A photograph of the late Gen. Franklin “Fuddy” Wing Jr. inspires our columnist.
Needless to say, I couldn’t let this wonderful photo of Franklin Fearing “Fuddy” Wing Jr. and Democrat, nor the excellent article that accompanied the photos, “Democrat Jumped Into History,” (Jan. 2, p. 8), go unnoticed.
One’s first impression of this wonderful photo—Beezie Madden riding Judgement at the 2008 Spruce Meadows Masters (Alta.) in the $937,867 CN International—is of “spit and polish.” Both horse and rider are scrupulously clean and turned out in a traditional and conservative manner.
Even after a golden performance at the Olympic Games, our columnist warns that we must not become complacent.
Just after the Spruce Meadows Masters in mid-September, Signe Ostby and her husband, Scott Cook, hosted a lovely fundraiser dinner party for the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation at their home in Woodside, Calif.
About 50 people attended, lots of old friends and some new ones too—Jane Clark, Bonnie Jenkins, Mikey Murphy Hoag, Nonie Ramsey, and many others just to name a few.
No, certainly not everything was better back then. And I’m going back some 50-odd years. And yes, some things are better today. But it was a time of simple, perhaps more altruistic values. The real interest in the horse as an individual, the history of the sport and a real study of the sport as an art.
Bert de Nemethy was not only a horseman of the highest class, but also a gentleman of the highest class. Those were the days when a social order was in place.
I've maintained lifelong interest in the American hunter division because it's the base of our equestrian sports. Our hunter division has spawned riders (and even horses!) for the jumper, equitation, eventing, dressage, endurance and even driving divisions. Other countries have vaulting, dressage, jumping and foxhunting as their starting platforms, and we've always had the hunter division.
But now the hunter community must re-examine the classical principles of their division and get back on track. It won't take much to do it right.
ll I can say is, "Better late than never!" The concept of certifying riding instructors is long overdue and should have been addressed 50 years ago.
Every official at a horse show has a license--the judges, stewards and course designers. Why not the teachers and trainers? I can think of very few, if any, other legitimate sports where an instructor can "hang out his shingle" whenever he wants. And many countries in the rest of the world insist on certifying their riding in-structors via their federations.