Shame on you, Equestrian Australia and the Court of Arbitration in Sport in Switzerland.
Australian dressage rider Hayley Beresford, ranked 111th in the world, was originally excluded and has now lost her appeal to compete as a Team member in the Olympics. In her place, Kristy Oatley, ranked 283, will ride for Australia. Australian newspaper The Age reports that Kristy Oatley hasn’t competed in two years.
That’s not all. In May, Kristy Oatley was granted an exception from competing in one of two compulsory nomination events due to her horse’s illness, a courtesy denied Hayley Beresford in June, when her horse was ill.
The chairman of Equestrian Australia, Paul Cargill, is quoted as saying that he thinks it’s time for the “selected athletes to get on with their job and do their talking where it counts.” I think he should follow his own advice and get on with his job of resigning and apologize.
In contrast to Cargill’s crassness and complete lack of class, Beresford has remained polite and professional. That’s no small feat considering that she’s been robbed of her rightful place on the team. But they used to call them Robber Barons, didn’t they?
They’re having an Oatley festival on the Aussie team, with not one but two Oatleys — Kristy and Lyndal, both granddaughters of billionaire Bob Oatley, who sponsors Grand Prix dressage events and whom Beresford thanked for his sponsorship of the sport.
Kristy and Lyndal’s father Sandy Oatley is quoted as saying, “How can the family influence something like that? I don’t know how. It’s just an impossible thing.”
Yes, it is. An impossible thing. And shame on everyone who took part in making the impossible possible.
Yes, it’s time for another happy dance!
It was nearly a year ago that I fell off a horse and broke my back. Before my fall, it was a different time. A time when I had big dreams and what looked like a way to achieve them, a three-quarters full teaching load, a financial partner backing me, and my Yankee-Irish horsewhispering boyfriend picking up the slack (and boy, was there was a lot of slack).
Everything changed when I couldn’t get to my feet after getting to my knees after falling off. Someone carried me out of the ring – the worst thing to do, according to the EMTs. But no harm was done. I consider myself lucky. I still don’t know what made my horse take off that day, but my best guess is a bee sting.
What did I do right? I shut my horse down and I tried to stay on. What did I do wrong? I didn’t stay on and I didn’t tuck and roll and I landed the wrong way. I felt the strongest contraction I can imagine in my lower back but nothing else. I felt nothing at all where the break was (it was at T12, the twelfth thoracic vertebra) until I’d been en route to the hospital for 20 or 30 minutes. The sirens were blaring, the lights bright inside the space-age compartment of stainless steel, aluminum and white plastic, and the time was punctuated by little jokes among myself and the crew, distracting us all from the larger, not very funny, reason I was there.
I’m excited that Poland is going to have a dressage team competing at this summer’s Olympic Games, for the first time in 32 years.
Poland was in reserve to take New Zealand’s place at the Games, and was able to do so when New Zealand was unable to put together a team of three nominated horses and riders.
Katarzyna Miczarek on Ekwador, Beata Stremler on Martini and Michal Rapcewicz on Randon will represent Poland.
Best of luck to all the competitors — whether it’s medals or simply memories to take home.
It’s a conundrum. Everyone hates barn drama. And everyone has experienced it — dare I say, participated in it. So if we all hate it so much, why is it so prevalent? Why do we let it go on? And what can we do about it?
Some of us have already found the solution and keep our horses at home. But what about those of us who can’t?
It’s always tempting for women to try to solve things by talking. Or by shutting down completely and pointedly not talking. The resulting silence is most often accompanied by fantasies of what would be said if women were, in fact, talking. I think it’s those fantasy conversations more than anything that leads to the problem in the first place. “I know she’s thinking this,” or “She said this, but she means that,” or “I could tell when she was looking for her martingale, that she really just didn’t want to talk to me.”
This is for those of you who participate in turning the pitchfork and heating up the muck.
The US Dressage Team heading for the Olympics has some of my favorite riders (and horses) on it, and I couldn’t be happier.
I wish I’d had a chance to watch all the rides that got them there, but the horses (the ones under my own care) come first.
Tina and Steffen appear together in my post entitled BNT syndrome. I can’t wait till they’re together in London.
When you’re looking at a horse to buy, it’s good to know what you can fix. That’s very different from knowing what’s fixable.
The important question is: What can you fix?
To answer the question, you should consider your own abilities and dedication and the three categories of horse fixes: physical, training, and state-of-mind.
Physical fixes: Your vet is your guide to physical issues that could be of concern, which you might notice when you look at a horse or which might come up during a pre-purchase exam (PPE).
If a physical issue is fixable but you can’t afford to fix it…if a physical issue might be fixable but you can’t live with the outcome if the fix doesn’t work…or if spending money trying to fix a physical issue will affect your ability to buy another horse, then it’s best to pass on the horse. If the issue comes up after your PPE, there’s nothing you can do but cry in your oatmeal about your diminished horse budget after you pay your vet bill. When your tears are dry, you can be thankful you paid for that PPE (and those radiographs).
Skinny is easy to fix. So is a dull coat or rain rot. You can build muscle but you can’t necessarily repair muscle wastage. Sometimes chiropractic or massage work can fix stiffness or crookedness or pain, and it can be helpful to ask for a consultation from your chiropractor or massage therapist before you put Dobbin on your trailer.