If there’s one universal truth to 2020, it’s that no individual will escape this year unscathed. Between the pandemic and the political unrest, social distancing and social justice, the great pause and the new normal, 2020 has been a 365 day extreme endurance race through at times truly harrowing conditions. And it has given us no shortage of “growth opportunities” along the way.

To recap the year that was, we asked horsemen and women from all spectrums of the industry to write a holiday letter to the year 2020. This is the first one, courtesy of sports personality Adam Cromarty.

Dear 2020,

I felt I must write to you. If nothing else it will take up some of the free time I now have thanks to your incredible sense of humor.

It seems just yesterday when we were waving goodbye to your predecessor; the year that brought us paper straws, Greta Thunberg and over $1 billion in fundraising to restore Notre Dame, whilst people were still living under bridges just streets away.

You seemed to arrive with such positivity. I was sure you were going to be the year I finally got six-pack abs and launched my modeling career. Even after I sobered up, I was optimistic there were great things in store for you and I.

Looking back now, I see you lulled me into a false sense of security. You and I started with a lovely trip to a show in Mexico, before landing in the U.S. From there though, it started to go downhill.

First, I found out that non-equestrian sport production companies have no place within our industry (who knew). Then everyone started to wear masks, which was a sign to me that it was probably time to get back home to the UK. (After a quick stop at Universal Studios—they have a new Harry Potter attraction).

Then in March, I had the strangest conversation with my passport. He demanded a bit of annual leave! Come to think of it, I haven’t seen him since. He was last spotted lounging in the drawer surrounded by some rather fit looking foreign currency.

Because of you most of us had to stay home and learn why we never became teachers, courtesy of a few months of “home schooling.” This wasn’t enough for you though, was it? It seems like you wanted to play this out like that day at the White House when they release all the sketchy stories at once to stop the press from paying too much mind to any one of them.

Along came Black Lives Matter. It was a wake up call for most of us in the UK who were surprisingly ignorant that racism was still rife. I feel so naïve for thinking that a global pandemic may have actually brought the world together, then I remembered about you and the strange brand of humor you have.

Instead, on home soil, it was time to focus on Brexit and getting away from Europe. We only like those countries for cheap holidays and wouldn’t want to have any sense of community—that would be ridiculous. It turns out though, taking horses out of the UK to Europe is a nightmare. If only the country had thought about that when voting!

Just in case you’re wondering, we haven’t forgotten about the bush fires that killed over a billion animals. Or the time Trump almost caused World War III in Iran, then decided COVID-19 would go away on its own. Don’t even get me started on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Your most recent prank though, the Coronavirus mutation on the heels of vaccine approvals, well, that was beyond the pale even for you.

There’s only one thing for it, 2020. You need to sit on the naughty step until 2021 arrives. Clear out your desk, we are done. I’ve used the line “It’s not you, it’s me” many times in my life but on this occasion, it’s definitely you. You are deplorable, idiotic, careless and a killer. To ensure we never forget that, we can just shorten it to DICK!

Whilst you are thinking about what you’ve done, let me tell you what we’ve learned from you.

Firstly, we always knew that equestrians could think on our feet (especially those that sell horses). But you’ve shown us just how good we are at adapting. If you had told me in January that I would own a tack and equestrian fashion store by year’s end, I would have laughed! I never thought I’d have time to be coaching and organizing shows on home soil. I’ve done more virtual events than I thought possible and found ways to stay in touch with my friends around the world.

And we’ll continue to evolve and find new ways to prosper. Horse people are a resilient breed and you’ve reminded us just how. Like little Cindy Lou and the Who’s of Whoville in the final scenes of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, we’ll continue on—stronger in solidarity not in spite of you, but because of you.

So, while you may think you’ve won, 2020, you never can. You’re in the departure lounge, and we are waiting in arrivals for 2021.

I’m guessing that you’ll probably end up throwing this letter away, so if anyone else but 2020 is reading this, from my family to yours, I hope you have a great holiday season and I wish you all the best for the forthcoming year.

Adam Cromarty