- 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
- 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.
|Click for larger image
In the Pages of
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.
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.