Thursday News & Notes from Achieve Equine

We’re used to a fair whack of crazy in our mad sport, but tipping the scale into total madness is the Gaucho Derby, which kicks off today.

The riders are under starters orders and ready to go forth with their steeds (borrowed from local gauchos) into the Patagonian wilderness, to navigate their way across 500km of heart-in-the-mouth terrain for the next ten days in a race that’s dubbed “the greatest test of horsemanship on earth”. If you’re wondering what masochists adventurous spirits sign up to this wild ride, you can see for yourself here.

All highly accomplished equestrians (you have to be to even have the tiniest smidge of temptation to enter this race), it remains to be seen whether they’re as good at navigating as they are at riding – there are no flags to lock onto out there. One or two of them are – unfathomably? – back for another go, and there are a couple of Mongol Derby (an equally mad race across 1000km of Mongolian steppe) veterans amongst their ranks, but for the majority, this is their first rodeo, so to speak. Ah, the bliss of ignorance – until they’re out of the gate and in the thick of it, that is.

Photo via Facebook, by The Equestrianists.

You can keep up with the race via the live race tracking, daily news updates and by following @theequestrianists. Find out more about the Gaucho Derby here and the Gauchos’ history with horses here.

You can also read what EN reporter Gillian Warner learned about horsemanship as she traversed through Argentina on horseback here.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. (Thomson, GA) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Rocking Horse Winter II H.T. (Altoona, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Thursday News and Reading

Two free VIP tickets to The Best Weekend All Year? Yes please. Here’s your chance to enter the ultimate Defender Kentucky Three-Day-Event giveaway in hopes of winning the two VIP tickets and a behind-the-scenes tour that are up for grabs. Here’s how to put your name in the hat.

Let’s face it, horses are a spendy hobby – and whilst we don’t want to cut corners, finding cost-effective ways to keep our equine pals is always welcome. With that in mind, here are some tips for working out a feeding program that’s healthy for your horse and your bank balance.

Change up your arena work and help your horse find their feet with some raised pole exercises. Suitable for most horses, raised pole work improves balance, core stability and footwork and can be a useful tool when it comes to thinking of new things to bring to your schooling practice. Here are some ideas for how to get started.

Shariah Harris is trailblazing on the polo pitch as the first Black woman to play in the US Open Women’s Polo Championship. From a single-income household in inner-city Philadelphia, Shariah’s introduction to the sport began with a literal wrong turn – which led her directly to her destiny. When her mom accidentally took the wrong road, they came upon the Work to Ride site, a program which involves urban youth in equestrian sports, and the rest, as they say, is history. Which is what Shariah is currently making as she takes to the pitch in the US Open Women’s Polo Championship, which started on Sunday and runs through February 18th. About her role as trailblazer, she says, “The more exposure I attract the more others will see and follow, then I won’t be the only one anymore”. You can cheer Shariah on and catch all the matches on the USPA Polo Network YouTube channel.

Ponies: “the biggest baddest horse you know shoved into a teeny tiny body”. As a pony owner myself, I did have a giggle at this totally relatable list. I must admit, when I’m talking to non-horsey types (and some horsefolk, to be honest), I do refer to my little(ish) guy as a horse. He may not have the length of leg as some of his field companions, but he more than makes up for it in attitude, smarts and swagger, that’s for sure. He may be small, but he is mighty! Here are six realities of owning a pony as an adult.

And finally, Fire Marshal Jax reporting for service. Jax (the horse) decided it was time for a fire drill at his barn, taking it upon himself to use the pull station to summon the fire brigade. Bedford Fire Department reported that Jax refused to answer any questions at the scene.

Sponsor Corner

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Video Break

Reigning World Champ Yasmin Ingham rounds-up her favorite shares in the latest edition of ‘My Insta Story’ from Team GB.

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