Today Tonight with Hamish Cargill

Today Tonight

It’s been a busy time in the eventing world. And with so much happening both here and overseas, it’s easy to miss the important stories. For this reason, I’ve decided to do some research for a change, finally supplying you with the in-depth reporting and analysis you’ve been craving all these years. Just like Today Tonight.

We lost Jeepster

There’s a special place in equine heaven reserved for champions like Jeepster. It’s a gated community patrolled by only the nicest yellow vest-wearing stewards. They’re charged with keeping the riff-raff of the horse world out (mainly just trotters), with entry restricted to eventers who have won a gold medal or a Four Star. This means Jeepster’s currently milling around in a lucerne paddock teaching the Spanish walk to the likes of Peppermint Grove, Sunburst and fellow recent arrival Supreme Rock.

And with not a cross-country fence, dressage saddle or jumping pole in sight, they’re all having a damn fine time of it.

   Natalie was on firing form at Warwick but had a litle slip up at Albury ... roll on Sydney

The Trans-Tasman team was picked

Don’t be too disappointed if you missed out – most of these riders experienced the same feeling when their horses went inconveniently lame before the Olympics last year. Spearheaded by Stuart Tinney and Megan Jones, the new selection panel (the prettiest we’ve ever had) has chosen an experienced team with the potential to trample all over Kiwi pride – particularly since all of these combinations dominated the Sydney course at the 2012 event.

It’s not all been smooth sailing though, with Billy Elliot and Algebra giving their riders some grief on the cross-country at Albury. This has given the Kiwis a glimmer of hope that’s about as small as the country itself – Tom Waterhouse will be in next to discuss their odds.

Badminton got herpes

This was a real sore point in the UK for a while. They’d only just recovered from the shock of Badminton being cancelled in the big wet of 2012 when news came through that a hunter in the Duke’s stable had contracted a bad case of herpes (there’s no truth to the rumour it came from a showjumper). Nasty stuff, and for a few weeks it looked like the 2013 event would be an unexpected casualty of the virus.

The crisis was soon averted however, as an army of veterinary types flooded the estate covered head-to-toe in their tailor-made tweed biohazard suits. After shooing the hunters away and dropping a couple of nuclear bombs around the place it was decided that the place was ready for the eventers to arrive.

The FEI made a sensible decision

I’m the first person to line up and kick the FEI. But in removing the requirement for us to drag our horses up and down a bumpy trot-up track at CIC events that have the showjumping before cross-country, they’ve made one of the most sensible decisions in modern eventing.  And for this they deserve a hug.

Then they got complicated

The new qualification rules came into effect at the start of the year. Three and a half months later, everyone outside FEI headquarters in Lausanne is still trying to work out what they mean. A complex mix between a Sudoku puzzle and cryptic crossword, the new benchmark for genius in IQ testing is being able to understand our qualification matrix.

That’s all we’ve got for you folks

Tune in next week for our investigation into dodgy equine chiropractors, bras that really do make you ride better and the new weight loss product that’s taking the horse world by storm.

See you somewhere out there.




FANTASTIC! Definitely made me giggle, looking forward to the next instalment