My dearest WEF, where art thou? Long time no talk. I miss your sweet, sweet sounds of golf carts whizzing through the barns at a death-defying rate and your inadequate parking that I will never fail to complain about but return to year after year. I miss that delicious (but overpriced) lemonade from the vendor by the South Ring. Dare I say I even miss Pony Island?
My bank account disagrees, but I can’t wait to see you oh-so-soon! January 9, to be exact, is when we’ll be reunited again. Until then, I can only pine for your sulfury water and your grumpy gate guy who always asks for my parking pass even though the office doesn’t have it ready yet.
But, a girl can plan ahead and that’s exactly what I’ll do.
What to Pack
Here’s the deal: I’m an amateur, and for me, part of the fun in horse showing is spending my money on products that definitely won’t make me ride better but will absolutely help me look the part while walking around the showgrounds. You can’t hate me for it.
Hydrating Spritzes and Mists
For some reason, I’ve decided that hydrating sprays have become my new “thing”, probably because I look like a drowned rat after I come out of the show ring. The two I’m loving right now are the Essential Helmet Spray ($14) – which I received in my September NF.edit box – and the After Sun Cooling Spray ($15), both by Equestrian Wellness. All natural, light, and easy to stash in a tack trunk or ring bag.
Leopard Chelsea Boots
Rain boots have never looked so cute! Florida weather is unpredictable, and rather than slog through the muck in some clunky boot, these Rockingham Waterproof Chelsea Boots by Joules offer a chic alternative. A steal at only $55, these booties can be paired with breeches and jeans alike. Leopard print is the neutral your closet needs, after all.
Dior who? This elegant take on the saddle bag by Pravins Sellier can effortlessly take you from that confusing winter to spring transition that WEF occupies. At $445, the Shetland Handbag is more affordable than it’s Dior cousin, too.
Who and What to Watch
Though the schedule at WEF and the level of competition it draws is pretty consistent from year to year, there are certain riders who have proved themselves to be a cut above the rest this year and are coming into WEF red hot.
Duh! After their winning show jumping performance at last month’s World Equestrian Games, McLain Ward, Adrienne Sternlicht, Laura Kraut, and Devin Ryan are rolling into WEF with all of the confidence in the world. Literally. Because they just won team gold.
Beezie Madden and Breitling LS
We’re always watching Beezie, because she’s, ya know, Beezie. But this pair has had quite the banner year starting with a victory in the FEI World Cup™ Finals, and, most recently, winning the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ at the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). Could they go even bigger in 2019? We shall see.
This young lady has been making headlines in the pony ring from a young age, but in 2018 Augusta proved she’s growing up. With a fifth place finish in the 2018 Dover USEF National Medal Finals, the title of high scoring junior rider at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and champion honors in the Large Junior Hunters at WIHS, Augusta reminded us all that she’s no one-trick pony.
Of course, there is so much more to see, do, and pack, but how could I possibly condense 12 weeks of nonstop action with some of the best and brightest riders and horses into one article? No matter. Get out your suitcases and pack your trunks – it’s time we start looking ahead to what sunny south Florida has to offer!
Graphics by Alli Addison.
Written by Kate Kosnoff
Kate Kosnoff is an equestrian journalist, blogger and photographer. When she isn’t working, Kate can usually be found sipping green tea, scrolling through Twitter, or petting her horses—sometimes a combination of the three. She is based in Indiana and can often be spotted in jumper rings across the Midwest and Florida aboard her strawberry roan, Waffle.