march madness 2017

March Madness 2017 FINAL: The Pie v Beauty


Three rounds, sixteen excellent competitors, and I bet some of you would have called this final match from the very beginning.

Here we go; poll will be open until midnight on Monday, April 10, EST. I expect it to be fiercely competitive and to go right down to the wire, so make sure you vote!

Final Match

The Pie


Black Beauty

Instead of the images I’ve been sharing, I thought I’d insert some clips from the movies that feature these famous fictional horses.
First up is a nice compilation of scenes from National Velvet in four minutes, but 0:46 starts the really memorable bit.

And here’s the very last scene of Black Beauty. If this clip doesn’t make you cry like a baby, well. I don’t even know.

Now that you’ve fortified yourself, it’s time to vote.
And having voted, make sure you enter the Rafflecopter one last time for your chance to win a custom quarter sheet (or saddle cover, or helmet cover, we’ll talk.)

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march madness 2017

March Madness 2017: Round 3, Match 2: The Black v Beauty


This is the worst – THE WORST – matchup in the entire contest so far. Brace yourselves.

Round 3, Match 2
The Black v Beauty

These two have an awful lot in common. They are both beloved literary horses who became really wonderful movies. They’re both black. They both have hard times. They’re both beloved of one boy.
They’re also different. The Black’s entire storyline is about being tamed only by that one boy; Beauty is constantly trying to please everyone.
Their origin stories are about a hundred years apart, and the messages of their stories are dramatically different. The Black is about adventure, passion, and exclusivity; Beauty is about the ways the world chews you up, and what that reveals about the people who go in and out of his life.
(You might also argue that the relative literary quality of their source material differs as well…)
Who will keep going?

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march madness 2017

March Madness 2017: Round 3, Match 1: Hidalgo v The Pie

Sorry for the hiatus; I have not been coping terribly well with life the last two weeks. I’ve been riding and reading and working hard on the house but my interfacing with the world has been suboptimal.


Back on the horse now, as it were, and we’ll finish out March Madness on the first week of April, which, whatever. It’s madness, right there in the title.

The giveaway will last through the next two rounds, and it will be for a custom quarter sheet: if you win, I’ll work with you on sizing, design, and colors. (If you live somewhere warm where you don’t need a quarter sheet, please know that a) I hate you and b) we’ll figure something else out like a saddle cover or garment bag or something.)


Round 3, Match 1

Hidalgo v The Pie

Well, both are racehorses, of a sort. They both have underdog stories. They both have big awesome movies, but that’s really where the similarities stop.
Will it be Hidalgo, the painted mustang pony who proved himself before the whole world and incidentally made Viggo Mortensen look smoking hot while galloping through a desert? I have to say, Hidalgo has been my sleeper surprise of this entire tournament. I never thought he’d make it this far.
OR will it be the Pie, who in the book version at least is also painted but somehow ended up chestnut for the movie even though his whole name is based around the idea that he’s piebald? Who carried Velvet Brown to her moment of glory, and was every girl’s dream of defying the odds with the horse she loved? Not incidentally, also my favorite Elizabeth Taylor role, and I do love me some Elizabeth Taylor. (Giant, you guys, if you haven’t seen it: god damn.)

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march madness 2017

Round 2, Match 4: The Black v Ashleigh’s Wonder

First, the winner of Round 2, Match 2: Hidalgo beat out Smoky.

Voting on Round 2, Match 3 is still going on, but it’s really not even close; sorry, Brego fans.

I am sorry to say, however, that we have reached what is without question the worst match we’ve faced so far.

Round 2, Match 4

The Black v Ashleigh’s Wonder

For those of you, like me, who are currently in an agony of indecision, voting will end at midnight EST on Saturday.

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march madness 2017

Round 2, Match 3: Beauty v Brego

Round 2, Match 1 has finished, and our winner is…the Pie!

Round 2, Match 2 is ongoing, and Smokey fans – you may want to help him rally!

Time for…

Round 2, Match 3

Beauty v. Brego

Ugh, I hate this match, but…it’s time.
Will it be the hero of one of the best horse books of all time?
Or the companion of one of the best literary heroes of all time?

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march madness 2017

Round 2, Match 2:

Round 2, Match 1, between the Pie and Flicka, is still going on until midnight tonight! Get your vote in!

Round 2, Match 2

Hidalgo v Smoky

Today’s match pits two Western icons against each other, one movie star v one literary star. Who will keep going, and who will go home? (If it’s Hidalgo, someone make sure his shoes get pulled before he’s let loose on the range this time, ok?)

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march madness 2017

Round 2, Match 1: The Pie v Flicka

Round 1 was really difficult. Let’s reflect for a moment on the horses who were left behind.

The Colt from Old Regret
Artax from The Neverending Story
Joey from War Horse
Sleipnir from Norse mythology
Pegasus from Greek mythology
Merrylegs from Black Beauty
Angus from Brave
The Flame from The Island Stallion

In the meantime, we have our first match of our second round.

Round 2, Match 1

The Pie v Flicka

Round 2 is going to be really hard, folks.
This first match pits two beloved literary horses against each other, and one of them has to go home.

Who will it be? When you’ve voted, make sure you enter the Rafflecopter for this round.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

march madness 2017

March Madness 2017 Round 1 Results

Round 1 is now complete!

Some of our battles were hard-fought; some of them were total blowouts.

One or two really surprised me, honestly. Some I’m kind of sad about. But that’s how it works, right?

Our biggest upset was #12 Smoky, who unseated #5 Sleipnir, but #10 Brego also beat out #7 Merrylegs. Just goes to show that nothing is guaranteed!

Here’s what our bracket will look like for Round 2.

Aaaaaaand, without further ado, the winner of our Round 1 drawing for a Riding Warehouse gift card + saddle pad is…

Erin O.!

Check your email, Erin – and if you have a blog, let me know so I can link to it!

Round 2 will start tomorrow, with the Pie facing off against Flicka. There are no easy matches in this round, and I’m honestly no longer sure who’s going to advance. Stay tuned!

march madness 2017

March Madness: Round 1, Match 8: Flame v Ashleigh’s Wonder

Round 1, Match 6 produced our closest race yet, but Brego just nudged out Merrylegs to advance.

Today, the last match of Round 1, and it’s a doozy. I honestly don’t know which one I’ll choose, personally.

Round 1, Match 8

Flame v Ashleigh’s Wonder

Two literary chestnuts…that’s about all they’ve got in common.
Flame is the Island Stallion, a counterpart and rival to the Black Stallion, has a completely incoherent backstory but is completely badass nonetheless. (Also, it continued incoherent – aliens? vampire bats? wtf?)
Ashleigh’s Wonder is the original star of the Thoroughbred series: raised by Ashleigh Griffin, she becomes a superlative racehorse and the foundation mare for the book series’ racing stars.
Flame in his secret island valley

Ashleigh and the foal Wonder
My heart can’t even take this, but one of these two redheads will stay home, and one will advance.
ALSO: it’s your very last chance to vote, share, and enter the Rafflecopter for the Round 1 prize, a $10 Riding Warehouse gift certificate + saddle pad.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

march madness 2017

March Madness: Round 1, Match 7

Okay, first: round 1, match 5 results: Beauty crushed Pegasus. I’m not terribly surprised!

I am a bit surprised, however, that round 1, match 6 between Brego and Merrylegs will come down to the wire. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you do so!

And now, on to…

Round 1, Match 7

The Black v Angus

Two hunky black horses for us today, but…not much in common other than that.
The Black is famously untamable, answerable only to Alec, a stallion who survived shipwreck and a deserted island and is the fastest horse of all time.
Angus is a brave, loyal Shire who carries Merida through danger; he has sass, but is ultimately obedient and trained.
Who will it be?
this picture never ever gets old: Alec and the Black

Jessica Chastain cosplaying Merida with a big Shire cosplaying as Angus

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