Today is a special day in our society and in equestrian sports as well. Showjumping is one of the few sports in the world that both women and men compete together and on equal terms on the ring.
For too long, women have been seen as the fragile sex, yet their endless examples of strength, courage, resilience and greatness have been overlooked by a predominant male society. More importantly, the fact that they take on many roles.
Most modern women work at least two jobs, one at work and another shift at home. A lot of them are the breadwinners in their families, single parents who work from dawn to late at night. Some of them, three shifts, two jobs and at home. Not only for the reasons mentioned above, we can definitely say that the state of our society lies on their shoulders.
To be quite honest, having celebratory dates for any minorities or groups is still not enough to honor them. If they weren’t victims of an unfair society, we wouldn’t have to honor them once a year. Once a year is not good enough, every day through fairness and equality is more important than one day a year! Still, it is better to honor them under these circumstances, all in the hope that this date will remind and drive society into change.
Keeping all of this in mind, we decided to choose an equestrian who embodies the traits of these great women. And the honor goes to Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA), a trailblazer in the sport, with almost as many injuries as victories. A ten-time American Grand Prix Association Rider of the Year, she has beaten the odds several times in her life through perseverance. A twelve-hundred-pound horse falling on top of her couldn’t make her quit the sport back in 1992, neither have broken bones nor nerve damage that doctors said would probably cause her never to walk again. She overcame it all and is still strong at the top of the sport.
She is a great role model for women coming up in the sport, inspiring not only them, but all of us. A heart of a true champion who never gives up, never gives in.
May God bless all women!
Happy International Women’s Day!
Photo: © João Markun