Editor's note: The following monthly perspective was written by National Horseman's publisher, Allison Lambert, appearing in the Louisville 2017 issue.
Be strong. Be brave. Be kind.
By Allison Lambert
Louisville. It’s funny how the name of a single city has the power to evoke so many different emotions from all of us. Stress, exhaustion, nervousness, disappointment—yet, despite all the pressure, there is still an overwhelming sense of excitement deep down that prevails. So much excitement, in fact, that it outweighs all the negatives, giving us the boost of energy we need to fuel the amount of work and preparation it takes to get there each year. From practice rides and conditioning, to planning 100 outfits, organizing and packing, preparing for the World’s Championship Horse Show almost takes more work than the week itself.
As I recently prepared my daughter, Ava, for her first day of school, I handed her her lunch, kissed her on the forehead and said the same thing I’ve been saying to her every morning for the past four years: “Be strong. Be brave. Be kind.” All I can hope is that she exhibits those three character traits on a daily basis—the strength to overcome adversity, the bravery to conquer all fears and the type of kindness that leads by example. As long as we can remember to demonstrate those three things, there is no situation we can’t handle.
Getting caught up in the whirlwind of our own “Louisville journey” has a way of putting blinders on us. We get so consumed by our own agenda that we tend to lose sight of those around us who are experiencing a “Louisville journey” of their own. Those like Lily Kate Wilson, Ellie Brown, Kaitlin Walker and Kristi Pladgeman, who will be fulfilling their dreams and entering Freedom Hall for the very first time. Or those like Carolyn Hotes, who will be anxiously watching as the horse she rescued from slaughter and nursed back to health makes his Louisville debut with Merrill Murray. So as you approach the overwhelming week ahead, with eyes laser-focused on the goal at hand, be sure to take a moment to look to the right and left of you. Take a moment to realize that each person around you has a “Louisville journey” of their own. And when the bugle sounds the horn, above else, be brave, be strong, and be kind.