The Plantation Field Horse Trials fallout continues. In case you're not up on the drama, recently it was announced that the Plantation Field Horse Trials would no longer be running after their international event last weekend. Here is why:
Here is the Eventing Nation article: The Problem With 'Plantation'
An article from the New York Times: Estate's Racially Divisive Name Threatens Future of Premier Equestrian Event
The shockwave went around the eventing community several times. People are pointing fingers in every direction. Some on the side of the owner, others calling the owner immature for refusing to "just change the name." A few upper level pros have spoken out, but the majority of them have stayed silent, at least publicly.
Now, the latest development is that Boyd Martin has made a post asking Eventing Nation to not mention him in their articles, or post pictures of him.
Again, the comment section is going crazy with people siding with Boyd, and others making it known that they're going to unfollow him immediately.
The thing is, Cuyler Walker is a private land owner. All these people bashing him with their sense of entitlement to HIS land are wrong. I have seen a few people making a comparison to the Kentucky event being changed from Rolex Kentucky to Land Rover Kentucky. That is not even close in comparison. The Kentucky Horse Park is owned by THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY aka in no way, shape or form, a private party. It is also staffed by a number of full time state employees.
You're also talking about actual legal contracts and sponsorship. That is not the same as a private land owner leasing some of their land. These two situations could not be more opposite. So the people that can't understand that, well, good luck to you. There's really no getting through to them.
Cuyler Walker can do whatever he wants and feel however he wants about HIS private land. It doesn't matter how mad or "woke" you are. It's a fact. There is family history in the reason that piece of property is named Plantation Field. It has to do with a Boy Scout project 80 years ago. Clearly that name has significance to his family. Who is everyone else to tell him it's unacceptable? Who are they to tell him his family's reason is invalid because of their feelings? Their being those that don't own that land and have no say in what happens to it.
While there have been some articles from POC that say that the name bothers them, there are also articles out there from POC saying it doesn't bother them and they are pissed that a great event has been taken from them.
What about all the upper level pros that still competed last weekend? What do those of you that are so pissed about what this private land owner is doing with his own land have to say about that? Are you still going to support them? Even though they still went and competed at a venue with this awful name? And don't use the excuse of qualifying competitions, or that they already paid their entry fees. What's more important to you? If they really cared, wouldn't they have just not went? But I bet that most of you will still be finding yourselves taking lessons and clinics with these individuals. Because that's what you do, you post on social media to be cool and trendy but won't back it up with action when it comes down to it.
Anyone that has that big of a problem better not be caught in lessons, clinics, or boarding with those that continued to compete at Plantation last weekend. Or, if that is you, I'd love to know why you will continue to support them. Maybe because it was a personal decision that was their own? Guess what, so is Cuyler Walker's personal decision to do whatever he wants with his personal property. Also, what about their silence? Isn't silence compliance? Aren't you pissed they're not speaking up like you think they should?
Though not for the same reason, do you all remember with Longwood shut their doors to the public? They got absolutely roasted all over the internet. Why? Because so many people felt entitled to use their land. Guess what? Private property that doesn't need your business or money. I don't understand why people feel so entitled to others' property. Get over yourselves. That was quite a while ago, and guess what, Longwood is doing just fine, Joe Watkins certainly didn't lose any sleep over it.
If you don't like the name, you could have just not went. It's pretty easy. You don't like the name, don't enter events there.
Guess what? I work with victims of some of the most horrifying and personally violating crimes you could possibly imagine. That is no exaggeration. These victims have endured the type of things that your worst nightmares are made up of. Some of them have taken their lives over it. Almost all of them know the name of the offender or offenders that comitted these acts against them. Do they protest and throw a huge fit to have that name stricken from existence? They sure don't. Do they avoid every speaking to anyone with the same name of their offender? No, they don't, or none that I have worked with have, there may be some that do avoid people with the same name.
I'm not trying to minimize the hurt or offense that some are caused by the word Plantation but, where is the line?