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It’s Thanksgiving week, which means that, as a UK resident, all I can think about is my innate Black Friday panic. Will I find the best deals? Am I going to end up buying a bunch of stuff I don’t need out of sheer panic? What DO I actually need? Oh god, have I got to start thinking about what I’m buying people for Christmas today?!
Fortunately for you guys, once I’ve done some hyperventilating into a paper bag, EN will be rounding up some super deals and shops you should check out while you’re ticking your own list off this week. Hopefully we’ll all get through this without anyone buying a 4′ turnout rug just because it’s cute.
More importantly, though, this week is about gratitude — and in my opinion, expressing gratitude means sharing your wealth with those who have less, whether that’s literal wealth, food at your table, time, or joy. This post from Luhmühlen winner Mollie Summerland encapsulates the spirit of this week for me: at the end of the day, we’ve all got to look out for one another, because we’re all sitting down at the same huge, mad table to eat.
National Holiday: Finally, one I can get behind! It’s National Go For a Ride Day. Apparently we’re all spending too much time stressing in front of our screens (yes), and today’s vibe is to head outside and go for a meander just for the fun of it. I’m going to hack past the local golf course and daydream about galloping across it.
U.S. Weekend Action:
Global Eventing Roundup:
Just two FEI events took place over the last few days: in Colombia, Bonza International hosted classes at CCI1* and CCI2*-S, while France’s Le Pouget closed out the European season with classes up to CCI4*-S and, evidently, one heck of a Saturday night party. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Europe couldn’t possibly pull out any more four-star horses needing runs, after a jam-packed autumn season that’s included a European Championships, CCI4*-L classes at Boekelo, Blair Castle, and Blenheim, ass well as five-stars at Bicton, Maryland, and Pau. Despite all of that, though, the class boasted 39 entries from around the continent and beyond.
It was a win for the home side in the feature class, as five-star rider Camille Lejeune and the nine-year-old Good Size de Quatre Chenes completed their climb to the top spot with a penalty-free cross-country round. The leaderboard was tight and tense throughout: dressage leaders Maxime Livio and Waitangi Amazon, who’d started off on a very respectable 26, dropped to 24th place after a tough showjumping round saw them tip five rails and add 0.8 time penalties. Maxime’s decision to withdraw before the cross-country finale put Spain’s Alexis Gomez in the lead, riding his 2019 Le Lion d’Angers mount Madagascar C, who had produced a foot-perfect showjumping round to stay on 28.1. But the time proved influential in the final phase, and when Alexis added just 3.2 penalties, it was enough to relegate him to third place, opening the door for Camille — who had added just 1.2 time in his showjumping round to his first-phase score of 28.1 — to take the win, followed by France’s Aurelie Gomez aboard Slamm de la Selune, who had been thoroughly consistent through each phase. Just one pair would finish on their dressage score; that was France’s Julie Simonet and Sursumcord’or, who wound up fourth on their 31.9.
Your Monday Reading List:
The untimely death of a horse is always heartbreaking news, but Forgeland Tiger Tot leaves behind her an inspiring legacy: she was bought for just a scant £3,000 by owned Katie Corteen, and together, the four-year-old mare and inexperienced rider began their journey from BE80 (Beginner Novice) through to Advanced, learning about the sport in tandem. Within just five years, they’d finished sixth in the National Intermediate Championship and stepped up to three-star — proving that sometimes, the most unconventional method really is the one that gets the job done.
Three cheers for continued advancement in veterinary science, after a circus pony with a fractured cannon bone was able to make a full recovery following surgical intervention. The pony’s leg, which was injured after it was hit by a truck, suffered a complete break of the bone — and believe me, those X-rays will make you cringe — but so expertly was a single plate installed that the little guy was completely recovered within three months. Okay, okay, so a Shetland pony’s work demands are probably a little bit different to those of an eventer, but we’ll take this as a win for the horse world.
One of the goals I’ve set for this off-season is to master my focus. I know I’m not alone in this: it’s so hard to snap into that tunnel vision, particularly if you’re squeezing competitions in around a full-time job and a busy life, and so often, I find myself cantering around the outside of a dressage arena benignly wondering about whether I need red or yellow onions to make a lentil stew, and if I actually remembered my important deadline date correctly or if I’ve missed it by a week and destroyed my entire career as a result. Fortunately for all of us, top rider psychologist Charlie Unwin has some super tips for finding focus — and they mostly involve stepping away from the ‘Gram.
If you’re the type of person to mentally and emotionally hibernate while eventing’s on hiatus (guilty), here’s something to look forward to instead: The queen of racing, Enable, is expecting her first foal in January. Apparently she’s as natural a broodmare so far as she was a racehorse — she conceived on her very first covering to the excellent stallion Kingman, which took place on Valentine’s Day. Romantic.
The FutureTrack Follow:
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French photographer Christophe Taniere captures such evocative black and white images of equestrian sport, and I can’t stop browsing through them and daydreaming about filling a white wall with them. If you’re missing the buzz of championships, his account will help you relive everything.
I’m Listening To:
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve shared a mucking out podcast rec, but after seven weeks of driving to events all over Europe, I’ve amassed a fair few new favourites. Chief among them? My Therapist Ghosted Me, starring Irish comedian Joanne McNally and model Vogue Williams. It’s wildly irreverent and enormously low-bro and I adore it. Not for the pearl-clutching brigade, but if you like to laugh so hard you snort a little bit, you’ll love this. It might just be enough to get you excited about getting out onto the yard on those icy cold mornings.
The tragic loss of young rider Tiggy Hancock earlier this year sent shockwaves through the eventing world, well beyond just her native Ireland. Roundly remembered as a talented, kind, motivated teenager with a heart of gold, she’s been around some of the world’s biggest events this year in spirit, thanks to the yellow ribbons that Ireland’s top riders have been sporting. Now, Tiggy’s Trust has been created as a poignant legacy for the young star: it will serve to provide training opportunities for young riders without resources, as well as opening doors for aspiring riders to get their start in the saddle. Mental health services will benefit too, as this was a cause that Tiggy was very passionate about. To find out more about the Trust, to donate, or to book tickets for its launch day at Cheltenham next month, click here.
Watch a bunch of bright-eyed racehorses head out for a trip to school over an arena eventing course, and be glad you don’t have to ride in such a tiny saddle…