Guest Blog by Krista Kehoe, PC: Katie Karssen Photography
My first "guest blog". I have known Krista since my days as an infant eventer, back in the previous century. Really, in the century that started with 19. We did horse trials together in the corn fields of Iowa. I think once we were stabled in a barn out behind the silo and we did not have electricity. We did standing wraps by the headlights of our trucks.
I would stand on a mountain and applaud her thoughts if I had a mountain. But instead, I will copy and post her thoughts here.
An Amateur Eventer's Perspective, by Krista Kehoe.
I'm weighing in today as an amateur who has no aspirations to ride beyond Training Level. I'm nearing 50 and have been in love with horses for four decades. So I'm sharing my thoughts with fellow equestrians who -- like me -- might not feel compelled at first to bring LRK3DE (The 5 star Kentucky/USA event) into your own radar.
Why does it matter? Why donate?
And here's the thing: you'll know you're making a donation from a space of willingness when it feels good and not forced to do so. This isn't a plea or a guilt trip. It's just another view to consider.
I'm personally connected to riders at the upper levels. They have worked hard. I understand why they may be feeling "gutted" after hearing the likelihood of Land Rover's cancellation for 2021. Some of them have horses that have been in work for 2 years being "on the ready" for the next one. We all know that horses don't last forever. There isn't always a "next" year for that special partnership.
But that's not the only reason why I think it's valuable to contribute-- if we can-- to the support of this 5 star event on home turf (if you're in the US). I have a far more selfish reason...
Here's why I think it's well worth a financial contribution even if you can only spare the cost of one riding lesson:
As an amateur, my primary concerns are safety and fun. That means having a highly qualified instructor (yes...even after 40 years of riding) is a very high priority for me--and so many of you. I know you. I see you. We want to enjoy our horses but the quality of instruction received from a riding teacher--your trainer depends on what exposure they are able to maintain at the highest levels of this sport.
If professional riders can't access top events here in the US, they'll eventually leave. You can see the migration away from the Midwest to the East Coast/FL even now. It's hard to find qualified instructors here (There are some of you! Thank you for staying!!!).
But...if they (the professionals) don't have access to a 5 star event on home turf, it makes this sport and the safety of it even more elitist than it already is. (I concur--the sport requires that you have access to some means. I'm not here to argue whether a donation to this is more or less worthy than a donation to another cause. I'm just speaking to the worthiness of a donation in the mind of an amateur who is aware of WHY we have quality instructors within our time zone.)
I want these top riders to WANT to stay here--in the US or at least to spend time here. Because once they've migrated out of here, what do you think that will do to future access to excellent instruction?
It won't be available.
And once that happens...we, as amateurs aren't going to be enjoying this sport very much.
It's so worth it to make even a small investment--one lesson's worth is a big deal for so many of us. Maybe it will help keep another quality rider here in the US. Maybe you'll have access to that instruction. Perhaps it will continue to make safe riding a priority here.
Do we want quality instruction here in the US? If the answer is yes, we need to look at keeping top events on our home turf. It matters.
You can donate at the link I've shared below.
And if a donation isn't possible right now, that's totally understandable. There are a lot of people struggling right now. However, if you've got horses and you're an eventer and you have the money for lessons...think of the cost of having an instructor here on home turf versus not. It's worth considering.
Even If YOUR Instructor doesn't ride at this level--guess who they might be training with? Someone who does. This knowledge does get to us. This is a sport where we rub shoulders with top riders. Let's remember that fact!