Wednesday News and Notes from SmartPak

Let's all play Crack the Hat! Photo via Megan Duffield. Let's all play Crack the Hat! Photo via Megan Duffield.

A team of students at The Royal Agricultural University from across the pond have come up with campaign called Crack the Hat, similar to the Ice Bucket Challenge, to promote the wearing of a riding helmet at all time while mounted. Crack The Hat involves people videoing themselves cracking an egg on their heads or riding helmets, uploading it to the official Crack The Hat Facebook page, nominating friends or family and donating £2 (or dollars!) to the chosen charity, The Injured Jockeys Fund.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Full Gallop Farm February H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Ocala Winter II H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Pine Top Intermediate H.T. [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Should U.S. Olympians be wary of attending the Olympics? The Zika virus is quickly becoming a serious threat. The USOC has alerted the national federations of each sport that athletes should make a decision to attend based on their concern for their health. Women athletes who are possibly pregnant or looking to get pregnant should take extra precautions when making this decision. The USOC has not yet officially released a recommendation differing from the alerts issued by the CDC and WHO. [U.S. Athletes Should Consider Skipping Rio]

Charles Owen is pushing the boundaries to reduce concussions. Charles Owens has been one of a few companies to be offered a $250,000 grant from the NFL and UnderArmour to continue development of a new material for helmets. Cardiff University has created a new impact-absorbing material and will be workin in tandem with Charles to create applications to assist in reducing the number of concussions in sport.  [Material to Prevent Brain Injuries Backed by NFL]

Groom Spotlight: Sergio Reyes. Sergio is no stranger to top notch horses, having worked for top racehorse trainer Todd Pletcher for many years. After his daughter was born, he decided to put down roots, and now spends a lot of time prepping horses for Boyd Martin in Pennsylvania. When his charge Blackfoot Mystery won the Wellington Eventing Showcase, Sergio got to take home a piece of the prize.  [Groom Spotlight]

Allie Conrad has a lot of fun and a lot of questions. The executive director and founder of CANTER Mid-Atlantic, Allie hopped a flight from North Carolina and flew down to the Wellington Eventing Showcase. Despite her initial misgivings, she quite enjoyed the experience, but plans to keep her eyes wide open regarding the endgame to expanding the market to certain clientele.  [Sun, Fun And a Few Concerns]

SmartPak Product of the Day: An oldie but goodie, these Tredstep half chaps are the only ones I’ve ever found to combine durability, looks, and function. While not cheap, one pair has lasted me a fair number of years and still looks as good as the first day I put them on. The key is getting the correct size, which may seem way too small the first three times you wrangle them on, but they quickly settle into a great form-fitting feel. [SmartPak]

I for one was supremely disappointed that there was no real Budweiser Clydesdale commercial this year. To console myself, I dug up my favorite one of all time, with a classic twist at the end.