Wednesday News & Notes

In today’s internet culture, “going viral” is synonymous with the idea of being “discovered” or getting your (hopefully more than) 15 minutes of fame. Saddle Up and Read founder Caitlin Gooch experienced this firsthand after a simple tweet fired off into the Twitterverse on December 5 took hold and quickly went viral.

Just a few of the results returned from a Google search for Saddle Up and Read.

Soon, media outlets and personalities all over the world picked up the story of Saddle Up and Read, which Caitlin founded in 2017 in Wendell, Nc. Caitlin even got some recognition from Oprah Winfrey, and she’s now using this momentum to help drive donations to grow the children’s literacy project she’s built from the ground up.

The biggest goal of Saddle Up and Read’s fundraising, Caitlin says, is to gain enough support to buy land to build a dedicated facility for introducing horses to kids in the SUAR program and beyond. You can learn more and make a donation here. Caitlin also just launched the first in her new series of Black Equestrian Coloring Books. Inside, readers will learn about 12 Black equestrian trailblazers. You can order a copy here.

Want to read more of the stories written about Caitlin and Saddle Up and Read? Here are a few links:

Meet the Black Cowgirl Who Inspires Children to Read

Meet the Woman Using Horses to Encourage Child Literacy

Wendell, NC Equestrian Uses Horses To Inspire Children’s Literacy

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about Saddle Up and Read today. I’m pleased to tell you that Eventing Nation will be partnering with a nonprofit or diversity-focused access program each month in the new year to highlight their stories and share ways to help. Look for more information each Wednesday morning right here in News & Notes.

Wednesday Reading List:

World-famous dressage stallion Totilas has passed away due to colicat the age of 20. The stallion and his early partner, Edward Gal, made international headlines, breaking record after record and winning triple gold at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. The stallion was later sold for a rumored 11.2 million euro and would compete with Matthias Rath, though he would sadly never return to his prime form. He was retired from competition in 2015.

The West coast is truly the best coast! Yes, I’m biased as a West coast-er, but the proof is in the pudding: nearly half of the spots on the just-released list of riders invited to the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 Assessment Sessions are taken by riders hailing from the Western states. Learn more about these “Ones to Watch” in this blog from The West Equestrian.

How do you keep a horse fit and healthy during the winter months? In a recent webinar with World Horse Welfare, Sir Mark Todd spoke at length about his horse management program and how simple tweaks can make a huge difference for the horses. Click here to view the webinar.

What does sportsmanship mean to you? Hear from multiple top event riders in this thought-provoking read from a recent issue of Eventing USA magazine.

Buying a horse sight unseen off of Facebook can be a risky move, but for Plaid Horse writer Lettie Teague, it paid off in spades. There are many things that can go wrong during the horse-buying process, but this feel-good story might just have you perusing ads again…you know, just for fun.

Wednesday Video Break: Remember the legacy of the great Totilas with their Freestyle performance at the 2010 World Equestrian Games at the Kentucky Horse Park.