Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

Lads, coronavirus has made the world a weird place in so many unexpected ways. Over the weekend, the inaugural Nations Cup event of 2020 did its thing out at Haras du Pin and I, an equestrian journalist whose entire life and career revolves around travelling to cover international events all over the place, watched the livestream and reported from home. My own eventing fix for the weekend? Coaching two under-12s in their first one-day-event, one in the 80cm class, and one in the lead-line 40cm class. Three clear rounds and one pesky pole later, we had two happy kiddos, two pleasantly tired ponies, and enough choccy spread sandwiches and cheesy chips in the horse box, ready to head home and escape the rain. I haven’t spent this much time with kids since the year I misguidedly decided that becoming an au pair would be my best shot at living in Paris, and subsequently spent many months trying to stop two Louis Vuitton-clad nine-year-old boys from kicking pigeons on the Rue de Passy. (The weekend’s kids were much less terrifying, mind you.)

National Holiday: It’s Black Cat Appreciation Day. Give your favourite familiar an extra snuggle today.

US Weekend Results:

Genesee Valley: Results

Waredaca Farm: Results

Ocala Summer Horse Trials: Results

Full Gallop Farm: Results

UK Weekend Results:

Aston-le-Walls (4): Results

Warwick Hall: Results

The Weekend in Global Eventing:

  • Haras du Pin in Normandy, France, ran a whole host of well-attended international classes, including a CCIO4*-S that served as the first Nations Cup event of the year. You can catch up on EN’s coverage here.
  • Kilguilkey House in Ireland ran the full spectrum of short-format internationals, with classes from one-star through four-star, in a ‘home international’ for Irish-based riders only, due to the country’s strict COVID-19 border laws. Irish Eventing Times were on site taking some fab photos — our favourite is this one of the tiny duo who took the 1*.

  • Germany’s Hamm put on a CCI2*-S and CCI3*-S, and although the results are proving tricky to find, it turns out it’s a lovely venue.

Your Monday Reading List:

Ever had a piece of tack break while on course at an event? It’s probably up there on the list of things eventers dread the most – and young rider Rosezena White experienced just that when her stirrup leather snapped near the start of a BE80(T) [Beginner Novice] run with her pony, Highlake Lake. In true gutsy eventer fashion, though, she carried on. Her story is quite a sweet little reminder that we all need to find our own wins when competing. [Young rider jumps clear cross-country after stirrup breaks early on course]

Look, being realistic here, 2020’s inevitably going to throw a few more curveballs our way, like a sharknado, a second term for the Trump presidency, or the end of the world. But actually, as a horse person, you might be better-equipped to deal with the latter than you think — not least because you know how to wield a hoof pick to solve most problems. Not sure we’ve got any sound advice for the sharknado, though. [7 Reasons Why Equestrians Would Survive the Apocalypse]

Sure, winning is great, but to really get your money’s worth, it’s important to make sure you’re learning every time you head out to compete. Sometimes, a failure on paper is actually the gateway to becoming your best equestrian self yet. This logic applies no matter what you’re doing — and this think-piece from groom Nicole Mandracchia is full of great food for thought, perfect for a Monday morning. [Failure is How We Learn]

Taking the Reins is a Cali-based initiative that offers a safe haven at the barn for at-risk kids. In this piece from the Chronicle, we get to take a look behind the scenes at the brilliant work the organisation is doing, including their incredible in-house college prep scheme. What do we love even more than horsey folks? Horsey folks who change lives, of course! [A Closer Look at Taking the Reins]

For this year only, the prestigious Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse series is going virtual — and that means it’s open to entrants from around the world. If you’ve got a classy four- or five-year-old and want to show off their potential, you’ve got until Friday to enter. [Virtual Dubarry Burghley Young Event Horse 2020]

Finally, spare a thought for poor Selena O’Hanlon, who had a weekend full of some seriously bad luckAfter getting stuck on the side of the road for five-and-a-half hours with a blowout, she and her horses finally made it out eventing — but a duck-out at a fence led to a rather gruesome injury in which she broke her leg against a tree. The 2020 hits just keep on coming, eh? Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery, Selena!

What I’m Listening To:

Sometimes when I’m mucking out, doing a bit of interval training, or driving for approximately 478 hours to an event, I like to entertain myself with a podcast that’s SO far removed from my normal life that it becomes a bit of excellent escapism. One of my go-to choices is You Must Remember This, which explores the Golden Age of Hollywood in fascinating, forensic detail. I’ve been plundering the ‘Dead Blondes’ series, which looks at an array of women whose deaths are as well-remembered as their all-too-short careers. The three episodes focusing on Marilyn Monroe are a brilliant, tragic starting point, but I also really enjoyed the Veronica Lake and Peg Entwistle specials. It’s a fascinating way to chart the progression of the modern entertainment industry, too, and the way the manipulation and abuse of women has shapeshifted over the last near-century.

Donation Station:

Want to help horses in need and spend time with your horsey heroes? Enter World Horse Welfare‘s summer raffle — tickets are just £5 and could net you prizes such as a hack with Pippa Funnell, Sir Mark Todd, Alex Hua Tian, or Zara Tindall, a selection of VIP racing days, original artwork, and much, much more. Entries are open until September 14 — click here to get yours, and here for more info. 

Monday Video from Fleeceworks:

Interpretive dressage — it’s hot for 2020.