The “Rider” (oops Ryder) Cup Experience

Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Posted by Christy

My knowledge of golf is extremely limited. When the USDF called me asking if I could help them get riders and horses together for an opening ceremony at the RIDER cup, I assumed it was another horse related event. It was a few days later that I learned it was a huge, international golf tournament started by Samuel RYDER. This is one of those situations where you would wonder… how did those people get to do that?

The Ryder Cup is sort of a “Golf Olympics” where the players compete for their country. They do not get paid. It takes place every two years and alternates between Europe and the USA. As with any important opening ceremony, an event planner was hired. Jack Morton Worldwide was the company obtained to plan the activities and ceremonies for this Ryder Cup. It was the first time the tournament has been in Kentucky. Naturally, horses had to be somewhere in the mix. The man in charge was Ted Przybocki, senior Vice President of Jack Morton Worldwide. He has a good knowledge of horses and knew the most elegant discipline involving horses is dressage. Ted called the Kentucky Horse Park and USDF asking for help. In turn, I received a phone call asking if I would help organize the rider part.

First of all, finding six riders and six matching horses to represent dressage was not an easy task. The horses also had to be bomb proof. The riders had to be flexible with their time in order to attend all the practices. Top hats, shadbelly coats and full bridles were also required.

Oh yeah, and, it was the same week as our Regional 2 Championships.
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A special thanks to Barb Jarboe, for sharing this story, and to KDA Newsletter editor Anne Anderson for sending the photos. Check out other interesting articles written by KDA members at their website The Kentucky Dressage Association

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