Monday, October 22, 2012

Notice to Eventing Fans: Top Ten Reasons to CHEER!

I love a Fair Hill hangover!  Especially when it doesn't include sore muscles from shivering all weekend!  My lips have the sting of Sun and crisp air.  My voice has a twinge of raspiness from hootin' and hollerin'! The one place on my chest where I forgot sunscreen is pleasantly pink and warm.  I might even be a little tired from the gluttony of mimosas, sangria, and Maker's Mark... or some combination thereof!  And I feel inspired to JUMP the big boy jumps!

Picture Perfect show jumping day

But I have a complaint about Fair Hill this year.  The crowd.  I've never seen a less enthusiastic crowd at Fair Hill.  What happened?  It wasn't cold and wet.  Your clapping hands weren't muffled by warm mittens.  Your lips weren't sealed shut by cold rain.  It was a glorious day, yet over and over again, standing among hundreds of people - I'm pretty sure I was the only one screaming in appreciation of a hell of a save or seriously good piece of riding!  At Rolex, even those who retire get a handy applause - "thanks for trying, good look to ya next time!"  Eventing fans of Fair Hill - what's wrong with you???  We were in Tailgating section C, and we had a landslide "win" of the cheering contest - while we gave out some good cheers, our competition  was well, mute, so it wasn't really a contest at all.  Sad, folks, really sad.  I told several people that the day I ride around Fair Hill - if I cross the finish line and haven't heard a single cheer along the way, I will cry.  

Just a few of our tailgater gang - the early morning Mimosa crew!

Along the I-95 corridor, where I spent many hours this weekend driving back and forth, I did some thinking.  And I've come up with the Top Ten Reasons to CHEER for our cross country horses and riders!  

10. The home field advantage is about the support of the crowd! Let our riders (and horses!) feel the love!

9. While self-congratulations goes a long way for an Eventer, "Yay for me!" starts feeling a little pathetic after about fence 3 - when you're riding AT FAIR HILL!

8. You have a beer and a funnel cake.  If you can't get excited about the horses, at least get excited about that!

7. Let's give Brian O'Connor a reason to say "And the crowd goes WILD!"

6. Has any (winning!) General led his troops into battle with the yell of "Charge!" followed by silence?  That guy lost the war.  Eventing is the ultimate test of Calvary courage.  Imagine the horse and rider on course is our General and we're his troops!  CHARGE! YAY!

5. It does matter.  The horses and riders do hear you.  

4. Could you have ridden it better than what that rider just did?  No?  THEN CHEER!

3. Bolder, Better, Faster, Stronger.  Seriously, this sport is AWESOME!  CHEER!

2. If Fair Hill is a final stepping stone for America's future Rolex, Badminton, Burghley... OLYMPIC... WEG... horses - lets prepare them for the CROWDS!!!  Think Allison Springer's Arthur, folks - give these horses a chance to learn what big time cross country crowds are all about!

And the #1 Reason to CHEER on cross country day is...
Don't let those Dressage queens and their red foam fingers make America believe they're bigger sports fans than Eventers!

Phillip Dutton on Fernhill Eagle - check out the helmet cam! Didn't he deserve a wild and crazy cheer?? 

Yes, I did a little shopping too!  The chevron is MINE!  Who says every girl wants diamonds?
(In photo: Kerry York & me )


  1. Amen Sistah! Amen! Woooooo Hooooo!!!!

  2. omg can we watch the footage from that helmet cam!?!?!?!?

  3. At the recent Region 3, USDF Regional Championships, I and my fellow competitor friends (most ex or current eventers) gutted out some very hearty cheering after a super nice dressage test...only to be told that we should basically tone it down! Imagine that! Me thinks it's time to return to Eventing. :)

  4. I asked Phillip about the helmet cam - apparently there was a technical glitch on both rides! it didn't record! but I'm sure they'll get the bugs worked out before Rolex?!