Wednesday News & Notes from Ocala Horse Properties

If you watched the FEI Nations Cup final in Boekelo last season, you’ll remember that water and all the problems it caused, not least for reigning Olympic champion and overnight leader Julia Krajewski, riding Nickel 21, who, like a number of other competitors that day, took an early bath and ducked out of the competition. The footing was checked, of course – over and over – but the trips kept coming. It’s not the first time the main water has been a talking point for the wrong reasons at Boekelo, so it’s great news that the team are already on the case, with an update from course designer Adrian Ditcham detailing the changes being made as well as some exciting new fences to look forward to. Find out more in the video above.

Talking of safety improvements in horse sport, last weekend the British racing calendar threw up a thought-provoking response to the problems seen at the English Grand National in 2023, by making data driven decisions and responding to the ever-presence of social license in a positive, productive way.

Often synonymous (for those who oppose the race, and also many who don’t) with horse falls and fatalities, the English Grand National is the subject of controversy each year, particularly given its enormous, global audience and widespread publicity. This year the broadcasting team placed much emphasis on the fact that objections had been heard – and paid heed to – and that specific changes had been made in response to detailed analysis of previous races. These decisions appear to have paid off, with no horse falls and no fatalities occurring this year, as well as more finishers than I can ever remember crossing the line. It has to be noted that this isn’t actually an anomaly in terms of records – there have been other years, prior to the changes, when horses didn’t die.

But we have to respect the way in which this year’s race was approached by the industry. For the viewing public it perhaps wasn’t so exciting as before the safety measures came into play (you could argue the same for eventing, if you’re of that ilk) – but as this piece suggests, if you’re of that disposition perhaps cage fighting is more up your street. For those of us involved in horse sports for the right reasons, in a world where social license is a real threat, it certainly felt like a stride in the right direction.

Before I sign off, it’s only right to mention that our first 5* of the season is imminent! More on this tomorrow, until then, here are the links you need:

Adelaide Equestrian Festival [Website] [5* Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

In the spirit of International Haiku Poetry Day, I’ll wrap this up with a relevant offering:

Go go go go go
Go go go go go go go
Go-o eventing!

U.S. Weekend Preview

Fair Hill International April H.T. & CCI-S (Elkton, MD) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Masterson Equestrian Trust YEH/NEH Qualifier (Lexington, KY) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Meadowcreek Park – The Spring Social Event (Kosse, TX) [Website] [Entries][Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Ocala International Festival of Eventing (Ocala, FL) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer] [Scoring]

Sporting Days Farm April H.T. III (Aiken, SC) [Website] [Entries] [Ride Times] [Volunteer][Scoring]

Major International Events

Adelaide Equestrian Festival [Website] [5* Entries] [Schedule] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

UK International Events

Kelsall Hill International [Website] [Entries] [Scoring]

European International Events

Strzegom Spring Open II [Website] [Entries] [Timetable] [Scoring] [Live Stream]

Wednesday News and Reading

Call out for volunteer for MARS Bromont CCI. We all know the eventing world’s wheels would fall off if it wasn’t for the awesome volunteers we’re so lucky to have in our midst, and if you’re one of those very cool people, this one’s for you. If you’re able to help out at the event, which runs June 6-9, please sign up here.

Here’s your chance to win at Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event without having to jump the quite frankly terrifying fences. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to the Horse Park next week, make like a scavenger and join in the annual hunt. All you need to do to be in with a shout of some cool prizes is download this app. Happy hunting!

Staying on the topic of Kentucky, Doug Payne’s headed to the 5* with two rides – how does he handle the pressure of competing at the top of the sport? Find out how he manages his nerves, his training philosophies, what his competition routines are, what advice he’d give to his younger self, and more in these 9 Questions with Doug Payne.

What do Boyd Martin, Tim and Jonelle Price, Andrew Hoy, Piggy March, and now Ros Canter have in common? Aside from being top eventers and all around stars of our sport that is? This select bunch are Defender Burghley Horse Trials Ambassadors, helping to spread the word about what a cool event Burghley is. Ros has recently joined the ranks and is particularly excited as Burghley is in her home county. We’ll be seeing much more of the ambassadors in the run up to the event later on in the eventing season.

Did you know…? A horse’s brain is half the weight of a human’s, but is actually one of the biggest of all land mammals. If you’ve got space going spare in your brain, why not fill it with these ten fascinating facts about equine neurology?

Riding on the correct diagonal isn’t something instructors make up to keep you on your toes – it can actually affect the soundness of your horse. No matter what discipline you enjoy, working on the correct diagonal is really important, and making changes of diagonal throughout your ride is vital if you want your horse to be balanced under saddle. Unsure about which diagonal is the right one, or why it matters? Here’s everything you need to know.

Sponsor Corner

This beautiful modern French chateau style home now has a new price tag! Right across the street from Ocala’s World Equestrian Center, you can literally hack to the show. Sitting lake-side and next to a golf course, this 10,674 sq. ft. house is waiting for you to call it home. Discover your dream home.

Video Break

When you’re there for the legend’s parade but you really, really wanna be in the race. Two-time winner of the English Grand National Tiger Roll makes his feelings very clear about not being allowed a shot at delivering the hattrick.

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