Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Karen O'Connor and TEDDY!

The Rolex is one of the most challenging courses for athletes in the sport of Eventing. Eventing, is a three day event - an equine triathlon. First the Dressage round, then the cross country (jumps DON'T fall down) and finally the show jumping (jumps fall down). It's AMAZING. It takes place in Lexington, Kentucky. This year it was the 23rd to the 27th of April. This is the BEST of the BEST. An Olympic qualifying event.

I was just looking at the results...and pictures.

Frodo Baggins and Laine Ashker.

I learned that this horse named Frodo Baggins tripped on jump number five, went down injuring himself so badly that he had to be euthanized. His rider, Laine Ashker is in guarded condition. There was one other fatality this day, Sarah Hansel's horse "the Quiet Man" injured his shoulder that bad. Rider had minor injuries.

Frodo is interesting because this horse was actually the horse that the black rider was on in Lord of the Rings.

Could this be him? (photo from www.warofthering.net)

He was not only an extraordinary athlete, he was a very extraordinary horse. I'm not sure that there are many horses that can go from a career like that to eventing. Bombproof from all the movie equipment AND a show jumper? Not normal. From what I hear the horses that do this are like you know, a little or a lot CRAZY. The ones that no one can do anything with are the ones with the most talent.

I've been wanting to write a post about this since I got an email forwarded to me in reference to the danger in this sport. And what the USEF was doing to address it.

Those in the industry were questioned and most opinions were congruent. Cross Country is getting very dangerous. Course designers are including shorter lines with tighter turns and jumps that look like a semi trailer when you stand next to them. The logs you see them jumping in the photos are pretty much two REDWOODS next to each other. I shit you not. These days, you might as well bit Godzilla. Honestly I haven't read what these riders have to say about this, and I have never been to an event but I know that people die. Horses die. Mostly EVERY competition. My feelings are that its probably the most dangerous sport around but I also tingle with goosebumps when I watch and think of what the adrenalin is like - the hang time. They say its like flying.

I demand some virtual reality show jumping. uhm, I just trademarked that.

My deepest sympathies to the everyone. Everyone in the Eventing Industry. The loss of a gallant competitor is unfortunate. The loss of a partner is heartbreaking.

I will be interested to see what happens in reference to this in the future. Hopefully they can make the courses safer, yet still have the excitement and challenge that draws people to this sport. Respect.

**I have to ammend this. A girl named Lauren in Lexington commented in a Facebook group and said something so profound that my heart just dropped to the floor.

"Lainey is conscious but does not know about frodo right now. He mother thinks as we all do that it would upset her and impede her recovery. Until she is show major signs of improvement she wont know so if anyone sends her flowers or gifts please refrain from saying anything in regards to RIP Frodo or that you are sorry about his death."

He was HER horse. I didn't realize she owned him.

People posted videos and pictures of these accidents. I was scrolling down the page on Facebook and there were the pics- even at thumbnail size I shook. I DON'T want to see that!! WHO wants to see that?! STOOOoooOOOP. PLEASE.**

1 comment:

  1. I was standing about from you to your kitchen from Frodo Baggins when he fell at the flower basket.

    The Quiet Man died as well - didn't know if you knew that. You also didn't mention Darren Chiacchia's fall. On a 2* cross country course. And that something like 12 or 12 riders have been seriously injured this year in cross-country, which is that highest number since the 70's I believe.

    I'm just giving you more info :-).


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