Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Day 2 of the #StrzegomSummerTour: Behind the scene…

Photo by Mariusz Chmieliński

#shtstrzegom #WKKW #eventing #strzegom

Photos for riders: [email protected]_

Posted by Strzegom Horse Trials on Saturday, July 4, 2020

I can’t even begin to describe the sheer joy and unparalleled comfort I take in scrolling through social media and seeing live-streams of events (real ones, not dodgy phishing ones that steal your identity) and collections of images from the first internationals back after the total wipe-out that 2020 has been so far. These photos, captured at the Strzegom Summer Tour in Poland by Mariusz Chmielinski, are right up my street — particularly the wonderful shot of a mother and daughter competing together. We all know I’m an emotional eventing type, and nothing has changed over the past few months.

National Holiday: It’s International Kissing Day. Now might be a good time to reevaluate your social bubble.

Your Monday Reading List:

Blenheim might be cancelled this year, but another event has stepped in to host its CCI4*-L and CCI4*-S for eight- and nine-year-olds. That event is Burnham Market, best known for its early spring CCI4*-S, and a new entry into the cancelled 2020 Event Rider Masters programme. It’s a bit different to Blenheim, but those seeking crucial qualifications likely won’t mind too much. [International Classes Added to Burnham Market in 2020]

“You’ve never seen a horse in the hood,” says Adam Hollingsworth, Chicago’s Dreadhead Cowboy. The well-loved figure was part of a viral video that swept the country — and beyond — which showed him riding one of his four horses in a Black Lives Matter protest. But the video didn’t go viral because of the unlikeliness of an inner-city cowboy — it went viral because of a false accusation that Hollingsworth had stolen his mount from a policeman. This New York Times piece delves further into the power of an internet assumption as well as the extraordinary positivity that horses bring to inner-city communities. [‘You Can’t Just Get Up and Steal a Police Horse’]

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has opted to allow public complaints about horse welfare. The decisions comes after yet another endurance scandal hit the headlines, in which Emirati rider Abdul Rahman Saeed Saleh Al Ghailani appealed against his 12-month suspension by suggesting that the complaints against him, made by a campaign group, didn’t mean the FEI’s regulations. While this decision will have the most far-reaching impact on endurance, it’ll make some ripples across the disciplines. [Sport Court Supports Public’s Right to Report Horse Abuse]

Some questionable decision-making is preventing the Philadelphia Urban Riding Academy from moving into an appropriate site. While you might not be Philly-based, it’s worth giving this piece a read and, if you can spare five minutes, sending an email or making a phone call to demand that this hugely beneficial programme is given the support it needs. [Frank Rizzo’s Racist Legacy is Blocking Black Students From Learning to Ride]

Noori Husain, a Muslim equestrian, is encouraging more people from a variety of backgrounds to get involved with riding. In this piece, she discusses competing while fasting, her experience with her headscarf, and the extra pressure she often feels to represent all Asian riders when competing. [‘I’m just a person doing what she loves’: Muslim rider calls for more minorities to try riding]

In less than a week, British Eventing will be back — and there’s so much I’ve missed. I delved into ten of the most delightfully mundane bits that I’ll be embracing wholeheartedly at the weekend. [10 mundane things we’ve missed about eventing]

What I’m Listening To:

One of my favourite pastimes is diving into the Desert Island Discs archive and having a jolly good recreational weep. The classic BBC Radio 5 show is absolutely faultless in its format, which sees guests sent away on a hypothetical exodus to a, well, desert island, to which they can bring just eight songs, a book, and a luxury item. It tends to bring out unique and wonderful anecdotes, and I can’t recommend a deep dive enough — but as a starting point, check out Jilly Cooper, queen of the horsey bonkbuster, and eventing legend Ginny Elliott. Bliss.

Where I’ve Donated:

Like most of us, I’m a sucker for a rosette — even more so because I only ever seem to win them when I go to dressage shows. (Baffling, really, when I then throw down a spectacularly uncompetitive 36 out eventing, but hey ho!) That’s why I was thrilled to put down six off my good English pounds to get myself a rozzie from Ride Out Racism, a new charitable scheme launched by 18-year-old Reece McCook. Purchases of the rosettes — or a tasteful pin badge, which I’ll be wearing on my lapel at Tweseldown next week — go to helpful ROR’s mission to increase diversity within equestrian sport. You can get yours here. 

Monday Video: This virtual fence judge briefing from British Eventing Technical Advisors take you through the briefing you would expect on a day of competition, as well as additional COVID-19 protocols in preparation for the safe Return to Sport in July 2020.