In Case You Missed It
Parting is such sweet sorrow. The equestrian Disneyland that is Wellington is closing up shop for another year. Riders from around the world are packing up their boots and spurs and leaving on a jet plane – some with money in their pockets, while others might have to live in their cars to pay for next year. Because Wellington is like a high-end escort; she may be beautiful, but she ain’t cheap. And she be expanding. Mark Bellissimo, who is in charge of the group that owns both the Global Dressage and Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds, has acquired the International Polo Club. He has plans to create “one of the most unique equestrian experiences in the world.” What’s the equestrian equivalent of space mountain? Read about it here.
Sweet beginnings. The Longines Global Champions Tour kicks off April 10th. This world- class show jumping competition in Miami Beach includes a shopping village, entertainment and refreshment area. What could be better than a show on a white sandy beach, listening to the sound of pounding hooves and the gentle lull of ocean waves? It’s free. Nice touch Longines.
Meanwhile in the U.K. In an effort to keep horses and riders safe, the British Horse Society started a campaign and released a video in an effort to educate drivers on how to safely pass horses and riders on the road. The message is simple. Lives are more important than rushing home to watch Dr. Who reruns.
Who’s in hot water? French show jumper Penelope Leprevost. Unbeknownst to her, she was being videoed when her horse Vagabond de la Pomme stumbled badly in the warm-up at the World Cup Finals in Gothenburg. When the video of her reaction hit the internet, the response on social media was swift, with most people calling it “rough” and “unfair.” The rider issued a statement expressing regret and the FEI is investigating.
Olympic fever. A hot debate boiled over at the recent FEI Sports Forum in Switzerland and dominated the day. The topic? Downsizing teams from four riders to three with no dropped score. The response? Dressage said okay, show jumping said maybe, while eventing said H-E-double hockey stick-NO, citing safety reasons. They’re worried, in part, that with no dropped score, riders will push too hard to finish cross country. But it’s no secret that equestrian sport has its collective head on the chopping block with the IOC due to its high costs and complicated logistics. The new format is part of a plan by the FEI to keep equestrian sports in the Olympics by allowing a greater number of teams from smaller nations to compete. How about it Vatican City? Throw on a pair of white breeches under those robes and you’re good to go.
Also at the Forum…The FEI launched its new global promotional campaign called Two Hearts that focuses on the partnership between horse and rider. It’s part of a plan to make equestrian sports more attractive to the IOC and to attempt to appeal to a wider audience of non-equestrians. It might be easy to explain the love and bond we have with another living creature’s heart, but harder to explain why said heart can cost more than a million dollars. Maybe that’ll be in the sequel.
WTF? While the FEI is trying to make equestrian sport more inclusive and transparent, one national federation has decided that its Olympic qualification criteria for all three disciplines needs to be kept top secret. The website Eurodressage described it as an “omertà.” To save you from having to google it like we did: “This is a code of honor that places importance on silence,” usually practiced by the mafia.
While we don’t want to say who it is, we’ll give you a hint – they have a hot new Prime Minister. We did dig up a website keeping track of the unofficial dressage standings though, so here are the secret riders, unofficially vying for an Olympic spot. Hope nobody gets whacked.
And speaking of fantasies. Turns out, humans got it all wrong. Unicorns did exist. Unfortunately, they were a wee bit different than we imagined.
The findings were first published in the February 2016 issue of the American Journal of Applied Sciences, the same day our childhood dreams were officially crushed.
Who’s dating who? Equestrian Kaley Cuoco (who also has a starring role on a little show called The Big Bang Theory) is rumored to be dating show jumper Karl Cook. Is he nervous dating a woman who makes a million bucks per episode? Not likely. Cook is the son of Scott Cook, co-founder of Intuit, the makers of TurboTax and Quickbooks. Here are some cute photos of the couple’s budding romance. Except the face-licking one.
And the award for…The cutest thing on the internet goes to a little girl named Edwina and her pony Tusseman. Thank you Swedish event rider mom Anna Freskgard for sharing the adorableness that is this pair. Check out her Instagram for more cuteness…and mom’s not hard on the eyes, either.