So in the latest sad, sad, SAD eventing story we now have a dead horse and rider at a competition in Florida, US. And as usual when these horror events happen it brings out the experts. Read the ones that know very little about the sport but now believe they know it all.
It also brings out the absolute worst in media. Cause which editor working according to the philosophy of “heart and pain” wouldn’t publish this story. The same editors also make sure to post their articles on-wards on Facebook to make sure they get most clicks for buck. In all we could just refer to it as click bait 101.
I have written about equestrian media before and obviously, till this date very little have changed.
Just as the daily press some of the mainstream equestrian media outlets thrive on anything scandalous. The highlight seems to be dead horses.
It doesn’t matter if the horse got hit by a car or collapsed while competing. It doesn’t even have to be related to the niche of equestrian sport their magazine actually cover. If a horse comes to a violent death they will report about it.
What really bugs me regarding these media outlets are their lack of responsibility and or loyalty to the sport that pay their bills. Some of us still remember life before Facebook. And during those days every single magazine had a comment section on their website. Then they started to nag about commentators being mean and more and more magazines removed these sections from their sites.
Then Facebook took over and suddenly comments are all back in fashion again. Cause that proves your company facebook page is thriving. Which means it will push through the algorithms of the network.
And as we all know by know Mark Zuckenberg doesn’t care that much about what people post. Neither do the editors of modern equestrian magazines. Cause on facebook people seem to be allowed to say whatever they want in relation to an article. Quite sickening really.
The things I’ve read about eventing the past couple of days hurt my eventing heart. A heart who always beat for horses and this amazing sport. But over the years I have unfortunately attended way too many press conferences regarding dead horses. And let me tell you this. Those events are horrible.
But the worst press conference up to date is still the one where us members of the press had to sit down and listen and TRY to take in what happened that Saturday in Germany back in 2014 when Benjamin Winter died.
So reading these wild comments on social media in relation to articles written by people that mostly see tops one or two eventing events a year is heart breaking.
Learn how to ride!
On the other hand. I am starting to find it more and more difficult to find arguments against those people who uses the equestrian magazines social media pages to spread their pure hate regarding eventing.
I have even bigger problem with the resurfaced Horse & Hound article from 2018 stating eventers need to learn how to fall! Come again what! Falling techniques are probably very useful in handball, football and such. In eventing I find it WAY MORE suitable to learn how to ride.
Let’s talk about it!
I said it so many times before the insane hunt for MERs have to stop! I was not in Florida the past weekend and I have no idea what really happened and I don’t know the rider and or the horse. In all I find it very hard to grasp something this bad happened once again.
But despite these feelings and emotions. When looking at the international results of the deceased combination they scream “high risk combination”. The scores speak for themselves and as I said. I didn’t know them.
However, I can easily connect similar scores to more than a handful local riders most people I know consider “high risk competitors”. Those facts really scares the hell out of me. And as stated before eventing safety is NOT rocket science, it’s more a state of mind and down to common sense.
If you hardly get round your national classes without riding the alternatives and or in the speed of showjumping YOU ARE NOT READY FOR INTERNATIONAL, PERIOD, EXCLAMATION POINT END OF STORY!
Even so, very few people dare to talk about or even breath “rider’s errors”. Considering what happened when yours truly wrote about Mr. Pinkney’s dangerous ride at Pau last year. I cannot blame them.
Myself was almost lynched for my article on the “look no reins” ride ending up in that massive palisade. This even after slamming down on the officials not doing their job WAY harder than I did on Pinkney himself.
New season ahead of us.
Even more importantly, let’s also hope 2020 will be the year when we admit to the outside world that frangible pins and MIMs are not the answer to our problems. And instead focus on hard core education over the lines and a WAY better qualification system on all levels.
Cause I for one am not interested to sit in on any more of those horror press conferences regarding sudden death. Deaths that may or may not have been prevented thanks to another mind set of riders, trainers, builders and other officials.