July 2020 - Editor's Notes
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 01 July 2020 17:11


As of mid-to-late June, show organizers had figured out how to implement the USEF safety protocols regarding the prevention of COVID-19 spread and found ways to get local government’s approval for their plans to get the competition season back on track. The first shows within my reach hadn’t happened before we went to press, so I can’t report on what people think about maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, not inviting spectators and other smart, common-sense safety procedures. Judging from online chatter, it seems enthusiasm far outweighs concerns.


The direction of our coverage redirected when George Floyd’s death and related Black Lives Matters protests spurred the horse world to take a hard look at inclusion and diversity in our sport. Our Be The Change feature shares a range of experiences, opinions and ideas on this subject.  


Perspectives range from that of Brianna Noble’s raised-fist ride in the May 29 downtown Oakland Black Lives Matter protests to show manager Dale Harvey’s reflections on the benefits of bringing inner city kids into the horse world. FEI dressage rider Genay Vaughn speaks eloquently on her own experiences and thoughts as a bi-racial African American rider. And we’ve included the USEF’s suggestions for further reading for those who want to better understand the issue of systemic racism and its far-reaching effects.

Like me.

I’m grateful to all who shared their views and especially to Shayna Simon, another bi-racial dressage professional. Shayna is among several local African American equestrians I’ve interviewed and written stories on over my many years with California Riding Magazine. I recall it occasionally crossing my mind to ask them if their skin color had impacted their experience in the sport.

I never did.

First, a basic rule of journalism is that you don’t include a subject’s skin color unless it’s relevant to the story. I must have felt that it wasn’t. Also, the question seemed too nosy, too personal, not my business.

Thanks to current events, I am coming to terms with the likelihood that I didn’t ask them because I assumed, in this day and age and in our sport, it couldn’t have made a difference. Surely, money is the only barrier to our sport, I’ve often thought. With her characteristic kindness, Shayna made a familiar statement that hit home. “A lot of people think racism doesn’t occur because they are not directly involved in it.”

Me, again. I’m certainly aware racism exists in broader society, but guilty of assuming it is not a big issue in our little corner of the world. Thanks to my young adult sons for reminding me regularly to “question my assumptions.” I will.

An editor is a finder, teller and sharer of stories. I’ll be looking for more stories like those of Brianna Noble and Compton Jr. Posse graduate Nathan Allan Williams-Bonner. By sharing what happens when horse people decide to “be the change we seek in the world” I hope to promote what’s possible in a way that inspires more action.

Big thanks to Kelly Artz and her Entrigue Consulting team, our cover sponsors. They’ve been moving equestrian sport and its stakeholders forward for several years and we enjoyed a glimpse of how they make that magic happen.

On to our August issue, which has an editorial focus on dressage and therapeutic products and services. As always, we welcome ideas, story suggestions and contributions.

Happy reading and happy, safe showing and enjoying your horses!


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Available for Adoption: Snowflake

Snowflake is an approximately 5 yr old Appaloosa/Quarter cross mare up for adoption at FalconRidge Equine Rescue in Valley Center, CA. She is petite at 13.2 hands high and a very pretty steel grey. She is halterbroke only and looking for a loving home who will continue her training and handling. Kind and willing, she is flashy and sweet. Looking for a loving home to continue her learning and future training under saddle. Sweet and pretty girl. Healthy and sound, her adoption fee is $400. See Snowflake on our adoption page of the website at www.falconridgerescue.org and follow the instructions to set up an appointment.