His legacy is in his name: Steady Eddie (Jetball x Tuonela). The 16.1 bay Thoroughbred gelding owned by Denise Lahey, Pierre Collin, and George and Gretchen Wintersteen has officially retired at 19 years old. But before we reminisce his decorated record as an eventer, lets first remember and pay homage to his first career as a racehorse in Australia, where he raced under the name Big Jet.
From January 2007 to October 2009, the Steady Eddie we’ve come to love was doing exactly what we know him to do: galloping hard. Stamina is probably too soft a word to describe his heart and physical ability. And if we’re really being honest, his athleticism is plain insulting.
“Yea, it’s almost cruel, isn’t it?” asks Boyd Martin, who met Steady Eddie under rather casual conditions in Queensland on holiday. “I’ll never forget the day I tried Steady Eddie—I tried him in shorts and a pair of flip-flops.” Despite having won seven races from 36 starts, Steady Eddie’s lasting impression was in his jump, which meant a golden opportunity awaited him in the States with Martin.
“He just finished his racing career, and then to see the horse travel to America and work his way up the grades and compete at so many 5 Stars is a true triumph of where an off the track thoroughbred could end up in his second career,” says Martin. “When you looked at his racing career in Australia, he raced hard. Towards the end of his racing career he had multiple races that were in consecutive days, like he’d race on a Saturday and then again on a Sunday—two different racetracks, six or seven hours apart.”
And his personality was in true fashion of a thoroughbred: on his toes, always with energy. His was born a fierce competitor, being piloted by Martin in all corners of the world.
“I think his best performance for me was finishing in the top ten at Burghley. He was just born for Burghley. He was a fantastic galloper and, I mean, what an epic horse to then transition over to Michael and get Michael to the 4 Star and 5 Star level. Just goes to show what a champion animal he is,” says Martin. The memories, like with any good horse, are right on the tip of Martin’s tongue, segueing from one story to the next until one of humor strikes: “He’ll always be remembered for me—I fell off him and broke my leg in half at Carolina International. I still have a rod down one of my legs from a fall I had on him. Steady Eddie will always be a part of me.”
Michael Pendleton became a working student for Martin in 2013 and later graduated to a full-time member of his staff and assistant rider at Windurra in Cochranville, Pennsylvania, where he rode and competed a ton of young horses. It was when Pendleton returned from a month-long stint in Germany, riding with Michael Jung—a trip Martin encouraged and helped navigate for Pendleton—that Martin quite literally handed over Steady Eddie’s reins to Pendleton for him to get some mileage in at intermediate level. Together, the pair competed at 28 events from January 2019 through April of this year. Steady Eddie gave him three starts at the 5 Star level.
“You wonder where Steady Eddie’s life would have—you know, he was from a really remote part of Australia called Rock Anthem, which is the end of the earth—what his life would have become if we didn’t pick him out,” says Martin. Good thing that’s something that can be left to the imagination, Boyd. We’re overjoyed to bear witness to his outstanding career and a dash gloomy to not see that white blaze tearing through cross-country at the next event.
And just like that, it is time for the Morven Park International! The prestigious event will take place Thursday, October 6, and run through Sunday, October 10 in Leesburg, Virginia. This is the event’s second year offering the CCI4*-L division, in addition to their CCI4*-S, CCI3*-S, and CCI2*-S divisions. That’s not all! The historic grounds at Morven Park will also host national divisions at the Novice, Training, and Preliminary levels.
Specifics of the "Fun & Education Formula" were provided to all at the Jim Wofford Clinic held on August 20 & 21 at the Horse Park in Woodside, northern California. Eager riders, auditors, and volunteers gathered for a much anticipated two-day clinic with the master bright and early Saturday morning.
This year a new class will be joining the 47 eventing legends currently in the United States Eventing Association (USEA) Eventing Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is the highest honor awarded within the sport of eventing in the United States. Those invited to join the USEA's Eventing Hall of Fame have truly made a difference in the sport of eventing. Hall of Fame members have included past Association presidents, volunteers, riders, founders, course designers, officials, organizers, horses, horse owners, and coaches.
Have you ever wondered why your horse isn’t performing at their best? Get ready to learn about the many facets that can contribute to lameness and poor performance in sport horses from equine orthopedics expert, Dr. Sue Dyson! The United States Eventing Association (USEA) is pleased to announce that Dr. Dyson will be the keynote speaker at the 2022 USEA Annual Meeting & Convention in Savannah, GA this December 7-11.