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I’ve emerged from child’s pose (briefly) to write this after an epic end to the 5* eventing season that consisted of a double of top-level events with just one short stride between them, not to mention the Eventing World Championship for Young Horses and the Pan-Ams which ran alongside.
After four days of bringing you live updates from Pau, my fingers are considerably shorter than they were, I’ve eaten only pizza for what feels like forever, and I slept for seventeen hours in the twenty-four following Ros Canter’s win with Izilot DHI. I’ve been left with an eventing hangover so significant that I’m even going eventing in my dreams.
When I sat down to start today’s News & Notes, my husband asked how I could possibly squeeze any more words out. About eventing though, always. (I plan to fill the winter months talking to him constantly about the great events of 2023 and everything there is to look forward to next year – hello, Paris!)
Not able to put it down just yet, between sleeping and being curled up in a ball breathing, I’ve spent the last couple of days scrolling through the celebratory social media posts from the riders who competed at Pau. I just love to see those who perhaps didn’t finish up at the top of the leaderboard acknowledging the huge achievement it is to complete a 5*. Seriously, even to get to the point of sending in your entry is a massive tribute to the whole team.
Take Great Britain’s Libby Seed (pictured above) for example, an amateur rider eventing just one horse. In real life, she’s a medical sales executive, and on the side she’s 5* eventer competing with the best in the world.
Kudos to everyone who goes eventing, whatever the level. I’m wrung out just writing about it!
U.S. Weekend Preview
Wednesday News and Reading
We now know how things played out for the dressage riders and eventers at the Pan-Ams, with the show jumpers getting their turn over the next couple of days, but did you know that not one but two 70 year old equestrians have been competing at the Games? Jose Ramon Beca Borrego took the title of oldest equestrian athlete in Chile when he represented Uruguay in dressage, but close on his heels, just eight months younger, eventer Juan Carlos Tafur Eisenmayer flew the flag for Columbia when he set off out of the start box with his fourteen-year-old homebred mare Blue Moon. Unfortunately their competition came to an end on the cross country course, but that takes nothing away from the achievement of competing at the Games as a septuagenarian. He was joined by Columbian teammates Lucero Desrochers S, a professional rider and coach, Andres Felipe Gomez Sanabria, “a young man studying medicine”, and Mauricio Benmudez, “a lawyer who just bought an Irish horse”. Find out more about this inspirational eventer, who’s worked across South America as well as in South Africa and Canada, in this celebration of a long equestrian career, and a competitive spirit that knows no bounds. [Age is Nothing But a Number]
The stats for accidents involving horses on the roads in Britain are frankly quite scary, but this rider has created an innovative way of reminding drivers to pass wide and slow. After too many near misses, Heather Muir took it upon herself to create the VisiWhip, a high-vis triangle that slots onto the end of a whip which allows riders to take up more space, forcing cars to pass wider than they may have been tempted to. Last year in the UK, there were around 3,500 road incidents with horses, with over 150 riders injured and almost 70 horse fatalities. Anything that brings those terrifying numbers down gets a thumbs up from us. [Whoa There]
The competitive season is winding down, providing us with the perfect opportunity to focus on conditioning work with our horses so they come back out next season in tip-top condition. Practical Horseman has brought together some fun exercises and expert advice for maintaining your horse’s fitness through the off-season. From stretching to walking, this simple to follow plan will ensure your horse is fit and ready once winter is in the rear-view. [Winter Moves]
Who hasn’t watched Heartland and longed to live there? Well, this horse lover actually went ahead and followed her heart after being inspired by Amy Fleming and her horse whispering ways. Not only did she quit her office job to focus on horses, but she’s also used training methods and alternative remedies from the fictional drama in real life. Sure, the show is sweeter than a box of chocolates, but if it inspires people to want to take care of horses in a gentle way, that’s gotta be a good thing. [When You Follow Your Heart to Heartland]
And that article led me to this archive piece – a romantic meandering through time spent on the trails with an equine pal. As winter approaches, the chances are we’ll all need a bit of inspiration to leave a warm house to head out to a chilly barn. Well, perhaps the promise of just how lovely it is spending some time with your horse in nature will be just the trick. If you’re looking for a pleasant, dreamy kind of read, this is for you. [Happy Times on the Trails]
If you follow fashion even just from the corner of one squinted eye, you’re sure to be aware of the ‘coastal cowgirl’ trend. But that’s just the tiny tip of a pointy toed boot when it comes to equestrian influences in the fashion world. I won’t name drop – except erm, Beyonce – or summarize, because this piece deserves your full attention. From unscuffed cowboy boots, to high fashion horse blankets for your couch – enjoy the ride. [High Fashion Horse Wear]
Ocala Horse Properties‘ Miks Master C and rider Liz Halliday-Sharp were part of the USA’s silver medal-winning eventing team at the Pan American Games last weekend! Catch up on all the coverage here: Canada Books Paris Ticket + Team Gold, USA Win Team Silver + Individual Gold
Tune in to the last of the season’s Eventing Weekly podcast before they turn themselves out for the winter. They’re looking back at best bits and looking ahead to 2024. Enjoy, and go eventing!