The Year in Horses: 1996

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    1996

    • Prior to the start of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, animal welfare organizations
      and—rumor has it—then-FEI president Princess Anne were opposed to the Atlanta
      location as the heat and humidity could be dangerous for the horses competing
      in eventing. Nevertheless, the American equestrians enjoyed success on home
      turf, earning eventing team silver and individual bronze, dressage team bronze
      and show jumping team silver. Germany
      once again showed its Olympic equestrian immortality, taking home all the gold
      medals in dressage and show jumping. Australia’s
      team took eventing gold with New Zealand’s Blyth Tait earning individual
      bronze.
    • In Louisville, Kentucky, an American version of Germany’s
      Equitana took place at the same time as the Olympics. Equitana USA featured
      clinicians, demonstrations, and of course, shopping for horse owners and
      enthusiasts. The expo became an annual event for the next few years.
    • Also in Louisville, saddle seat went international for the
      first-ever Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup. This inaugural event drew teams of
      riders from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, South Africa and Namibia to
      compete on borrowed horses for team and individual medals. This event has been
      held biannually since then, with the U.S. and South Africa dominating the top
      two spots every year.
    • In January, the world of top-level hunter/jumper show horses
      was in the mainstream news for the worst possible reasons. Olympic hopeful (and
      heir to a cellular phone company fortune) George Lindemann Jr. and Marion
      Hulick, his barn manager were sentenced to 33 months and 21 months,
      respectively, for electrocuting a show horse and passing it off as colic to
      collect the $250,000 in insurance money. Later that year, trainer Barney Ward
      pled guilty of conspiracy to kill four horses and was sentenced to 33 months in
      prison. He is permanently banned from attending AHSA (now USEF) competitions,
      even as a spectator. Altogether, 35 people were convicted of fraud, obstruction
      of justice, extortion, racketeering and animal cruelty in relation to the
      deaths of between 50 and 100 horses.
    1996 Equestrian Fashion
    Click for larger image

    In the Pages of
    Horse Illustrated

    • Rust breeches? Still a-okay in 1996. Not only that, but you
      could pair them with a plaid hunt coat and wear them out on the town. In the
      ultimate 90s fashion endorsement, we pointed out that the character Elaine
      Bennes on hit sitcom Seinfeld was often seen sporting equestrian apparel. Click the image on the right to see the equestrian-on-the-street fashions that we featured in the March 1996 issue.
    • “The hottest place in the horse world right now
      doesn’t exist. Not really…it’s found in cyberspace, that intangible, real, but
      unreal world that people enter via computer.” This is how we marveled about the
      fantastic new online world in the April 1996 issue. OK, the Internet wasn’t all that new in 1996, but horse people aren’t exactly early adopters. We
      instructed readers on how to enter the online horse world via such cutting-edge
      services as America Online and CompuServe.

      A sidebar in this article listed several
      horse-related websites, not a one of which still exists today. This helped to
      kick off a short, monthly feature titled “Equines on the Web,” where we listed
      some of our favorite online equine destinations. Also in the April 1996
      article, we announced that we could now be contacted by email, which was then a
      single aol address. How about a Horse Illustrated website? Not yet. No need to
      rush into anything.

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