Sunday Links from SmartPak

Cycling and eventing go hand-in-hand … sort of. Photo by Tilly Berendt.

Apropos of absolutely nothing, I thought I’d lead today’s News & Notes with a rumination on teamwork. You see, I’ve been watching the Tour de France for the past three weeks and it concludes today with it’s traditional final race around the famed Champs-Élysées in Paris. This event sucks me in year after year because of what a dynamic and dramatic sport it is. Now bear with me here, because I promise I’ll circle back to eventing:

Cycling is both a team and individual sport. A team of eight riders will work together over the many stages of a Grand Tour not necessarily for glory as a team, but to push and pace the superstar of their team to victory in the overall standings. (I hope any anyone more intimately familiar with cycling than I am forgives me for my superficial explanation, by the way, I’m purely a spectator of this sport and this is an eventing blog, not a cycling blog after all) It takes a mind boggling level of fitness and mental toughness alongside literal blood, sweat, and tears to do what these athletes do and yet for the most part seven out of eight members of a team don’t get to bask in their own glory at any point during the race, just the glory of their teammate and helping them rise to the top.

Do you see where I’m going with this parallel yet? In eventing, we fawn over the horses and riders that leave the start box, but those athletes are only able to gallop off thanks to the blood, sweat, and tears their team of grooms and barn managers and assistant riders have put in over many hours themselves. And don’t even get me started on the crucial role that physios and veterinarians and nutritionists play! Those teammates may not be as visible during the big events (though we and other media outlets are always working to improve that) as a team of cyclists riding alongside their captain, but they’re no less crucial to the ultimate success of the victor.

Anyway, I guess I have a soft spot for sports with non-traditional teams and exceptional levels of sportsmanship. And if I’ve piqued your interest in watching a Grand Tour, it’s not too late! As the main Tour de France concludes today, the Tour de France Femmes kicks off. Here’s how to watch.

U.S. Weekend Action

The Event at Rebecca Farm (Kalispell, MT) [Website] [Ride Times/Scoring] [Live Stream] [EN’s Coverage]

Applewood Farm YEH & Mini Event (Califon, NJ) [Website] [YEH Ride Times] [Mini Ride Times]

Course Brook Farm Summer H.T. (Sherborn, MA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Full Moon Farms H.T. (Finksburg, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials II (Allentown, NJ) [Website] [Entries] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Silverwood Farm Summer H.T. (Trevor, WI) [Website] [Scoring]

Major International Events

CCIO4*-NC-S (Nations Cup) (Avenches, Switzerland) [Website] [Entries] [Program] [Live Stream]

Links to Start Your Sunday:

OP ED: My Feelings About Rich Fellers’ Guilty Plea Are Complicated, But I Do Know This

Input from owners sought for study of horse-human interactions

11 top tips to help your horses beat the heat

IFAR: Research Shows OTTBs Are Particularly Well-Suited To Therapy Work

Shoeing Horses For Their Riding Discipline

Sponsor Corner: Raise your hand if you have a horse who breaks out in hives if a fly even looks their way 🙋‍♀️ We picked out ten products that will help your horse get through fly season (relatively) unbitten.

Morning Viewing: If you need a little pick me up this morning, a parade of ponies tackling fences at Windurra should cure what ails you.

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