Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

We say it time and time again, but the eventing community is a pretty terrific one, particularly in a crisis. After Sussex-based Lauren Sapsted’s yard burned down last week, she was touched to receive donations of crucial kit from all corners of the horse world to help her look after her horses and ponies, all of which were saved from the blaze. But one act of kindness stood out amongst the rest – Australian Olympian Andrew Hoy and his wife Stefanie drove three hours to personally deliver a carload of tack, rugs, boots, and chocolate to Lauren. A truly five-star gesture. You can help donate to rebuild Lauren’s business here.

National Holiday: Star Wars Day. May the fourth be with you…nerds.

Your Monday reading list:

There’s a ‘glimmer of hope’ for the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials this year, says director Liz Inman. The event has pushed back the on-sale date for tickets for this year’s event as the organising team awaits more information from the British government. Fingers and toes firmly crossed. [‘Glimmer of hope’ for Burghley as ticket sale dates change]

Love Jimmy Wofford? (Who doesn’t, amiright?!) Then you’ll delight in this excerpt from his forthcoming memoir. Travel back in time to Jimmy’s childhood and discover cavalry influence, Olympians ’round the breakfast table, and the curious case of the three-phase elimination. Great distraction while you work on coffee #1 of the day. [The End of the Cavalry]

Want more Wofford? Sure thing. I’ve been thoroughly enjoying revisiting Kentucky history – and learning a thing or two – with this selection of his photo analyses across the years. Anyone else using the old stair method to work on their lower leg while stuck at home? [A Look Back at Jim Wofford’s Annual Kentucky Three-Day Event Critique]

This essay from a frontline worker and lifelong horse lover lends some gentle and poignant perspective while many are separated from their beloved horses. They’ll still be there after the pandemic – and so will all your dreams and goals (and missed distances, soz). And if you struggle with your mental health and usually self-medicate with barn time? There’s a support system in place to look out for you. [Horses help us through hard times, but sometimes we need more]

If you haven’t seen your horse in a while, you might be wondering if he’ll remember you after lockdown lifts. This fascinating piece takes an in-depth look into the social recognition skills of horses, and it’s great news – your horse doesn’t just remember you, he probably actively misses you. Prepare for a joyous reunion, and bring plenty of carrots. [The Long-Awaited Reunion: Will My Horse Remember Me?]

2017 Burghley winner Ballaghmor Class is the FEI’s Horse of the Month. Want to relive some of the high points of the remarkable gelding’s career so far? Curious to know what he’s up to at the moment with Oliver Townend? Check out the full story. [Horse of the Month: Ballaghmor Class]

Monday video from Fleeceworks: A trip down medal lane

The utterly marvellous Tina Cook goes back through eventing history with Alice Fox-Pitt in the latest instalment of the Team Fox-Pitt YouTube channel. And yes, she’s every bit as lovely in ‘real life’ as she is in this video.