The chatter is abuzz here in Unionville as hordes of eventers descend on the area for this weekend’s Plantation Oktoberfest. Despite a large portion of the competitors trailering in and out each day, it still manages to maintain a feel of a destination event, even for those who never have to leave their own homes. I’m disappointed to be missing out on competing this year for the first time in four years, but you can bet you’ll find me out on Sunday, enjoying the cross country and cheering my friends.
U.S. Weekend Preview:
Your Wednesday News & Notes:
No one can say that Ben Hobday is a bad sport. In order to raise funds for the Wilberry Wonder Pony foundation, Ben gamely agreed to learn sidesaddle in front of a huge Blenheim crowd. International side-saddle judge and trainer Ginny Pope gave Ben a lesson on the former eventer Ashton Flight. Ben admitted that is was quite difficult but also felt it was a lot of fun as well. [Ben Hobday Rides Side Saddle]
Did you know that until 2004, Paralympic riders catch rode horses provided by the host country? As if making it onto a Paralympic team isn’t hard enough, the riders would then have to get to know a horse through five alotted rides prior to the competition. Nowadays, Paralympic horses are selected long before a team selection process, as the Paralympic athletes seek to have a partner with both high quality gaits and trust in the partnership of their rider. [Paralympic Horses]
Throwback…Wednesday? Famous horses as young horses, in the form of a quiz. If it sounds like the ultimate throwback, it’s because it is. H&H has put together a little quiz to see if you can recognize horses such as Avebury, Chilli Morning, Clifton Lush and Tamarillo in their younger competition day. [Can You Guess?]
In Paralympic news, check out this incredible story of Paralympian Luigi Ferdinando Acerbi. After a few attempts to represent Italy in eventing back in the nineties ended first with a broken leg and then with a broken horse, Luigi hung up his spurs and took up sailing and scuba. His life changed one day when a member of his diving group suffered a heart attack underwater and Luigi suffered a pulmonary embolism surfacing too quickly in an effort to save him. Now he finally gets his chance at a world stage. [Tales from the Paralympics]
SmartPak Product of the Day: It’s about the time of year when the leaves are turning, the air is turning crisp and the horses are just starting to gain that slightly fuzzy coat as their winter coat starts creeping in. Don’t be caught unawares when the first cold front hits; make sure you have a nice sheet or blanket handy! [SmartPak]