Should the names of people from a long time ago matter to me?

My instructor sometimes mentions names of people from a long time ago and looks at me funny when I don’t know who they are.
Is it important to know of these people?

BILL– Even if they don’t seem important to you, these people obviously seem important to your instructor.

I include myself among those who do think names from the past should matter. I’m not speaking of trivia here. It may be amusing to know who Frank Wills was or the name of the drummer in the Young Rascals, but ultimately, other than Mrs. Rascal, no one need particularly care. On the other hand, everyone should recognize names like Rosa Parks, George C. Marshall, Alan Turing, George Gershwin. You get the idea.

In the equestrian world there are some names that should be equally honored: in dressage—la Gueriniere, Steinbrecht, Fillis, Baucher, Podhajsky. More recently—Loerke, Schultheis, Rehbein. That’s just for starters.

In the jumping world, you have to start with Caprilli. And as I chronicled in an earlier blog, you can’t talk about American show jumping without knowing of Bert deNemethy.

Modern three day eventers should absolutely know of Jack LeGoff and Neil Ayer, without whom Eventing might never have gained such popularity in this country. In the videos I’ve been making, I try to share their stories.

I only know a little about the US Cavalry’s history, particularly in international competition. That’s an oversight on my part I need to correct.

Knowing these names and their stories is a little like studying genealogy. You may prefer to live in a bubble, but your life is richer if you know where you came from and how you got the way you are. That’s why your instructor wants you to recognize those people he refers to.

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