I can scarcely believe it, darlings! Yes it is true – a horse has indeed won the Best Athlete title at the FEI Awards!
I refer, of course, to the delicious Totilas. Along with his jockey Edward Gal, the pair galloped away with the award, which was made at Taipei last week. Eddie could not be there as he was frantically searching for a replacement neddie, and Toto is a bit busy eyeing up several hundred of Paul Schockemöhle’s fillies.
This development is of great interest to us bloggers. Both myself and my dear friend and fellow blogging superstar The Carrot both commented on this anomaly a few weeks ago. Do you know, at last year’s awards, there was no Best Athlete title up for grabs? It was then Best Rider … a category which drivers - and horses – don’t really fit into.
According to the FEI Awards website, the Best Athlete is to be “Awarded to a rider, driver or vaulter who over the last year has shown exceptional sportsmanship and equestrian prowess and taken the sport to a new level. We are looking for nominations of top athletes from around the world who you feel deserve to be acknowledged, thanked and applauded. This is your opportunity to help us celebrate outstanding talent, fair play and team spirit. An inspirational figure from any discipline who you feel has been a role model to the global equestrian audience.”
You have to admit it does read as if only ‘humans’ can be nominated, but I’d like to think the campaign by moi and The Carrot had something to do with Totilas being recognised. (Oh, all right, it was a joint award with Eddie, but still …)
So the award’s name-change certainly paved the way for us to do this, and, no matter how it happened, a horse has become top dog, as it were.
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall when the nominations came in. Perhaps next year there will be a specific category for the equine.
After all, dear readers, none of us would be here if it were not for the horse.