Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

Real men, it turns out, do wear pink — and, erm, ostentatious fluffy bobbles. Fortunately, Karl Slezak, notorious lover of Nickelback, has never taken himself too seriously, and happily rocked possibly the worst helmet cover I have ever seen after losing a string of bets. Karl, we love you, but perhaps you’re not a gambling man?

National Holiday: It’s National Hug A Musician Day. I’ll be taking tickets at the door for a cuddle with my fiancé, Alex, who’s a ludicrously talented guitarist and producer and also the man behind EN’s European video content on Insta. Plus, he’s real cute.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Moon Farm’s Fall HT (Finksburg, MD) [Website] [Results]

Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Results]

River Glen Fall H.T. (New Market, TN) [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

Goodbye and goodnight to Marius, the great grey who won the gold medal at the 2008 Olympics with high-flying dentist Hinrich Romeike. The gelding started his life as a bit of a rogue character, and though Hinrich couldn’t initially afford to purchase him as a youngster, he quite quickly found he was able to after Marius put his new owner on the floor twice after selling. The two were a match made in heaven and went on to represent Germany at six Championships, which Hinrich competed in as an amateur. Read more about their incredible partnership here.

Over in the dressage world, my favourite kind of horse is excelling: that is, a free one, who no one would have thought could keep up with the expensive purpose-bred competitors. That’s N’Tempo SSH1, a 14.1hh Haflinger who took third in the Intermediare I adult amateur championship at the US Dressage Finals, proving that great training can — or should, at least — override elite bloodlines. (After all, he’s just a different kind of European breeding, right?)

This is an interesting piece from the Western world, but one which has just as much relevance across the disciplines. In an industry full of noise and conflicting opinions and a million people who’ll tell you that their way is the best way of doing something with horses, how do you know who to believe? It’s all about quieting that noise and watching how their horses are expressing themselves, explains Anna Blake.

Horses are making mainstream media again – but not in a good way. 60 Minutes is set to air an expose on doping in the horse racing industry and how it’s letting Thoroughbreds down in a big way – and frankly, if it brings about more accountability and better conditions for horses, then I’m all for it. Find out more here.

Morning Viewing:

The wind is blowing ferociously here in the UK and the rain just. Will. Not. Quit. — so I’m taking myself off for some escapism in the Chilean Andes with the gauchos. It doesn’t always look that warm there, either, frankly, but it sure is pretty.

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