Showing in earnest kicked off in Wellington, Fla., with Week 1 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Jan. 9-13. Saturday night’s action was the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes, a three-phase competition pitting teams of opposite genders against each other. The teams had to contest a speed round, match race and six-bar competition. The men won the speed round, while the women won the match race, so the six-bar was the deciding factor.
Ever have a co-worker ask, “How was your race?” after a weekend of showing dressage? Does your non-horsey husband refer to your horse’s fly mask as a blindfold or scarf? You’re definitely not alone. Posters on the Chronicle’s online forums started an amusing thread sharing what their non-horsey significant others, family members and friends say about their hobby.
• My husband, in a very endearing voice, once asked me, “Do you know what I see when I watch you ride?” I prepared myself for some profoundly sweet response.
It’s not often that a speedboat pauses mid-cruise to allow its sunbathing occupants to watch a top-level grand prix, but that’s just what happened at the $100,000 Trump Invitational. But then again, it’s not every day that horses jump on the front lawn of Donald Trump’s magnificent estate Mar-A-Lago.
Over the previous four days, George H. Morris gave the 12 riders in the GHM Horsemastership Training Sessions plenty of tools. On the final day, they put those tools to work over a technical course.
Morris didn’t say much new in the final session; he simply reiterated the mantras he’d been repeating all week of connection, acceptance of the aids, and straightness. And as the course revealed the weak links in the riders’ mastery of these concepts, he corrected them.
One can never say that George H. Morris doesn’t lead by example. In each of the two groups working on the flat with no stirrups on Day 4 of the GHM Horsemastership Training Sessions, Morris himself put in a solid 20 minutes of no-stirrups work on one of the horses.
“Unfortunately, our sport doesn’t require correctness on the flat like dressage does. We worry about correctness over the jump but not between the jumps. As I get older, I’m more and more into what happens between the fences because it’s so important,” George H. Morris intoned on Day 3 of the George H. Morris Horsemastership Training Sessions in Wellington, Fla.
George H. Morris grew up in New Canaan, Conn. His mother, Alice Van Anden Frank Morris, lost her first husband in an automobile accident and then remarried to George’s father, Harry H. Morris, Jr.
So when George was born on Feb. 26, 1938, he joined older half-siblings Louise Mitchell Whitcomb, Eliot Whitney Mitchell and Joan Mitchell Norton. Louise got into horses first, putting one in the backyard.
“He was a renegade, a hot, roguey son of a gun,” George says.
Just one year younger than the Chronicle, he’s graced its pages countless times and been a subscriber for more than 60 years. In addition to his major milestones, find out about his acting career, lack of abilities with the microwave and when he listens to Lady Gaga. This article appeared in the 75th Anniversary Edition of The Chronicle of the Horse, the July 9, 2012 issue. Throughout January, we will feature some of the most popular articles that appeared in print in the Chronicle in 2012.