Monday, November 7, 2011

World Loses Another Great

Tribute to a Champion

Today I learned of the terrible news of our Olympic Champion, Hickstead dying in Italy yesterday. I have to tell you it hit me like a tonne of bricks. Felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach.

Eric and Hickstead have kinda been my Equestrian Heroes for the past few years. An example for great come backs and how to achieve greatness. If you were to ask Eric who it was that most helped bring him out of the darkness, who carried him to glory, he would probably include Hickstead at the top of his list (I don't know Eric's spiritual beliefs, so I don't know if God would be factored in that list). I kinda suspect Eric might believe in more that just dumb luck that Hickstead ended up in his hands just when he needed him most. If you know anything of Eric's story, I'm sure there is a movie script out there waiting to be made.

Hickstead and Eric - Spruce Meadows 2008
WWRC Photography
I had the honour of watching them compete at Spruce Meadows in the summer of 2008. It was their last competition before the Olympic Games in Beijing, China that year where they went on to win individual Gold and Silver for the Canadian Team! I remember sitting on the sloped grass at Spruce Meadow in Calgary, Alberta in July of 2008, watching and photographing the competition. It was such a hot day and I got a good sunburn. I actually did not get many good shots of Eric and Hickstead, when it was their turn, as I was just wanting to "watch" them instead of looking through the viewfinder. I did get a couple good shots though.

This one photo I took, I think really captures the essence of the partnership they had. Its like they are both in the same state of mind. This photo was taken just before they started one of their rounds of the course. There was just this fraction of a second where they revealed their unison, their partnership, and their collaboration; they joined to become one. That is how they conquered the courses they jumped around the world. Eric and Hickstead went on to win the World Title after winning Gold in Beijing. Every great horse person will tell you that this kind of thing only happens once in a lifetime. This kind of horse only comes along once in a lifetime. My heart goes out to Eric and those who cared for and recognized Hickstead's greatness. This is a day of mourning. Not only has Canada lost a true champion, but the "horse world" too has lost one of the greatest we shall ever see.

Here is the article written in the National Post.

And another article written about Eric's show jumping story. It was written just before he made the National Team for the Beijing Olympics. Talk about turning your life around!

To my artists friends...sorry for the lack of art and art talk of my main passions is horses and I come by it honestly. Its in my genes. I have watched show jumping since I was a kid, watching with my Great Grandmother (1st woman race horse trainer in Canada) and Grandmother (horse trainer and lover) in their living room. It kinda rubbed off on me...

Quote of the Day:

"Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence". Tennessee Williams

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