Due to my ingrained curmudgeonliness, along with an indifference to most events other than athletics, I’ve not seen a great deal of the Tokyo Olympics’ TV coverage.
Apart from video coverage of GB medal winners on daily news bulletins, the time I’ve spent viewing the tournament’s been minimal. That being said, the other day, while walking through dining room on my way upstairs, I did catch a cursory glance of a dressage event playing out in front of my mother, on BBC1.
The viewing of a horse dancing to a musical backdrop manifesting two thoughts within my erratic mind. Firstly, how absurd this equine choreography looked and secondly, could this event really be classed as a sport.
The first notion no doubt a frequent thought for thousands of individuals who catch sight of the event. The latter based on the fact human dancing isn’t classed as an olympic sport (I don’t think), so why on earth is this horsey Riverdance routine afforded that status?
Although at a loss to what was the original catalyst for someone informing a buddy “I’ve decided to train my horse to dance with synchronicity to a musical soundtrack….. Oh, and I’m going to call it dressage.”, I’d like to clarify I’m full of admiration for those creative and skilled enough to train an animal to master this event.
I’d envisage the person who invented it would’ve had some fearful ribbing when initially presenting his dressage blueprint to stunned onlookers. Upon hearing this epiphany, the horsey set’s eyebrows raising six inches above their heads, akin to a cartoon character.
Those present on that fateful day stopping off at the pub that night to announce “Old Fred’s really losing his mind, Bert……. You’d never believe his latest suggestion…… He’s only thinking about training Dobbin to dance in time to an Al Jolson record!…… The chuffing nutcase!”
Like many creatives with seminal ideas, old Fred becoming the towns laughing stock. His once friends now walking on the other side of the street upon spotting him; groups of kids taunting him for his eccentricity, along with his wife leaving him for the farmer who’d just inventing mobile scarecrows.
No, whichever creative mind dreamed up training horses to dance I salute you for following through with your equine dream, Spirited tenacity shown despite the undoubted ribbing which’d flown your way for suggesting such an absurd ‘sport’.
The event isn’t something that personally floats my boat, but that’s not the point. The fact you were unshakable in your resolve to bring this pastime to the masses (well, a few horsey types) is behaviour which, in my book, deserves kudos.
Admittedly, in my opinion, dressage isn’t a sport and as such is a curious inclusion in the olympic itinerary. But, hey, good luck to the riders, stable staff and the horses involved.
That being said, I can’t help but feel sorry for the competing horses . These equines oft uncomfortable looking gazes perhaps revealing an element of embarrassment at participating in this idiosyncratic clambake….. Who knows, if they could talk maybe they’d reveal “This sport is a right load of old pony!”