Wednesday News & Notes from Ocala Horse Properties

In just five weeks time, eventing eyes will be firmly locked onto Lexington as the Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event kicks off. Before that though, Kentucky Horse Park will host an altogether different kind of competition – Road to the Horse – which begins tomorrow (Thursday). This elite colt starting contest champions unity and trust between horse and handler, and competitors are judged on the effectiveness of their horsemanship methodology. First up on the agenda is the Wild Card Challenge, the winner of which will join the World Championship Competition, which starts on Friday.

What’s most exciting is that one of our very own will be cowboying up with the best in the world. A man of very many talents – including having been a full-time Modern Pentathlon athlete, two-time winner and judge at the Thoroughbred Makeover, and currently an instructor, author, horse trainer and three-day eventer – Tik Maynard will represent Canada in this year’s RTTH. He’s so good that’s he’s already won the first challenge: hauling two kiddos more than 11 hours by car, and was named winner of the best RTTH road trip video for his efforts – click here to watch. Those colts will be no trouble after that.

EN’s Veronica Green-Gott caught up with Tik as he prepared for his foray into the Western world – here’s what he had to say.

You can cheer Tik on – and watch all the action from Road to the Horse – for free via Pluto TV in the US; international viewers can watch on Western Horseman. For more info on the live streams, click here.

Make sure you’re following @roadtothehorse, @copperline_equestrian and @tikmaynardcompany as we get ready to witness horsemanship on another level.

Chaps on and go eventing!

Road to the Horse (Lexington, Kentucky) March 21-24 [Website] [Schedule] [Competition Format] [Live Stream]

International Holiday: Today is International Day of Happiness which I’m pretty sure means it’s totally legal to take the day off work and spend it in your happy place with your horse.

U.S. Weekend Preview

Full Gallop Farm March II H.T. (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer]

March Horse Trials at Majestic Oaks (Reddick, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Texas Rose Horse Park H.T. (Tyler, TX)[Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Wednesday News and Reading

You may not be be on the entry list for Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, but you can still be in it to win it with this awesome VIP Insiders Package Sweepstake. Here’s how to make your trip to the Best Weekend All Year a VIP one. Simply fill out this form to be in with a shot at winning four VIP Hospitality Passes, a VIP course walk, a tailgate space plus six general admission tickets for cross country day, and a whole bunch of cool swag from Defender and USEF. Good luck!

Have an up-and-coming equestrian brand and looking for a step up? The Plaid Horse have put a call-out for submissions from businesses, disciplines and horse people from the US and Canada for their 2024 Brand Competition. With a grand prize worth over $50,000 in advertising – plus ten Champion prizes and ten Reserve Champion prizes – this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

The results are in from the 2023 National Equine Economic Impact Study – and it’s good news. Described by the president of the American Horse Council as “the most effective tool in our advocacy quiver”, the results of the survey confirm the significant impact the horse industry has on the economy, both through the diversity of sectors positively impacted and the substantial employment areas created by the industry. The numbers prove that the equine industry is an important contributor on a number of levels.

Britain’s Gemma Stevens is not only a top eventer, but she’s pretty handy in the show jumping ring too. Lucky for us, then, that she’s shared these three training exercises which focus on your riding in order to help your horse develop a good rhythm whilst jumping.

Some salient thoughts from a hunter, jumper and equitation coach and judge about the move away from thoroughbreds to warmbloods. Dana Hart Callanan considers whether the change in type has been good or bad for the sport from her three wheelhouses: as trainer, judge and mom. She discusses talent and brain over breeding, how you really learn to ride when you’re sitting on a thoroughbred, caring about the whole picture – and not caring if it’s a zebra if it jumps great and is soft and relaxed – and picking the best option for her kids to learn on.

And finally, a horse sculpture has won out and will be displayed atop the fourth plinth of London Trafalgar Square. The home of a rolling program of temporary artworks, the fourth plinth was originally intended to have an equestrian theme, however the planned statue was never installed due to lack of funds. The winning sculpture, a green resin horse and rider – titled ‘Untitled’ – will go on show in 2028 and is said to “hover at the edge of visibility … Is it yet to be uncovered? Or is it an already canceled public monument – a ghost of history, a parody of itself?”. That’s some deep horsing around, that’s for sure.

Sponsor Corner

He’s done it again! Owned by Ocala Horse Properties and Deborah Palmer, Miks Master C has pulled off his fourth lifetime CCI4* win at the Carolina International 4*-S. Read all about it here.

Video Break

If you just can’t wait to see what Road to the Horse is all about, get your fix now with the final of last year’s event.

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