Monday News & Notes from Fleeceworks

This year, we’ve seen event after event pull out of the 2020 calendar in the face of the pandemic. Some are busy making their plans for a return in 2021; some, sadly, have had to take stock of their assets and have discovered that there’s no more petrol in the tank for the future, closing their doors permanently. So it was extra special to pop over to Oxfordshire yesterday to see the fruit of the Cornbury International team’s labours in person. To sustain an event in 2020 is a remarkable thing — but to create one is something else entirely. I’ll be bringing you an in-depth look at how they did it this week, but in the meantime, enjoy this stunning shot from the incredible Sarah Farnsworth, who perfectly captured the magic atmosphere on the estate.

National Holiday: It’s National Peanut Day! If you have an allergy, maybe just consider this one a duvet day.

US Weekend Results:

UK Weekend Results:

Global Round-Up:

  • There was a plethora of CCI4*-S classes around the world over the weekend — Christchurch in New Zealand, Avenches in Switzerland, and Planernaya in Russia all hosted the level. Michael Jung (who?) took the CCI4*-S and CCI3*-S sections at Avenches, riding fischerChipmunk and Star Connection, respectively.

Your Monday Reading List:

From Darfur to rural Wiltshire, Sudanese refugee Abdul Musa Adam’s journey has been an extraordinary and painful one. These days, the talented rider is a stable lad for Andrew Balding Racing, but the road to get there has been littered with grief, torture, and unimaginably perilous border crossings to try to find safety. Now, he seeks sanctuary in the stables — but his search for his lost brother continues on. This heartbreaking story is the most important thing you’ll read this week — so sign up for your trial of H&H Plus and dive in. [H&H interview: Refugee Abdul Musa Adam on turning to horses]

For Bill Roycroft, the 1960 Olympics wasn’t too far off from the outlandish plot of a horsey film. But his story — from hospital bed to podium — is all true, and it’s a bonkers gem in the crown of eventing history. [From the Archives, 1960: Roycroft’s amazing ride at Rome Olympics]

A new film is on its way in 2021, focusing on the serious mental health issues that can plague jockeys. After the high-profile loss of several jockeys over the past few years, mental health awareness is on the up in the tough, fast-paced industry — but there’s still more to be done. The Fall aims to make tangible the issues facing riders. [‘It’s okay not to be okay’: Cold Feet star teams up with equine film company in new project]

Speaking of films, Idris Elba is set to star in a film set in an inner-city riding programme in Philadelphia. “It was a world that I knew nothing about,” says Elba. “I liked the idea that the cowboys have been around for so long nurturing youth and creating opportunities. These kids have cared for these horses as a deterrent to crime or drugs or other stuff that they might have fallen into.” [Idris Elba on ‘Concrete Cowboy’ and the Uplifting Indie’s Improbable Ride to the Toronto Film Festival]

Can TikTok be a bit of therapeutic fun, or is it the breeding ground for the internet trolls of tomorrow? Blogger Camilla Mortensen reflects on this question — and the classic ‘compliment sandwich’ technique — in her latest piece for COTH. [TikTok Trolls and the Compliment Sandwich]

How many of you have a side-hustle that allows you to make a bit more money to support your horse habit — or, indeed, gives you the chance to dabble with working in the industry? We’d guess a fair few — after all, horses are expensive beasts. But is it worth it, or are you just on a fast-track to burnout? [Is a Side Hustle in the Equestrian Industry Actually Worth It?]

What I’m Listening To:

I’ve been devouring the Young Black Equestrians podcast, which takes you across the disciplines to meet fascinating riders with brilliant stories to tell from around the world. I’m guilty of occasionally focusing a bit too heavily on my discipline of choice, and this pod has been a great way for me to branch back out and feel inspired by the variety the horse world has to offer.


The Fleeceworks Follow:

You can take the boy out of gymnastics, but you can’t take gymnastics out of the boy — as evidenced by British 5* rider Tom Crisp, who moonlights as a retained firefighter and previously enjoyed a successful stint as a child gymnast. Rumour has it he did a series of backflips across a drinks marquee at Houghton International to win the heart of his wife, Sophie…

Monday Viewing:

Can confirm that managing interviewees is often a little bit like this, no matter their age.