International Women’s Day: Celebrating the Equestrian

March 8 is designated annually as a day to recognize the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We’re taking a moment to spotlight female equestrians at all levels and niches of our industry.

Equestrian - Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2014 - D'ornano Stadium, Normandy, France - 27/8/14 Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro on the way to winning gold in the Dressage Grand Prix Special FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst / Pool Pic Livepic

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro on the way to winning gold in the Dressage Grand Prix Special
FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst / Pool Pic Livepic

The following slideshows, released today by the FEI and the United States Equestrian Federation, spotlight female equestrians in all disciplines: the headliners, the medal winners, the record-setters, odds-defiers and champions showing the world that on the back of a horse, truly anything is possible:

International Women’s DayProud to have so many strong, inspirational women in equestrian sport going head to head with the guys every day of the week! #InternationalWomensDay #GirlPower #ThisGirlCan #RoadToRio The Olympic Games #IWD2016

Posted by Fédération Equestre Internationale on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 International Women’s Day USEFHappy International Women’s Day! We are proud that equestrian is one of the only sports where women compete against men as equals. Who is your favorite female equestrian athlete?

Posted by United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) on Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Perhaps you recognized your favorite female equestrian athlete among the many represented in the above slideshows! We’re proud as equestrians that men and women compete equally across the board in our sport, regardless of discipline — the only Olympic-level sport to boast such a statistic.

But there’s a lot more to the equestrian industry than just these top riders in the world — and while we’re not seeking to take anything away from them (like, let’s be real — I’m never going to rein like Mandy McCutcheon and I’ll never jump like Beezie Madden, more power to you ladies) we feel that it’s time to celebrate ALL women in the horse world.

Let’s take a moment and think about the women working at all levels of the equestrian industry: the instructors; the coaches; breeders; trainers; grooms; exercise riders.

The list goes on: veterinarians; farriers; chiropractors; saddlers; equine shippers.

We should also remember the designers who styled this year’s hunt coat or horsemanship top; the small business owner who designs and sells her own custom fly bonnets or grooming tools; the equine authors who inspire us; the equine artists who recreate our beloved horse in film, painting or sculpture.

The horse industry is far larger than it might appear when you’re watching a flawless dressage test or clear round over cross-country. I’m lucky enough as managing editor of Horse Nation to work with some of the funniest, most creative and dedicated female equestrians I’ve ever met, and while our corner of the horse world might not be the cornerstone of equestrian sport, we’re so happy to count ourselves as part of this industry.

On this International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate all women in the equestrian world, at all levels of the sport, working in the spotlight or behind the scenes.

Go riding!

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