Greetings! I would like to introduce myself. I am THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoighill, and I have recently taken on the office of Kingdom Equestrian Officer of Æthelmearc. I live in Sunderoak, and have been in the SCA for about six years now. I am a lifelong horse(wo)man, having been sat up on a horse for the first time at about six months of age. I bought the first horse I owned myself at age eleven, and I never looked back. I have spent a (long!) lifetime training/retraining horses and riders, showing hunters, fox hunting, trail riding, riding sidesaddle, and, more recently, carriage driving, as well as dabbling briefly in a few other things, such as polo and endurance riding. I currently own two horses – both bays – an Arabian gelding, Cien, and his half sister, an Anglo-Arabian mare, Mouse, who is my usual SCA mount.I actually joined the SCA without even realizing that there was much in the way of equestrian going on. As it happens, I love fiber arts (especially weaving), making cheese, making soap, leatherwork, and wood carving. After listening for many years to people telling me that since I did all of these things, I really needed to join “this organization called the SCA”, I finally did so, and was delighted to find whole bunches of people who like the same things I do!
The equestrian program is going through some huge changes at present. We are holding experimental activities in the Kingdom, including wood lance jousting, mounted to ground combat, and now cut & thrust. I am hoping to see some growth in driving, as well as in mounted archery and driven archery. We are currently training several new marshals, and there are more riders showing an interest in becoming part of our group. I hope that I can keep the Æthelmearc equestrian program balanced and moving steadily ahead while I hold the reins. I would like to thank Mistress Gozen for all of her hard work and dedication to the program while she held the office. She’ll be a tough act to follow! But take heart, folks, she’s not going anywhere! Gozen will actually be taking on the job of Experimental Deputy, and she is in charge of the experimental activities that are happening in the Kingdom now. I would also like to welcome Lady Aaliz de Gant as Deputy KEO. She is officially in charge of keeping me on the straight and narrow, and I know she’ll do a wonderful job of that!
Meanwhile, there are equestrian practices going on throughout the Kingdom. Mistress Gozen is hosting practices at her farm. Sunderoak is sponsoring practices at my farm, and in Sylvan Glen, one of our new MIT’s, Lady Roana River of Sylvan Glen, is hosting practices with the very able assistance of Lady Alienor de Bathe. It’s really great to see that we now actually have enough practices going on that we have to schedule around each other to avoid conflicts.
The Æthelmearc Equestrian Championships will be held on the Fourth of July in Stormsport. We hope to welcome in- and out-of-kingdom riders to compete at the Championships. The King’s and Queen’s Champions, of course, will be chosen from among the Æthelmearc riders, but there will be an individual prize for the highest scoring horse and rider pair of the day, regardless of their citizenship.
Æthelwald Proving Grounds will once again showcase equestrian activities June 19-21 in Sunderoak, and there will be more equestrian events to come as the year rolls on.
We hope to see many of you at these events, and I would like to thank all of the local groups and individuals who are making these practices and events possible.
THL Meadhbh inghean ui Bhaoighill, Æthelmearc KEO