10 Things Only...Non-Eventers know about Eventers
Eventing is obviously the pinnacle of equestrian sport (says every eventing enthusiast around the world) but what do members of the other equestrian disciplines know about our eventing heroes?
1) Pure Dressage Riding is not a sport. It is a religion. Pure Dressage Riders worship at the altar that is called "C" by lowering their heads and bowing to their God who shall be sat in a shed. Their church is lined with golden sand and shall be festooned with flowers and little tiny trees marking the gateway to heaven. Pure Dressage Riders know that Eventers have no such place to worship and must make do with a nod in the general direction of a car parked at the bottom of a muddy field.
2) Pure Showjumping is not a sport. It is a way to flash off a thousand tiny diamante sequins, hand stitched in Taiwan to the back strap of a Pikeur G string. Pure Show Jumpers recognise each other by the length of their pony tail (especially the men). Showjumpers know that Event Riders have no such style and will be out in force as soon as the rain starts, wearing their country fashions. Showjumpers would never be seen dead in short boots and chaps, tweed coats or crash hats.
3) Pure Show Riders know that their classes are quite safe from Event Riders. Pure Show Classes are the equestrian equivalent of a Weight Watchers meeting because Pure Show Horses spend every hour of every day thinking about food, looking for food and mentally rehearsing thier "figures of ate". Pure Show Riders do not "do mud". They live for chalk. And hairspray. And even the odd bottle of "back to black". They know that Eventers never do Show Classes because they lack condition....and conditioner.
4) Pure Hunting is not a sport, it is a tradition. Pure Hunters know that Eventers are not the ones to follow out hunting. They can tell an Eventer at a hundred paces by the ridiculously tied stock, the crash cap silk (held on by boot tape) and the distinct whiff of rubber plaiting bands. They also know that "fackkkinnnnnnnng hell..." is not an Olde English hunting cry but the noise that a mid-flight Eventer makes when they see the ditch on the landing side of that 5ft hedge down at "Badgers Crack". They also know that "fackkkkinnnng hell..." is invariably followed by the sound "pffft BANG" .
5)Pure Long Distance Riding is not a sport. Its is a art form. Pure Long Distance Riders know that Thoroughbreds do not make good Long Distance horses. They know this because whilst Event Riders may start off in a cloud of dust, they are easily caught by the 10 mile marker. Often because of the need to stop for a pee every half an hour. They also know that Arabs are far superior to the Event Riders chosen breed. This is because chestnuts Arabs are interchangeable, and its harder to "ring" an Event horse when they come in so many different colours.
6) Pure Team Chasing is never pure. It is dirty. Very dirty. Pure Team Chasers know that Event Riders can be conned into almost anything. Team Chasers know that the term "approximately 3ft " means nothing to a Team Chase course designer. Team Chasers also know that when they say Intermediate they dont mean somewhere between Novice and Open, they really mean "abandon all hope....". Team Chasers rely on the gung-ho attitude of Event Riders to fill spaces in teams when the previous Team Chase member was lost, feared dead, somewhere around the course at the previous weeks event. Team Chasers know that Event Riders will believe them when they say "you dont need to walk the course, just tuck in behind Mad-Dog-Brown and you'll be fine"...
7) Happy Hackers rarely are. Fact. Happy Hackers have had a lifetime of disappointment. They know Event Riders dont hack because its a waste of time. Happy Hackers have to hack because they dont have sand schools and even if they did, they havent got thier horse out of 1st gear since 1980, let alone managed a serpentine. Happy Hackers hope that they never come across an Event Rider out hacking because if they do, chances are they are walking out after 6 weeks of box rest and Fluffy is terrified of Event horses, especially when they are leaping and plunging past him.
8) Carriage Drivers know that Event Riders horses cannot be passed unless safely contained inside a horsebox. Carriage Drivers also know that the closest the Event horse has come to being broken to harness was 5 years ago when some working pupil on National Minimum Wage (and a bed in an onsite caravan) was passed a double set of lungelines and told to "hang on" to Credence Clearwater Survival while speed walking up the yard driveway with a facefull of tail. Carriage Drivers know that Event Riders have never seen someone lane-skiing before... but their horse has.... in its rear view mirror.
9) Polo Riders know very little about eventing. Mainly because theyve taken one too many mallet blows to the pith helmet. But what they do know is that any sport that doesnt respect the safety of its knees more that it does its face isnt a sport they care to be a part of. Polo riders also despise equine hair of any sort, lycra clothing, black riding boots, bridles with only one set of reins and any belt that isnt plaited in the Argentinian way. The last time a Polo Player attended a 3 day event, they got forcibly ejected from the dressage arena after attempting to stamp down a sizeable divot that turned out to be Major Farquar-Smythes best ratter.
and finally....10) Racing is not a sport, it is a way to test out the law of averages. Jockeys know that Event Riders do occassionally apply to "ride out" for Sheikh Alegg McGloom. Jockeys know that these overly excited young Eventer types make for a good bit of sport and will generally leg them up onto the wildest horse on the yard. Jockeys know that having ridden an exracer, over a 3ft brush fence at 450m per minute makes the Event Rider a dead cert in the "first faller" sweepstakes. Never take a dare from a jockey. Especially when they havent dont your girth up properly....