Today, the skies over the Atlantic ocean are the scene of the world’s biggest airlift of horses in history. Approximately 450 European horses are on their way to the World Equestrian Games, which begin tomorrow in Kentucky. The horses are traveling in specially outfitted charter planes — which they reportedly prefer to riding in a trailer! Also making the journey to Kentucky? 19 Australian and 35 South American equine athletes.
This is the first time that the World Equestrian Games have been held outside of Europe. Consider that this event is the horse world’s equivalent of the Olympic Games and it becomes clear what an honor and privilege it is for the games to occur in the United States.
The World Equestrian Games attracts top notch competition. Competitors strive for top honors in several disciplines, including reining, endurance, dressage, eventing, jumping, para dressage, vaulting and driving. More than 900 riders and 1,300 horses will be participating. An estimated 600,000 people will attend the 16 day event.
Much like the Olympics, competitors at the World Equestrian Games are vying for medals. Gold for first place, silver for second, bronze for third. Historically, Germany has been the country to beat. They have 46 combined medals. (Compared to the US, which holds second place with 27 combined medals)
For most of us, competing at the world level is nothing more than a dream. As good as our horse may be, and as grand as our hopes are, we have to wistfully admit that the closest we’ll get to World Equestrian Games competition is the best seats money can buy — or, if you’re in Kentucky, watching the opening ceremonies on NBC Saturday night!
That doesn’t mean we can’t have our own gold and silver medals! Celebrate a personal triumph — your best performance in the show ring, for example, or making it through a rough quarter at work without strangling the boss — with a meaningful piece of gold or silver horse jewelry, such as these dressage horse pendants.