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What Matters? Sportsmanship Matters.

“Sports do not build character, they reveal it.” – John Wooden
With so many cancelled horse shows this year and the uncertainty surrounding the others, we have gained a new appreciation for our horses, for our shows and for our fellow competitors. This new appreciation was on full display last week at the World’s Championship Horse Show and resulted in some amazing acts of sportsmanship.
“This year, the amount of camaraderie and support amongst all competitors seemed to be at an all-time high. I witnessed so many people experience true joy for others doing well. I saw this first hand myself and so many more times online and back at the barns for others as well. It seems to me we should carry this respect and love for our fellow competitors going forward. Yes, we would all love to win, but sometimes the joy of others can be shared amongst many. This is supposed to be fun after all,” longtime exhibitor Brooke Jacobs wrote in a Facebook post.
The goal of sportsmanship is not simply to win, but to be fair and generous in behavior and the treatment of others. It is about a commitment to learning and making improvements in ourselves while creating a deeper partnership with our horses and fellow competitors. This is something we should always remember and strive to achieve not only this year, but in future years as well.
In this especially difficult period where we have faced issues we never anticipated or could have prepared for, it has been heartening to see people meet these challenges with courage, grace and – especially – sportsmanship. This crisis will pass, and our community will be stronger as we remember what we’ve been through together.
Sportsmanship matters.

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