Almost all species are affected by light; as the days grow shorter here in the northern hemisphere, the diminishing light will trigger our horses’ winter coats to come in, in much the same way it signals to me that it’s time to hunker down and relive the eventing season via replays from the comfort of my sofa. But what do eventers get up to once the horses have been turned out for the holidays? I’ve scrolled through some social media to find out.
As Abby shared yesterday, Piggy March hopped of the plane from Pau and onto the tour bus, and she’s not alone in postponing her down time. Kentucky winner Tamie Smith just can’t get enough of going eventing and decided to go it alone on her trip to Ram Tap, showing up as groom and rider for her horses and forgetting to close the stall door once or twice. Like Tamie, French rider Maxime Livio’s not ready to put the eventing buzz down; he’s taken to the indoor for some arena eventing.
Meanwhile, Luhmuhlen winner Laura Collett’s been down under, getting up close and personal with some cute baby roos and drinking Bolly on the beach, in between riding at Equestrian In The Park. (You can watch the replays on H&C+.) Kiwi eventer extraordinaire, Jonelle Price is no slouch either – she took time out from her mountain hiking to plug the Team Price masterclass happening at Addington Equestrian next week. Another rider who’s busy busy is superstar eventer/business man Michael Jung, who found time in his busy schedule for a spot of show jumping at the German Masters.
We know they’re a hard working bunch, but all work and no play and all that. Surely there are some eventers who are kicking their heels up and enjoying some well-earned merry-making..?
Of course, World No. 3 and top of the USEA leaderboard Boyd Martin isn’t going to disappoint in the fun stakes, adding to his season’s wins with the prize for the weirdest way to dress for a Christmas parade. Kitty King went for a more classic disco vibe for her European team gold and individual silver celebrations when she hosted a glittering gathering for all her eventing pals that looked like a whole lot of fun. Also getting in on the dressing up act, World No. 1 Oliver Townend scrubbed up and turned out in his tux for a fancy ball at the Caunton Manor Stud, after a successful 5* season which saw him win Burghley, take second at Pau and Badminton, and finish third at Maryland, whilst Kentucky runner up and Pau third placer Tom McEwen rounded off his season with a wedding.
U.S. Weekend Preview
Wednesday News and Reading
Fancy becoming part of a top-level eventing team? British-based Australian rider Bill Levett has a very cool opening in his yard. [Find Out More and Apply]
The FEI has lifted protective measures to allow Russian and Belarusian athletes, horses and officials to participate as neutrals. Following updated advice from the International Olympic Committee asking International Federations to consider re-admitting Russian and Belarusian athletes to international competitions, and the fact that other sports have already begun to do so, the FEI acknowledged that the measures no longer fulfilled a protective role and therefore needed to be reconsidered. The new measures do not come into place immediately however, with conditions needing to be drawn up and agreed before Russian and Belarusian athletes will be eligible to resume participation in FEI events. The Board noted its full support to the people of Ukraine, and pledged its continued solidarity and support of the Ukrainian equestrian community through the FEI Solidarity Relief Fund. [Russian and Belarusian Athletes to Compete as Neutrals]
From December 1st, the rules for frangible devices on cross country fences will be extended to Training level and above. Need a refresher on how penalties relating to frangible devices are awarded? USEA’s got your back. [Refresh Yourself]
We’ve likely all been disappointed with what’s on our dressage score sheet at times. Laura Adriaanse felt thoroughly demotivated when her scores didn’t seem to add up, until she considered all the information that the judge didn’t have and came to the conclusion that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story. [The Bigger Picture]
A library dedicated to horses? Sign me up. The FEI has teamed up with the Maison de la Recherche en Sciences Humaine MRSH, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique MRSH CNRS (Human Sciences Research Centre, National Centre for Scientific Research) of the University of Caen in France to create La Bibliotheque Mondiale du Cheval (World Horse Library), a digital library bringing together a plethora of horse-related literature. It’s the first digital resource of its kind and will centralize published information about equestrian sports and their development over time. [Check It Out]
“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” I’m pretty sure Winston Churchill meant to be inclusive when he so saliently credited horses with such power. One initiative which knows just how the horse-human relationship can be used in healing is Gateway HorseWorks in Malvern, PA, which runs community-based programs for those struggling with mental ill health and addiction. NPR spoke to some of the people being helped by the horses there. [Listen In]
Sleighbells will soon be ringing which means it’s time to start on your horsey Christmas list. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting is happening today, which gives everyone permission to get full-on into the Christmas spirit. Start off your holiday season with a peek at the new Breyer’s collection of festive goodies. [Dear Santa]
And just like that, the last show of the season is officially wrapped up! Discover how Jenny Caras and Trendy Fernhill took home the blue at the TerraNova CCI4*-L. Coverage sponsored by Ocala Horse Properties.
A home soil win is always going to be a dream come true, and Jose Daniel Martin Dockx was living the dream when he won the Freestyle at the Madrid leg of the Western European league of the Dressage World Cup on his Spanish-bred stallion Malagueno LXXXII. Viva Espana!