Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

Carolina’s Painted Ponies are back! This colourful, creative, truly horse-bonkers tradition is one of my favourite fundraisers, and I’d truly love to do the walk myself one day to see all of them (also, not going to lie, kind of want to paint a pony myself!). If you’re in the area, or planning a trip, you can check this guide to plan your route around Southern Pines and spot them all. They’ll be on display until April, and then they’ll be auctioned off for charity. I reckon one of these guys would make an amazing arena decoration.

National Holiday: It’s the most wonderful time of the year — it’s Freelance Writers Appreciation Week, a thing I didn’t know existed until about five minutes ago. Did you know that EN is made up of freelancers around the world? We might not have much security and stability as we roam the globe in search of stories for our clients, but we sure do have fun.

US Weekend Action:

Galway Downs 2024 Kickoff H.T. (Temecula, CA) [Website] [Results]

Sporting Days Farm February Trials H.T. II (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Results]

Three Lakes Winter I H.T. at Caudle Ranch (Groveland, FL) [Website] [Results]

Your Monday Reading List:

In honour of our own Ema Klugman’s Bendigo, COTH is heading down memory lane. Back, specifically, to the dynamic duo’s first five-star at Kentucky, when Ema was just 23 and Ben was 19. And that? Well, it was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what made them such a remarkable partnership. Relive their preparations here.

Kiwi Monica Spencer is going all in for the next two Olympics. She relocated to the US last season with her top horse, World Championships mount Artist, and now, after a bit of time back at home, she’s moving a string of up-and-comers over, too, to her new base in Ocala. She’ll be there with her family, chipping away at her dreams, through the LA Olympics. You can’t hold that intrepid Kiwi spirit back!

Are you a young rider with big goals? Then don’t miss your chance to apply for the 2024 Emerging Athlete U21 program, which opened its application window today and will close again on the 15th of March. It’s dead simple to apply: you just have to be active in your regional Young Rider program, have 4 MERs at Training level or above, and be ready to reflect on your riding experiences so far and what it means to give back to the sport. Give this link a click for more information, the application portal, and tips to make your application stand out.

Are there enough medical personnel on the ground at Canadian horse shows? That’s the question on the table in this piece, which points out that the US has much more stringent requirements to keep its riders and handlers safe. There’s some really interesting insights in there from a bunch of folks in the industry, and frankly, the answer seems pretty clear-cut to me – let’s get more medics on site.

Morning Viewing:

If your idea of unwinding is looking at videos of horseboxes that are nicer, more expensive, and arguably larger than your own house (…guilty), this’ll zen you right out. I’ll have Jessica von Bredow-Werndl whispering “abnormale!” in my brain all day long.

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