Do As the Roman(ian)s Do


GM, partner. This is The Oxer. The newsletter that takes you out of your tack room and into the global equestrian industry.

🐴 Here’s what we’ve got for you today:

  • Who dun’ it first: Who the first horseback riders might’ve been.

  • I love college: Equestrian history made in the Ivy League.

What happened?!

  • A study published in Science Advances reveals that nine skeletons buried 4,500 to 5,000 years ago in Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary showed patterns of wear on their leg bones, spines, and pelvises that suggest they regularly rode horses, providing the earliest known evidence of horseback riding in the archaeological record.

  • Of the 217 skeletons examined, 24 showed some of these signs, with nine displaying at least four of the six criteria, marking them clearly as horse riders.

  • The researchers suggest the riders were part of the Yamnaya, cattle, and sheep herders who originated in southeastern Europe and are considered the world’s first nomads.

Our jump on the subject

Is it a coincidence that the start of horseback riding might’ve happened in a region where The Oxer was primarily written (Romania)?

What makes our sport special is that we are celebrating the animals that literally shaped human civilization. Think of it this way: without the horse, we would’ve had no transportation which means that we would’ve not had cities or supply chains.

Or even worse, we wouldn’t have endurance, hunter, or, of course, hunter-jumper.


What happened?!

  • Last week history was made in the Ivy League: Dartmouth was the first school to have a recruited equestrian athlete in its first-year class.

  • In addition, Dartmouth was the first Ivy school to join the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA).

  • The honorable student is Samantha Takacs. Go Samantha!

  • Takacs’ career is rich and full of wins, having won The National Horse Show and Pony Finals.

Our jump on the subject

While it might be surprising that Dartmouth is still the only college in the NCEA, college equestrian is, believe it or not, really, really little. According to the NCEA’s website, there are only 27 member schools.

Compare that to college football: the SEC (14 schools) and the ACC (15 schools), two conferences within the NCAA, alone have more schools than the entire NCEA.

Steps like an Ivy League school with extremely hard admissions recruiting an equestrian athlete can be seen as a step in building the sport.

Take your time to digest these stories and let us know what you think by replying.

Sit your trot,
The Oxer

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