Tuesday News & Notes from Legends Horse Feeds

 

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It’s hard to believe, in some ways, that it’s already been a year since the tragic death of George Floyd. In other ways, it feels as though a decade has crept by in that time. The past year has been a time of enormous reckoning for everyone and, for many people, a period of colossal education. Have we reached a utopian point at which everyone is equal? Not at all – just days ago, it was reported that BLM activist Sasha Johnson was shot in the head in London after receiving death threats. She remains in critical condition – and she’s certainly not alone in being targeted for her race, and for her activism, in the year since George Floyd’s death catapulted the Black Lives Matter movement into the forefront of cultural consciousness. Since then, we’ve also seen a spike in hate crimes and racism against East Asian people, increased antisemitism, the prospect of bills affecting the lives of Romany and Traveller people, waves of antisemitism, and much, much more. There is so much work left to be done.

But in the wake of tragedy, and in the midst of the ongoing fight for human rights, there are so many bright lights to run towards. The equestrian industry has seen a sea change, with many companies putting actions to their words and making policy changes, undergoing bias training, and ensuring that the riders they work with are truly representative of the broader demographic of people within the industry. A number of charitable organisations have formed, or gained major new support, in order to provide crucial access to the industry. Scholarship and bursary funds have been delivered to open the door for roles with horses for those from underserved communities, and all around the world, so many people have continued to ask the question, “how can we do better?” It’s been so heartening to see what can come out of the rubble, and though we, like the wider world, have so much work left to do, we’re certainly taking steps in the right direction.

Though it’s impossible to highlight all the super initiatives going on within the horse industry at the moment, I want to take a moment to share a few.

 

 

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Cool Ridings is run by British-based young Jamaican rider Lydia Heywood, who is at the forefront of fighting for equality in equestrian sport in the UK. She produces event horses with an eye on representing Jamaica on the world stage in the future, while also teaching at Brixton’s Ebony Horse Club and running Cool Ridings, her nonprofit organisation that gives aspiring young riders a leg up.

 

Speaking of Ebony Horse Club, they’re looking to hire a full-time Youth Programmes Manager – and applications close on May 28th, so don’t delay. You can check out the job spec and salary here.

 

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We shout about Saddle Up and Read a lot, and with good reason – Caitlin Gooch’s excellent initiative pairs horses with books, giving kids in underserved communities some pretty incredible opportunities and increasing literacy. Caitlin keeps her mobile library well-stocked with books that celebrate diversity, too, giving her young readers a chance to enjoy heroes and heroines who look like them.

Strides for Equality works to provide pathways into equestrian sport, spotlight equestrians of diverse backgrounds, and, crucially, advise governing bodies on how to be more inclusive. They also feature a great directory on their site, so you can find inclusive programs near you.

National Holiday: It’s National Wine Day. On a Tuesday. Which is fine.

Events Opening This Week: Huntington Farm H.T., The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch May Farm, Applewood Farm YEH/FEH & Mini Event, Chattahoochee Hills H.T., Woodland Stallion Station H.T., Round Top H.T., Golden Spike H.T., Summer Coconino H.T. and Western Underground TR, N, BN 3DE

Events Closing This Week: Valinor Farm H.T., Seneca Valley P.C. H.T., Bucks County Horse Park H.T., River Glen June H.T., Aspen Farms H.T.,

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Tuesday News: 

Fighting for a better, fairer, and more inclusive horse industry is a noble cause – but it can be an exhausting one for the equestrians of colour at the forefront of the movement. Equestrians for Equality’s Nadia Aslam shares her thoughts on compassion fatigue – and her tips for regrouping and coming back stronger than ever. [The Fatigue of the Fight]

The common cultural perceptions of the wild west have been reshaped over the last year, with a long overdue focus on the prevalence of Black cowboys coming to the forefront. But did you know that there were also a fair few transgender cowboys? Peter Boag, author and queer historian of the American West, delves into their stories. [The Forgotten Trans History of the Wild West]

The teams have been announced for the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships – which of the 27 teams, representing 15 schools, will you be cheering for? [Meet the teams of the 2021 USEA Intercollegiate Eventing Championships]

The first FEI Nations Cup of 2021 kicks off this week at England’s Houghton Hall, and EN will be on site to bring you all the news and views from this much-loved event. One rider who’s particularly excited? Sweden’s Therese Viklund, who pilots the exceptional one-eyed Viscera and hopes to add another Nations Cup series win to Sweden’s roster after taking top honours in 2019. [Eventers Look Forward to Houghton Hall]

The State Department has added Japan to its Do Not Travel list ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games. While the guidance doesn’t specifically mention the Olympics, US travellers are advised to avoid heading to Japan for now as the country’s Covid case rates continue to increase with just two months to go until the Olympics. [State Department, CDC warn against travel to Japan ahead of Summer Olympics]

Laminitis season is upon us – but do you know how this unpleasant condition happens, and how best to prevent it? Brush up and be prepared with SmartPak‘s super advice. [Laminitis in Horses and Hoof Health]

The horse world has said a sad farewell to Mason Phelps, former US team event rider, show organiser, trainer, and prolific media visionary in the equestrian industry. Brush up on some of his extraordinary contributions and join us in raising a glass to a top chap. [‘Unimaginable loss’: former US team event rider dies aged 72]

Don’t miss out! Stock up on the next wave of Legends Horse Feed and Supplements and receive $2 per bag through May 31st. No coupon needed. Discount applied at point of purchase. Link: legendshorsefeed.com

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