I’m still consuming as much Mongol Derby content as I can, though the last riders have crossed the finish line. I’ve spent the last week having an internal debate with myself on whether or not I would be tough enough to compete in the Mongol Derby, and while I believe anyone can prepare well for something…I don’t know. I think I might just have to make do with following on Instagram, honestly.
A very special shout goes to a former somewhat-coach of mine, Julie Wolfert, and her friend and student Renee Senter from Kansas City, who completed the Derby over the weekend. Julie picked up a win in the 3*-L at Tryon earlier this spring before her Mongol Derby trip began in earnest, and Renee is part of a small ownership group nicknamed Team Pivot and also including Sheri Gurske that supports Julie and her upper-level partner, SSH Playboy, on their journey to the top. It’s a really cool story, and you’re in luck because we’ll have a full story about how Team Pivot came to be coming your way in the coming weeks.
U.S. Weekend Preview
Flora Lea Farm Mini Event (Medford, NJ): [Website]
Major International Events
Wednesday News & Reading
We’re keeping Kentucky in our thoughts as recovery efforts continue after devastating flooding throughout the eastern regions of the state, many of which are rural. Continued rainfall has made recovery and rescue tough, and to date the death toll is 37 people. To assist those who have been affected by the flooding, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Farm Bureau have joined together to raise funds. You can learn more about this fund and donate here.
The newly-formed USEA Emerging Athlete 21 program seems to be off to a solid start, with a host of clinics scattered around the country offering opportunity for continued education for these top young riders. This week, Bec Braitling is teaching at Holly Hill Farm in Benton, LA, and day one was already full of useful insights. Bec is a well-respected coach out here on the West coast, and her calm and clear demeanor makes it easy to want to learn from here. Check out the full day one report here.
After serving for eight years as the US Equestrian Director of Sport Programs, Will Connell is stepping down following this competition season in November. Formerly a performance director for British Equestrian, Will had worked with the U.S. teams since 2014 and was instrumental in leading the Americans to top finishes across all FEI disciplines. ““I’d been thinking about it a while and decided the time was right to move on,” Will told The Chronicle of the Horse. “I wanted to make sure there was plenty of time for the federation to find the right person and for that person to have long enough in the job ahead of Paris [Olympics in 2024].”
Catching up with former top event horses in their second (or third!) careers is always fascinating, and this week we meet Gonzalo, a former 4* eventer now piloted with Trevor Breen, who picked up a fourth place finish in last weekend’s Longines King George V Gold Cup CSI5*.
Tack Mythbusters from Sterling Essentials: Did you know saddle soap is one of the worst things you can use to clean your saddle? [If the embedded post below does not show up in your browser, view it on Instagram here]
Wednesday Video Break
Take a tour of the Danish location for the ECCO FEI World Championships for Show Jumping, Dressage, Para Dressage, and Vaulting, which kick off this Saturday, August 6: