Voting ended on Jan 4th for this honors, otherwise I would have told everyone to shake a tail feather and vote, but supposedly today the USEF will announce the choice for Horse of the Year. And how cool is it that the finalists were not at all what I expected. Call me reverse snobbish, but I seriously just expected the usual round-up of showjumper and dressage warmbloods. Instead there is:
Aequus: A 19 -year-old Arabian stallion who is the winningnest Arabian horse in the Park division. And he's the only horse to have won the open and amateur park horse championship in the same year. Did I mention he did this at 19?!
Esteban: A 6-year-old Fresian stallion, winning in-hand and driving championships. He doesn't sound so exciting to me, but I love, love Fresians and would love to see them on more people's radars.
Free Willy: A 14-year-old Hackney pony. I love Hackneys. I think they could be way more versatile and should be used in breeding an athletic cross.
Sapphire: Okay, so here we have our requisite warmblood, but still she's a Belgian warmblood which isn't that well-known of a breed. (For seriously, is there a country that doesn't have a warmblood nowadays?)
Theodore O'Connor: Yay!!! Everyone knows my love for this Thoroughbred/Arabian/Shetland eventing pony. I can't wait to see him kick ass in the Olympics. He just has to go to the Olympics.
So, suffice it to say that I am pleasantly surprised that the world hasn't turned into a corporate machine that only turns out 17hh dutch warmbloods that people mount and win every time out. There are plenty of people bucking this trend, so to speak.