Wednesday News & Notes from Haygain

Not quite the “tiger” we envisioned this Lunar New Year… Photo by Tilly Berendt.

I always chuckle at the end of a calendar year when I send my sister in Korea a “Happy New Year!” text because I know what I’ll get in response: “Silly, that’s not the new year!”

I was 30 before I really learned about the existence of Lunar New Year, which coincides with the moon’s phases and this year began yesterday, February 1. My 30th year was the year I met my birth mother, and I’ve subsequently met my biological sister in person in the years since that first trip back to Korea. Through this extended family, I’ve been able to learn more about Lunar New Year and its celebrations around the world. For example, Koreans celebrate Seollal, a festival commemorating the Lunar New Year and treated similarly to how we would on Christmas or another family-centric holiday. In this sense, the turning of the Gregorian calendar to January 1 doesn’t mean quite as much to some — the “real” new year begins when the moon begins a new cycle of 12 phases, meaning the date of Lunar New Year changes year to year. In 2023, the Lunar New Year will begin on January 22.

2022 brings the year of the tiger. What does that mean, exactly? Each year is represented by one of the 12 animals depicted in the Chinese Zodiac and, as you might have imagined already, people born within these years often are characterized by traits of that year’s animal. Tigers, for example, are characterized as “natural leaders who are both brave and thrill-seeking, often craving attention”, among other things.

What does this have to do with eventing, you might ask? Well, nothing, specifically. Except for the fact that you may share barns with an Asian rider who celebrates this holiday as religiously as you might celebrate Christmas, and now you have some additional knowledge from which to grow a conversation!

Black History Bit of the Day:

Each day in February, we’re celebrating Black voices in honor of Black History Month. We look forward to sharing what we’re learning about Black equestrians right here in News & Notes each morning.

When you hear the term “cowboy”, many call to mind the image of a wizened, white man in a tall cowboy hat. Stereotypical as this has become, it’s not the only accurate depiction of the horsemen who roamed the country before us. Smithsonian Magazine tackles the lesser-known history of Black cowboys in this deep-dive.

U.S. Weekend Preview:

Galway Downs Kickoff H.T. (Temecula, Ca.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Sporting Days Farm February H.T. (Aiken, Sc.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Volunteer]

Three Lakes Winter I H.T. at Caudle Ranch (Groveland, Fla.): [Website] [Entry Status] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

Wednesday News & Reading:

The new Eventing Handbook by the Levels is intended to be every rider and trainer’s best friend, and it’s full of useful information particularly for those wanting to obtain their Instructor Certification Program designation. Click here to read more about the revamped ICP program and the new Handbook.

The EquiRatings Horse Form Index (HFI) was developed in partnership with the FEI and is now available for public use. The HFI considers recent performances (similar to the EQRI index found on your USEA profile) and is intended to help riders assess their readiness and safety before attempting a competition. Horse & Hound has the full report here.

California riders! There are a lot of excellent clinicians headed to Earl and Jen McFall’s Dragonfire Farm this season. Want to ride with Hawley Bennett-Awad, Susie Hutchinson, Phillip Dutton, or Boyd Martin (or, all of the above)? Check out this Instagram post for dates and information on how to sign up.

Did you miss Strides for Equality Equestrians’ presentation at the USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in December? Now you can watch the full session online here — and it’s well worth a rewatch for perspective on DEI work in the industry and ways to help grow our sport through greater representation. Click here to watch the video.

Amateur 2* eventer Courtenay Tuxhorn is a lifelong athlete — but it hasn’t always been horses that have caught her competitive fancy. In fact, she’s a former triathlete, and she sat down with Chris Stafford for the Women in Sports podcast — you can listen to the episode here.

Watch This on H&C+: