Many years ago I had a terrifying accident. I broke a ton of bones, was knocked senseless and had a horse land on top of me.
I was in a remote location, and it took a l o n g time for an ambulance to arrive. When they finally got there I didn’t know my name, my age or what day it was.
What I DID know was that I was riding my horse and when they asked me what I did for a living…. I replied with an emphatic, “I am an emergency medicine veterinarian!”
I didn’t know my name – but I knew what I did!
I ride horses.
I practice emergency medicine.
I’ve always defined myself by what I do.
I am Bad Eventer.
When I read through the last set of proposed rule changes by the FEI I had an immediate panic attack.
I wondered ……..if eventing becomes something I don’t want to do……………what’s next?
What becomes of Bad Eventer?
Is there something else?
Do I become Bad Fox Hunter? Bad Combined Driver? Bad Reiner?
How will I feel if the sport I’ve spent my retirement on, broken bones for, and in general had anxiety about for decades ceases to exist………………..
I think the sport itself is having an identity crisis.
From the all too frequent death announcements, followed rightfully by calls for change…… to things like the eventing showcase….. the sport seems to be struggling with direction.
As I read the FEI proposal to penalize breaking frangible pins (bad idea), penalize knocking down flags (Seriously????) decreasing penalties for run outs (Um….. WHAT?)……….all I could think was they are making XC more and more like show jumping and what exactly will be the point?
Will eventing one day be nothing but combined tests?
With the demand for vast tracks of land and horribly expensive fences, the ever increasing public awareness & backlash when things go wrong, and things like this last set of rule proposals from the FEI………. I suspect the answer to that is yes.
Eventing is having an identity crisis…………..
and so is Bad Eventer…………