- The film adaptation of Nicholas Evan’s bestselling novel The Horse Whisperer is released this
year. It stars Robert Redford as the horse trainer. Kristin Scott
Thomas plays the mother of a teenager who was injured in a riding accident
involving a truck and an icy road. Her horse, Pilgrim, survived but was left
traumatized and unmanageable. The teenager was played by a young, up-and-coming
actor named Scarlett Johansson. The horse, Pilgrim, was played primarily by a
chestnut Quarter Horse named Hightower, though in the book he was described as
a bay Morgan. Hightower was reunited with his Black Beauty co-star, Docs Keepin
Time, who played the ill-fated Gulliver. The film earned two Golden Globe nominations,
including one for Best Motion Picture-Drama, and inspired a generation of
semi-qualified trainers to advertise themselves as “Horse
- The FEI World Equestrian Games were held this year in Rome, Italy.
They had originally been planned for Ireland, but the host country
backed out due to troubles financing the event. To no one’s surprise, Germany was the big winner yet again, taking 10
medals, four of them gold (France
was second in the medal count, winning five in total.)
- Reining becomes the sixth sport and first western
discipline governed by the United States Equestrian Team (USET). The USET was in charge managing the U.S.
involvement in international equestrian sport at that time.
- The American Horse Shows Association makes the decision to
leave its longtime urban headquarters in New York City
for the grassy fields of the Horse Captial of the World – Lexington, Kentucky.
Click for larger image
From the Pages of Horse Illustrated
In February 1998, we featured GaWaNi Pony Boy on the cover. Our readers weren’t impressed.
“Oh, please!” wrote reader Charlay Roddam. “Putting that Pony Boy on the cover of HI was too much. What will you have next, a hunk of the month? If he says he’s a trainer, why couldn’t we have seen him working with a client’s horse?”
We’ll get back to you on that Hunk of the Month column.
Go back to the Horse Illustrated 35th Anniversary main page.
I have always wanted to watch ‘The Horse Whisperer’ because both of those horses and their trainer lived in my town. I didn’t know about this until Hightower died. (It was in the newspaper, along with information and pictures about his movie roles.)as far as I know, Hightower’s trainer still lives here.