Wednesday News & Notes

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Introducing Freedom Zampaladus (@zampaladus) the CEO and found of @theurbanequest. Freedom is a racehorse trainer and horse breeder by trade. He was introduced to horse as the age of 14 when his parents relocated. At the age of 17 he became a professional race horse trainer. In addition Freedom is a published author of a book called ‘From The Hood 2 Horses’. The book is about his life from the ages of 14-19 and will give you a clear idea of where his vision for The Urban Equestrian Academy came from. ▫️▫️▫️ The urban Equestrian Academy offers a variety of programs. One being ‘We Ride Too’ program. We Ride Too is a specialist program which encourages inner-city children, faith groups, specialist organisations and specific communities such as those classed as BAME to embrace the equestrian world. The program opens doors that have not been open before. Their goal is to open this world of horses to those with the least experience and access to this world. ▫️▫️▫️ Freedom was recently featured on the FRONT COVER of the September edition of RIDER MAGAZINE!!! This is the first time in the history of the magazine that a BLACK PERSON has graced the FRONT COVER! This was planned well before the #BlackLivesMatter movement and isn’t simply jumping on the bandwagon. ▫️▫️▫️ #blackequestrian #blackequestrians #equestrian #equestrianlife #equestrianstyle #equestriansofinstagram #equestrianlifestyle #horses #horsesofinstagram #horseriding #urbanequestrian #urbanhorseriding #BAME #BLM #diversityandinclusion #blackexcellence #blackjoy

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Freedom Zampaladus became a professional race trainer in the UK at the age of 17. Freedom says his story is one of transition, and that change has been a constant aspect of his life. He believes in the power of horses to build character and has dedicated much of his life to youth and community work, including the founding of The Urban Equestrian Academy.

“Whilst over here being the person I was, subsequently I felt isolated, alienated, lonely and uncomfortable working in this field,” Freedom wrote in the description of his book, From the Hood 2 Horses. “However negative emotions can been turned into positive ones. The end result being fulfillment. An integral part of that fulfillment is to use my knowledge and passion of equestrianism.”

Brand Shout-Out: I wrote a bit about SmartPak’s Our Path Forward program in my News & Notes column a few weeks ago, but I thought it worth another mention this week. If you take a look at SmartPak’s most recent marketing and advertising materials, you’ll see a healthier amount of representation which is a true positive. They’ve also struck up partnerships with non-profits and BIPOC riders to truly create a larger, more diverse community. Hats off, SmartPak!

Major International Events:

Les Etoiles de Pau CCI5*: 5 Etoiles de Pau: WebsiteEntries, EN’s CoverageEN’s TwitterEN’s Instagram

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Chattahoochee Hills H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

FEH & YEH Last Chance Qualifier and West Coast Championship: [Website] [Entry Status and Times]

Grand Oaks H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Holly Hill H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times]

Waredaca Classic Three-Day Event & H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status]

Windermere Run H.T.: [Website] [Entry Status and Times]

Wednesday Reading List:

The latest issue of Untacked magazine has a big spread on the Arabber Preservation Society‘s efforts in Baltimore. Unfamiliar? So was I, so I was excited to learn a little more. Arabbing is the practice of functional horse-cart vending, recognized as an African American folk tradition. The vendors, or arabbers, used to be visible selling fruits and vegetables in many East coast cities, but now they cling to survival in Baltimore. Get a sneak preview of the Untacked article here.

Another feature that can be found in equestrian media this month is this article on hunter/jumper trainer Jay Moore in the latest issue of Sidelines Magazine. Like many of us, Jay had humble beginnings in the sport he calls home — but he wouldn’t trade his experience for a more “traditional” one. Don’t miss the story here.

US Equestrian has announced its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan. After gathering feedback from industry thought leaders, the organization has created this action plan in its efforts to create a more diverse and welcoming sport for underrepresented demographics. Read more on the DEI Action Plan here.

Recently, EN began partnering with nonprofits whose mission working to promote diversity and inclusion in equestrian sports. This month, we’ve partnered with Saddle Up and Read, which encourages literary excellence through equine activities. Read much more about Saddle Up and Read — and how you can help — here.

Are you competing at the Intermediate level this year? Get the scoop on how other riders at this level are scoring this year and see how you can best improve your own competitiveness in this cool data reader from the USEA.

Wednesday Video Break: Get more familiar with the practice of Arabbing in this news video.