Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

It feels like most of the world has migrated either to Florida or Spain right now, while the rest of us are twiddling our thumbs and waiting for the worst of the winter weather (and lockdown restrictions) to pass. But chins up, folks – if you’re in the UK, at least, we’ll be on the receiving end of the roadmap out of lockdown today, and although previous experience suggests this won’t necessarily be the most gratifying announcement we’ll ever hear, it’s one step closer to normalcy resuming.

National Holiday: It’s National Margarita Day; a high holy day in my household. Bottoms up!

US Weekend Action:

Paradise Farm H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Rocking Horse Winter II Advanced H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Live Scores]

Global Eventing Roundup: 

The first CCI4*-S of 2021 took place at the RANDLAB Matamata Horse Trials in New Zealand over the weekend, where 24-year-old Abby Long took top honours riding Belmont Holy Smoke. Matamata is an event that truly embraces Thoroughbreds, with several national-level classes strictly reserved for the breed, and so Belmont Holy Smoke was a fitting winner of the showpiece class – and he took home the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association‘s Ready Teddy trophy, awarded to the best-placed Thoroughbred.

Donna Edwards-Smith made an impression in this section too, finishing with three horses in the top six. Our favourite part of the weekend, though? Living vicariously through photos of unmasked and undistanced competitors and connections enjoying a party in the sunshine, as New Zealand embraces life after coronavirus.

Your Monday Reading List:

The Equestrian Athlete Initiative (EqA), based out of the University of Kentucky’s Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI), has a mission to optimize health, wellness and performance for the equestrian athlete through research – but they need your help to do so. If you’re based in the US and aged 12 or over, pop on over and fill out their survey on physical fitness.  [Equestrian Athlete Survey Seeks to Learn More About Equestrians’ Activity Levels]

Feel like you spend, like, your entire life getting your grey horse clean? You might be in need of some tips from a life-long owner of wannabe pintos. [The Never-Ending Quest to Keep a Grey Horse Clean: Tips for Success]

Taking down the worst aspects of the horse world and building a safer, better place for all equestrians is a job for us all. And as Mallory McMaster points out in this excellent essay, your every effort is being noticed and appreciated. [Opinion: When You Speak Out Against Toxic Horse World Behavior, You’re Helping More Than You Know]

As if I’d leave you without a jumping exercise to take into your week. Today’s offering comes courtesy of Sinead Halpin Maynard, and I’m going to use it to finally crack my mare’s habit of landing on the right lead after every fence. [Grid Pro Quo with Sinead Halpin Maynard]

Oh, go on then, have another one – this time from Kiwi legend Blyth Tait. It’ll help you get your ducks in a row so you can skip through those tight and technical combinations, fault-free and fabulous. [#SundaySchool: how to improve control with Blyth Tait]

Donation Station:

The UK showing scene said goodbye to an extraordinary character when much-loved producer and general ray of sunshine Rory Gilsenan lost his long battle to a brain tumour at the age of 50 in 2020. Now, Charlotte Dujardin is at the forefront of a brilliant upcoming fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research.

Taking place on April 2, the Lockdown Lollop can be undertaken anywhere in the world. The only rules? You have to cover ten miles – and you can’t do it using a motor vehicle. Other than that? The world’s your oyster, baby – whether you fancy skijoring your way to glory, kayaking to the finish line, or simply taking your favourite horse and your best mates out for a good, long hack. By seeking sponsors for your trek, you’ll be contributing to vital research that’ll stop wonderful folks like Rory from being taken from us too soon. And to that we say a hearty giddy up!

The FutureTrack Follow:

Carmel Sage may be small, but her love for horses is enormous – and the young rider’s a busy bee, too. Though she’s battling a diagnosis of Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood, a rare genetic disorder, she’s hard at work spreading awareness and positivity – and, of course, getting in the saddle whenever she can, whether she’s hanging out with Fjord pony Princess Gigi or heading out to the ranch to see Mojo. Her story is heartwarming, inspiring, and guaranteed to reconnect you with the pony-mad little girl you are at heart. We’re huge fans.

Morning Viewing:

All I want on a Monday morning (besides a margarita) is some vintage eventing. Here’s a taste of England’s Cornbury Park Horse Trials, which was revived in 2020, all the way back in ’93 – and wait ’til you see the blast-from-the-past pair who kick the video off!