I can honestly say I have never looked forward to the start of a new year more than I have now. For Equestrian Events (EEI), our 2020 was filled by the sadness caused by the cancellation of the Kentucky Three-Day Event, the Kentucky Invitational Grand Prix, and finally the USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena Feeds. The challenges caused by 2020 will linger for many years, but we are resilient.
And while EEI had challenges, we know you did too. In the last year you may have lost a job, seen friends get sick, or sadly lost a loved one. We are sorry for any hardships of 2020 you experienced. For you too, the challenges caused by 2020 will linger for many years. But we also know that you are resilient.
For months the single most asked question we’ve heard is, “What will the 2021 Kentucky Three-Day Event look like?” Our typical responses ranged from, “Great question,” to, “It changes every day.” These answers are still applicable.
To our normal response, I would add that our goal is to run the Kentucky Three-Day Event and the Kentucky Invitational Grand Prix in April 2021 . . . with a carefully managed level of spectators. We know there are challenges ahead and we know things must be different in 2021, but we are working towards accomplishing this goal. We are resilient.
We cannot achieve our goal alone. We have been and continue to be in constant contact with US Equestrian, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Horse Park. The approval for spectators from each of these organizations is key to achieving our goal. These partners also recognize the challenges ahead and the work that must be done. They too are resilient.
You too are a key partner in our ability to achieve our goal. Since 1978 you’ve been with us every step of the way. Plans for April continue to evolve and, as we’ve said before, plans change daily. As details are finalized, we will excitedly share them with you. For now, we ask that you be resilient with us.
The definition of resilient is, “to return to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched.” For each of us there is no question that 2020 has bent us, compressed us, and stretched us (just look at my waistline!)
We were bent, but we did not buckle. We were compressed, but we were not squashed. We were stretched, but we did not break.
We can’t wait to return to our original form as soon as safely possible, with you there next to us.
We are resilient!
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.