenburg gelding (Ce-Matin x Antigone), was ridden by Jennie Brannigan to win the 5-Year-Old Champion title. Excel Star Time To Shine, an Irish Sport Horse gelding (Luidam x Lismore Bella) owned by the Dare to Dream Team, won the 4-Year-Old class with Courtney Cooper. From the West Coast Championships at Fresno County Horse Park in California: Allyson Hartenburg’s off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding Mucho Me Gusto (Macho Uno x Ghostkeeper) took home the 5-year-old YEH title. Amber Levine and Keep Calm, her own Dutch Warmblood gelding (Biscayo x Beauty), won the 4-Year-Old Championship. The USEA did a great job with coverage of the two events and we thank them for their continued support of the YEH program. [2019 YEH East Coast Champions Collect Their Crowns] [Quality Beats Quantity at the 2019 USEA YEH West Coast Championships]
A petition to remove the 15-point penalty for “missing a flag” is just a handful of names away from reaching its goal of 5,000 signatures. FEI Eventing Rule 549.2 came under fire once again on Saturday at Fair Hill, where multiple combinations were penalized for taking out the flag at the B element of the Farm House Corners. Phillip Dutton and Z dropped from 2nd to 9th, while Doug Payne with Vandiver, Will Coleman with Don Dante, and Mike Pendleton with Steady Eddie all would have slotted into the top 10 were it not for penalties at the fence. [Change.org]
Our Aussie friends at An Eventful Life have published a preview of 2019 Mitsubishi Motors Australian International 3 Day Event, the final five-star of 2019. The event takes place Nov. 14-17. This year’s cross country course will run in reverse direction with a new start/finish, and with entries closed we’ll stay tuned for a run-down of entries — “But we can tell you that defending champion Hazel Shannon will be back, the Kiwis are coming and Olympians abound!” [Adelaide Preview]
Featured Video: Japanese eventer Kazuma Tomoto, who has four horses already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, reflects on his performance with Bernadette Utopia at the FEI Eventing Nations Cup Final last week at Boekelo.