Obviously, the Olympics are going on. I’ve been keeping the Eventing live stream on at work on my second screen (shhh, don’t tell!). The biggest challenge? Staying quiet when exciting things happen LIKE PHILLIP AND HAPPY WINNING BRONZE.
Other than the endless videos and coverage of the actual events, I love reading more in-depth pieces highlighting individual riders. I find the ones that are written for mainstream publications, rather than specifically horse-related ones, tend to be wonderful. Not, of course, that the ones written for horse pubs aren’t good – they are and I read them like they’re going out of style.
But there’s something about an outside perspective that beautifully highlights the hard work, drama and love that equestrians pour into the sport. Maybe it’s because that is something we all relate to, but to a regular, non-horse person, it is a new discovery.
Whatever the reason, here are three of my favorite profiles so far.
“The Duo That Dominates Dressage” | The New Yorker
Profiling Charlotte Dujardin & Valegro
Written by Sam Knight
Why I love it: It’s beautifully written and has arguably the best pitch for why people should care about Dressage. It has some really interesting history of the sport, yet doesn’t dance around the fact that Dressage can be incomprehensible, especially to the un-indoctrinated. But I particularly liked this passage: The freestyle … has helped nudge the sport toward the same emotional, aesthetic realm as figure skating: no one knows what the hell is going on, but at least it looks nice.”
“Inside An Olympic Sport That Is Way Harder Than It Looks” | Refinery29
Interview with Beezie Madden
Written by Andrea Gonzalez-Ramirez
Why I love it: It’s a candid interview that speaks both to fans and those who have no idea who The Great Beezie is. She acknowledges that new comers to watching show jumping might think it’s easy or that the horse does all the work. Riders know this is untrue; but it’s a smart point to make that watching this level of the sport does indeed look easy. That’s why these riders are at the top of the sport.
“Training unwanted mustangs revived Elisa Wallace’s Olympic equestrian dreams” | Atlanta Magazine
Profiling Elisa Wallace
Written by Paul Frysh
Why I love it: Because I am 100% into anything Elisa Wallace does.
And then for fun, this photo I took when I saw Beezie Madden ride IRL at Live Oak International 2015, and my life felt complete.