This is one of the great horse shows. I compare it to our old Madison Square Garden, Aachen, Dublin, White City years ago. Indoor shows have to have a “show”; without a show, they’re flat, and this show is far from flat.
This city is pristine for the horseworld, with a fresh audience ready to be introduced to top horse sport. CenturyLink Center is an absolutely world-class venue. Lisa Roskens (chairman of the Omaha Equestrian Foundation) and the organisers have done their homework. People couldn’t be nicer and horses come first; the stabling, the warm-up area, the footing, the horse-friendly ways to get to the ring. Alan Wade is one of the greatest course-builders of any era. There’s a horse atmosphere about this show and a people atmosphere.
I wish somehow this could make it onto the calendar as a big annual show. The venue hosts a yearly show already, but make it a big deal. This is a rare situation, in terms of everything about it.
In the dressage, everybody’s here with their “first” horses. In jumping, they don’t always bring their top horse. There are obviously some very good performances, and McLain Ward is at the top of the list. There are some very good European performances, but I was rather disappointed in our other American performances — McLain was the only American in the top 10.
What you put into something you get back, and it’s always exposed at championships.
That’s why I was always such a stickler with my kids in the “uncomfortable” riding without stirrups, jumping ditches and banks, schooling in the rain and mud, and dragging them to Spruce Meadows and Europe, where it was harder.
Young people today can’t count on a top horse and a top trainer to take you to the ingate — that’s not enough.
You have to do your basic homework, the deep work of riding.
Ref Horse & Hound; 7 April 2017