Neville Bardos is a very cool horse.
Actually, he was a pretty terrible racehorse. Australian Three-day Event rider Boyd Martin
bought him off the truck to the glue factory for $850.
Originally developed as horse trials for the military, three-day eventing combines dressage, cross-country and showjumping
to test horses' obedience, fitness and stamina. It's the triathlon of Olympic equestrian sport. By 2009, glue factory reject Neville Bardos was a good enough event horse to win the Fair Hill CCI***,
a United States Equestrian Federation championship event; in 2010 he placed fourth at Rolex Kentucky,
the pinnacle of the sport.
Then came the fire. [more inside]
Commonwealth, schmommonwealth. The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games are on.
Horse lovers the world over are enthralled by the high drama and hijinks in Lexington, Kentucky this week. Already there's been a controversial withdrawal following a travel-related mishap
(on the very same flight hilariously previewed here.
) In all the excitement, Eitan Beth-Halachmy, a "cowboy dressage" rider in the opening ceremony, seems to have burst a spleen.
As expected, the Dutch took the gold medal in Dressage despite one of their team being disqualified with a horse bleeding from the mouth.
Some point to training methods like rollkur, or hyperflexion,
saying they are cruel and abusive. The FEI has banned rollkur; former advocates say that what they do is not rollkur, but "LDR" (long, deep and round.) Look at the lawsuits fly!
In happier news, the gloriously named Nobby took the gold medal in the Endurance event.
"He could go another 100 miles today if you wanted him to," rider Maria Mercedes Alvarez Ponton said of the 15-year-old bay Arab gelding. Still to come, the equestrian triathlon: Eventing! [more inside]