It’s finally here! As of today, England’s lockdown restrictions are loosening just enough to allow for organised sport to take place and for individuals to leave their local area with reason – and that means that competitions and facility hire can begin again for anyone not in the ‘elite’ sportsperson bracket. The past number of months have felt like the longest, toughest off-season ever, with much of the country in total shutdown since before Christmas, so you’d better believe there’s some celebrating going on today in arenas up and down the country. Roll on (something like) normal life!
National Holiday: It’s National Mom and Pop Business Owners’ Day. We LOVE supporting small businesses, and we highly recommend celebrating by treating yourself to some new saddle pads from your friendly local tack shop owner. It’s only right.
US Weekend Results:
Global Eventing Round-Up:
Puhinui International Horse Trials in New Zealand was the only international to take place outside of the US over the weekend, but with levels from CCI2*-S to CCI4*-S on the roster, it certainly didn’t mess around.
Full-time farrier Jake Barham and Atlan took the CCI4*-S win, climbing from 5th to take top honours after dressage leaders Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation withdrew before the jumping phases. Waikato-based Jake secured his win by adding just 7.2 time penalties over a course that proved a tough challenge against the clock. Kyle Calder and Apteryx scooped the three-star honours, while the two-star went the way of Heelan Tompkins and CP Aurelio. You can check out the full results here.
Your Monday Reading List:
Poland is planning an innovative new pension system for animals in state service, allowing them safety and security after their careers finish. The new law will affect more than 1200 serving dogs and 60 horses, and acknowledges the enormous risks that these animals undertake while aiding their community. Their tough careers often mean that retirement necessarily involves extensive – and expensive – veterinary care and experienced handling, which the fund will provide for. It’s been a while since we’ve been able to say this, but well done to Poland for doing the right thing. [Poland plans pensions for dogs, horses in state employment]
Shopping for a new helmet? If it’s been a while, you might be slightly baffled by the introduction of a new acronym on the market – MIPS. Check out this super-informative article to find out what makes MIPS a must-have in your kit. [Building a Better Helmet: MIPS and Why it Matters]
London Gladney is well on her way to becoming a history-making barrel racing champion. The daughter of Dihigi Gladney, best known for his part in the training of California Chrome, London is a fierce competitor and a consummate horsewoman – and now she’s paving the way for other riders in her arena of choice. [London Gladney has talent — and will — to become first Black barrel racing NFR champion]
Did you write King Lear during lockdown? No, nor did I – and if you want to feel even worse about those endless Netflix binges (hey, I’ve watched all of Sex and the City over the last month), here’s a pony who wrote his first book while stuck at home without much else to do. Show-off. [Lockdown enables riding school’s young pony to write his first book]
Lockdown might be easing, but all’s not clear in the UK’s equestrian guidelines. The latest issue? A disagreement over whether indoor arenas can reopen along with other facilities. [Britain’s indoor equestrian arenas fall foul of Covid protocols]
The FutureTrack Follow:
Black Equestrians has everything I want in a horsey Instagram account: profiles on talented riders across the disciplines (love this; I’m nosy), digestible educational nuggets on topical issues, and seriously gorgeous photos. Follow and treat your feed to some quality.
Do your rounds unravel halfway through a showjumping course? It’s probably because of your turns. Check out Caroline Moore‘s super advice for perfecting them – an essential skill for both jumping phases.