These past few weeks have been extremely busy for the horse world in general! If you are even remotely interested in horses at an international level then you are sure to have heard of the World Equestrian Games. The 2010 Games were held in our very own Lexington, Kentucky at the very same venue that Young Riders was only months before! I think that, for me personally, that was the most exciting moment; to see all the big names riding in the same sand Val and I stood in the very last week of July. Unfortunately due to all the expenses of Young Riders and Gladstone I knew that I was giving up the chance to go watch the Games. The medals went much in the way I had expected them to go, although I was devastated for Adelinde Cornelissen and her super mount Jerich Parzival when she was eliminated from the competition due to medical reasons. However with the events of today perhaps she was the lucky one for Team Netherlands after all.
My heart is breaking today for Edward Gal. There are not the proper words to describe how I feel when I watch Moorlands Totilas and him go. Totilas is one of the few horses in the world that I can look at and say with pride that he belongs to my sport; it is an honor to have shared a ring with him. All I know is that there are heavy hearts all over the world as we are witness to the end of a special journey. Totilas revitalized our sport. He was more than just a horse; he was a rock star. In the words of Edward Gal: “Totilas is a very special horse. He has an incredible amount of talent; it’s simply a pleasure to ride him. Totilas is everything a rider could want!” I am not sure that anyone else in the world could have brought out the talent and love this horse shows for every moment he is under saddle. Perhaps my favorite moment watching these two at WEG was that of their victory laps where Toto would canter around confident and happy in front of thousands of screaming fans and then walk out of the arena on the buckle. No one can say if they would have gone on to continuing winning, medals at the 2012 Olympics and so on because even horses not nearly as talented or willing are hard enough to keep sound. I do know that it brings me comfort to see that they are not trying to replace Edward as his rider and keep pushing him onwards with someone new. That kind of partnership is not something that is replaceable – and I have a lot of respect that they aren’t going to try. I hope that the Moorlands Stable holds to their promise to Edward to keep sending horses his way, and although no one will ever replace Totilas there is another horse out there who wants to have his own place in the sun.
And because transition in the sport is never easy I don’t have only one horse family in my prayers today, but two. Leslie Morse’s beautiful stallion Kingston lost his life on Monday. My heart is also with the army that kept this top horse going as well. Her story is so touching, beautiful, and sad that I could not do it justice.
The eighteen year old stallion had an acute attack of colic which was determined to be a twisted colon shortly after his daily morning trail ride, an activity he loved. In an attempt to get him in the trailer to the hospital he lied down in the driveway and could not be revived. “He only suffered one hour and as unbearable as it was I was so thankful I was here to be with him like always sharing everything together.” a heartbroken Leslie More told DressageDaily. “We put a pillow under him and hugged him and told as many stories as could as we sat with him. He passed away at his home “Kings Court” right next to his shoes that we had inlaid in the drive when we were building the property.”
There are so many things I can say about my very best friend.” Morse added. “I am so amazed about our years together. Kingston brought me dreams and introduced me to a new world, and filled my world with abundance.”
– Dressage Daily; Written by Mary Phelps Hathaway
It has been an extremely tough couple of months with the loss of so many greats but as always the world presses on. It is perhaps a time to look to the future and celebrate every moment that we have with our always-willing equine friends.
Today I took Val out for a gallop this morning. It was still early and shady as we walked out onto our hilly gallop track; that perfect time where the day is just starting to wake up and a chill is still in the air. Fall is my favorite time of the year to ride – there is just something perfect about it. I was filled with so much love for my animal and the world around me today as we just ran and I let the ground fly by beneath me. I could spend every morning like this one: just a girl and her horse enjoying being alive.
You never know how far you can go unless you run
– Penny Chenery