Monday News & Notes from FutureTrack

Happy Valentine’s Day, you lovely lot! I’m a horrendous commitmentphobe, so this isn’t my holiday of choice, but I’m going to use it as a great excuse to give my mare Bella (currently the world’s most adorable pasture pet as we deal with a bit of a mystery lameness) a lot of smooches and Stud Muffins today. I love this roundup of images by Hannah Cole, showing some of the stars of British eventing doing much the same thing.

National Holiday: If you want to skip the aforementioned, it’s also International Book Giving Day — and as a total bookworm, I’m SO into this. Give your single barn friends a copy of Jilly Cooper’s seminal bonkbuster Riders to get them through the lovefest.

Black History Bit of the Day: What’s it actually like being the only Black rider in a yard? Here, several athletes share their experiences across the disciplines.

U.S. Weekend Action:

Full Gallop Farm February I H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Live Scores]

Ocala Winter I H.T. (Ocala, Fl.): [Website] [Results]

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. (Thomson, Ga.): [Website] [Results]

Global Eventing Roundup:

Just one FEI event took place over the weekend, and that’s a CCI2*-L in Bangalore, India, that’s been a hard-won fixture for the country’s riders ahead of this autumn’s Asian Games. This selection trial was originally scheduled for last month, but was downgraded to a CCI1* after concerns from the FEI over ‘alarming’ completion rates at December’s Delhi qualifier. Concerns sited included “insufficient level of preparation of the Indian athletes” and “lack of cross-country awareness of the riders”. Just 12 of that event’s 41 starters completed, though an improvement in preparations and national-level minimum eligibility requirements re-opened the door for the event to host its two-star qualifier this month. Though it’s no doubt disheartening for athletes and officials to have received the initial downgrading, it’s ultimately a constructive step for the sport in this developing nation, which received a great boost last summer when Fouaad Mirza impressed at the Tokyo Olympics. By putting an emphasis on safety, technique, and proper training at these early stages, Indian eventing can begin to climb the global sporting ladder and create further pipelines for its athletes.

Your Monday Reading List:

The 2022 edition of the Gaucho Derby across Patagonia is about to begin! Click here to meet the intrepid group of riders from around the world who’ll be taking on this extraordinary challenge, which will see them cross some of the world’s most challenging and beautiful terrain.

An amateur rider who suffered a terrifying — and life-altering — freak injury is calling for increased compassion in the horse community. After fighting her way back from an exploded vertebrae that saw her lose feeling in much of her lower body, and function in her bladder and bowels, Jennie Sharpe was horrified to overhear nasty comments about her weight from the ringside before heading in to jump a round at an international. Undeterred, the hard-as-nails rider has become an ambassador for her condition and hopes to help other struck by cauda equina.

Ready to master corner fences? British 5* eventer Eliza Stoddart brings you plenty of tips to take the fear out of these common cross-country questions — starting in your arena.

We’re all about maximising time out in the field for horses – and a new study from Centenary University suggests that horses who spend half their time in the field are actually significantly less prone to soft-tissue injuries, making the argument that “I’m keeping my horse inside so he doesn’t hurt himself” a pretty baseless one after all.

It’s insane to me that we’re only just starting to really put scientific research behind the female anatomy as it correlates to riding. Just a couple of years ago, I covered a study being done at a university in the UK, which measured chest movement in riders and worked towards creating a more functional sports bra. In the twenty-teens! But while we do tend to lag behind as a sport, where research is concerned anyway, I’m glad to see it happening — and this Polish study on the effects of riding on the pelvic floor is another positive step, I think.

The FutureTrack Follow:

Skip the Hallmark cards – I’ll be your Valentine if you send me one of these cheery little numbers from Mare Goods. SO cute.

Morning Viewing:

Ever wanted to train with the legendary Lucinda? Here’s an insight into what the experience is like, with 4* eventer Ashley Harrison.