Anyone else have a cursed event?

In the timeless words of Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious…but I am a little stitious.” :rofl:

I swear, when it comes to horses superstition sometimes starts to feel rational. There’s a horse trial at the end of April that I aimed for as my first major spring event in 2020 and 2021, and both years something bad happened two weeks before. On 4/16/20 my horse stepped on a nail on a trail ride and we missed the entire show season (though to be fair, I don’t think the late-April event even happened anyway because of Covid). On 4/13/21 I was riding a sales horse who tripped at the trot for no reason, flipped over, and landed on me, and I wasn’t able to ride again until July due to a broken ankle etc. This year I feel like I shouldn’t even leave the house that week in April!

I would like to enter that event because it’s a good early-season one but I am genuinely nervous that entering it will make something bad happen again. I know that’s dumb. Really, I know it is. The cursed event is a really good option for many reasons. But still I’m struggling with putting it on my calendar…

A couple friends have mentioned that they won’t enter certain events because bad things tend to happen there (through no fault of the course/venue) or just beforehand, so I guess I’m not the only one. Anyone on here have certain events they avoid out of superstition? Or maybe tales of beating the curse would be inspirational!

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A friend, who fence judges regularly, bought herself a smart new weatherproof hat. A horse had a very bad fall at her fence the very first time she wore it. “Do you think it is my new hat?” “Nah. We’re not superstitious”. At her next competition, wearing her new hat, another horse had a bad fall at her fence. “Do you think it is my hat?” “Nah. We’re not superstitious”. Yet another competition, some weeks and several events later, a horse had a very bad fall at her fence. “Do you think it is my hat? That makes three bad falls and things come in threes. I’m getting worried.” “Nah. Not superstitious - but do get rid of that hat.” Once hatless again, the rest of her season ran smoothly… But we are not superstitious!


I have one that I refuse to enter again after doing it 3 years in a row and getting a E, a 20+ fault stadium round then an RF the year after. 2 out of 3 I was sitting in the top 5 before SJ. What sealed it for me was the first two years it was my horse being a complete shit and stopping because he was spooking at stuff outside the ring but the 3rd year he was being PERFECT and I missed hard and he jumped me out of the tack. That’s when I said no more and decided that was not my show :rofl:


I competed at a venue in my teens where we:

  • withdrew because my horse acted up on a windy day, stepped on himself, and nicked his coronary band
  • went off course in SJ
  • fell off on a down bank (I still have back problems from that fall)
  • had a concussion while XC schooling

We did put in a few good events at that venue, but all of my Eventing faux pas happened to be there. 15 years later, I went back to compete at that venue as an adult, and I had my first re-rider fall on our stadium course. Can’t win ‘em all :joy::joy::joy:


I think I tried 2 or 3 times to enter a novice schooling horse trial with my last horse before I sold him. Every time the events were cancelled due to weather. I don’t think it was coincidence!

Absolutely. There is an event in GA that has bad juju for me. I’ve ridden there about 7 times, on 3 different horses at 3 different levels, all excellent, safe XC horses with great records everywhere else.

Horse 1 (prelim) uncharacteristic stop.
Horse 2 (CIC2*, now 3*) fast & clear XC but 5 (!) rails in SJ
Horse 2 (prelim) finished 2nd…but water jump was FROZEN and removed from course and half the entries scratched
Horse 2 (prelim/1*) dumb stop at the water
Horse 2 (intermediate) 2 falls at water (back in the day…)
Horse 2 (Advanced) from warmup, I watched my coach get stuck in fence 2, horse flipped over trying to get free, then I had to leave the box two horses later…I rode scared, had 2 stops by fence 10 and retired.
It was many years before I went back…

Horse 3 (surely I’m not cursed!) had a stop at prelim, his only stop ever at the level.

So…yeah. I don’t go back there anymore, no matter how well the event fits into my calendar. I have many friends who have super rides there amd love it, but I spend my entry money elsewhere!


You guys are making me feel a little better about being hesitant to enter this event!

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You guys are making me feel better about my rotten string of luck. I thought it just that I sucked – but I know some of you IRL, and you don’t suck! :laughing: After the last ten years I’ve all but completely written off a recognized event, just because things go pearshaped the second I send an entry in.

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The entire state of Michigan… I kid, I kid. There was a solid block of years through the aughts where it poured mercilessly. Flooded show grounds, stabling collapsing from the water on the roof, show cancellation after cancellation, non stop pulled shoes, stuck trailers - even the tractor pulling them out got stuck, a case of Potomac. That said, Revel Run looks beautiful and I’m giving the state another chance this year.

Not the event itself, but: My first horse died at an event, Friday 8/2 at the age of 22. I calculated that the year my current horse would be 22 yo, 8/2 will also fall on a Friday and likely be the opening day of the same event. Was not planning to attend, but it’s a moot point if we’re in VA then.

Of course, the same event was where my first horse threw a shoe at fence 2 or 3. I watched it fly, “should I pull up?” well, we will see how he goes. Made it all the way around just fine.

Mine is Young Riders Benefit HT in Area VII. I never had a good show there in the 6(?) times I competed there. Whether it was having to withdraw before XC due to girth galls, uncharacteristic stops on XC, or torrential downpour right before I go into stadium. It was cursed for me! Now I moved away and I’ll never tackle that demon haha oh well

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I’m sorry to say my trainers “bad events” don’t chalk up to some of the other stories but I’ll share anyway. Her horse could be a bit of a knucklehead during the SJ phase and was always a crowd pleaser at Waredaca. I’m not sure how it was that he was the only horse to see so many monsters there and none of the other did. But my trainer was bound and determined not to let him refuse, needless to say it was sometimes quite the rodeo getting him to the jump LOL. Hence the crowdpleaser comment. Haha

Not an event, but if something keeps happening under certain circumstances I take it as a sign from the universe. I used to move my horses to a different barn in the winter. First year my older horse was there his hind legs swelled up in the spring for no discernable reason. Second spring he broke the tip of a hind splint bone - it healed fine. Third spring he tore a meniscus in one stifle. That healed as well, though it took six months.

As each year’s injury was worse than the previous year, and the stifle could have been riding career ending, I took it as a message that “this is not the right place for you.” I haven’t been back.

Is that superstition?


I suspect it is good management.

Not a particular event but the horse I was leasing. I sent in entries for three recognized events that year and less than week before each one, the horse had something go wrong. Twice it was a mystery lameness and the third was a bug bite that threatened to turn into a fistula right where the saddle sits. He had this gaping hole in his back and luckily healed just fine. Of course they were all after closing day so no refunds.

I always said I had the “Catalpa Curse” regarding Catalpa Corner in IA. I went in 2009, fell off on XC at jump 2. The next time I went back was in 2018, fell off and got a concussion at jump 3. I wanted to finish on a number in 2019. I was riding starter at my horse and I’s first event. My stirrup leather broke after jump 4. I stopped, switched out my stirrup leather for my grab strap and finished! We went back in 2021 and did BN and had a great, drama free outing.


Catalpa for me also. Horse dodged out at jump 2 and dumped me, horse ran thru the “tall grass” which really was an 8’ ravine we ended up in.

Good news, guys! I made it through my cursed week (second week of April) with no horse or rider injuries! I even did a starter HT on the one-year anniversary of my crazy trotting-on-flat-ground rotational fall, and no one died, even when I got brave and jumped a bunch of the Modified options.

The cursed event is approaching but hopefully since I’ve survived that awful week, that means the curse is lifted… not giving up my superstition quite yet just in case though.


Make sure you wear your lucky underpants.

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Well, it was a little hit or miss due to an abscess that came to a head literally two days before the cursed event, but we did it! We actually had a fantastic day with my horse’s personal best dressage score (almost broke into the 20s…quite a feat for his short-striding, tense little self), clear stadium, and possibly the most fun XC round I’ve ever ridden.

I attempted Training last year for the first time and have struggled with proper pacing and jumping out of stride (I blame decades of upper-level dressage, which makes everything else feel fast and a little out of control). I think I’m finally figuring it out though and the course yesterday was a perfect galloping course to practice on and learn from. My XC riding was night and day from last fall.

Also, we went XC in a snaffle for the first time! When I bought this horse 3 years ago he was so strong that I couldn’t even jump him in a snaffle in an arena; even the seller and seller’s BNT were using fairly strong bits XC. When I tried to use a plain snaffle in a SJ lesson with Jimmy Wofford that year, he called him “a bit of an a-hole” and recommended a cherry roller bit. Now I feel like we’re actually partners instead of a know-it-all horse dragging a puny know-nothing human to every fence. :rofl: