Maybe we should be careful what we wish for in terms of mainstream media coverage of equestrian events…
Meet Jessica Springsteen:
As far as the lay equestrian goes, Jessica is one of us: sure, she might have some privilege and The Boss’s bankroll on her side to help fund the international equestrian lifestyle, but the girl works hard to be good at what she does and has been a lifelong horse lover.
These days, we can usually find her jet-setting all over the world on the Longines Global Champions Tour or spending a little time with polo hottie boyfriend Nic Roldan (#equestrianpowercouple if there ever was one). It’s easy to get a little envy over her lifestyle (the gal is Gucci’s equestrian ambassador, for heaven’s sake) but when equestrian sports are perhaps suffering from a lack of mainstream coverage and promotion, it’s great to have a little star power on our side.
Except, perhaps, this time. This time, we think maybe the media has gone a little too far the other way.
Over the weekend, a story from Daily Mail (a UK-based news/tabloid/gossip publication) went viral all over equestrian social media for all of the wrong reasons. The piece in question does star our homegirl Jessica Springsteen at the Athina Onassis Horse Show in St. Tropez… but for all of the wrong reasons.
Here are the actual facts, none of which were actually reported by gossip column:
- Springsteen was competing in the CSI5* Prix Julius Baer with Davendy S
- Springsteen retired on course
- The event was won by the formidable Frenchman Kevin Staut
- The highest-placed American was Laura Kraut on Whitney, who finished eighth
Here are the facts that were reported by above-mentioned gossip column:
- “The showjumper teamed her pristine shirt and trousers with a pair of black riding boots, gloves and a helmet.”
- “Jessica padded Davendy’s back with a brown leather saddle and a navy blue pad that she has used in previous horse trials.”
- “When she finished the competition, she unbuttoned her shirt, revealing a gold necklace underneath.”
Oh, my bad — these are clearly the facts that the public needs to know. As if equestrian sports already don’t have a hard enough time appealing to the masses, let’s spin them to be the leisure activities of the idle rich who view horses as accessories to be paired with gold necklaces and navy blue pads. What about the horses? What about the other competitors? What about Springsteen’s incredible partnership with Davendy S that’s taken them all over the globe?
Well, we got what we wanted, and it doesn’t look as good from this side, does it? Pro tip, friends: get your equestrian news from Horse Nation and sister sites Eventing Nation and Jumper Nation. We’ll leave the gossip columns and tabloids to speculate on brand names and accessories.