- Fans of Secretariat finally got their wish granted. In 1999,
the USPS issued the official Secretariat stamp after a long campaign by the
great race horse’s supporters. He was the first Thoroughbred to have his own
official postage stamp.
- Cloning was still the stuff of sci-fi back in the late 90s.
However, a service called Clonaid announced it would be offering pet-cloning
services at $100,000 a pop in September of 1999. Of course, eventually cloning
of horses would become a reality, but at this time it was still pretty out
there. As we pointed out in the May 1999 issue, Clonaid was a service started
by the same guy who launched the Raelian Movement, which believed humans were
created in alien laboratories. Who knows? 35 years from now, we might be
laughing at ourselves for ever doubting that rock-solid truth.
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In the Pages of Horse Illustrated
1999 was a mixed bag for American show jumper McLain Ward. In the June issue, we included a news brief announcing that Ward, then 23, was the youngest rider to reach $1 million in Grand Prix show jumping earnings. The tides changed in the November issue, when we reported that Ward had been disqualified from the Aachen International Horse Show in Germany after his horse was allegedly found to have plastic pins in his tendon boots. Such pins would cause the horse pain if he hit a rail, constituting “illegal manipulation” under Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) rules. To this day, Ward denies any knowledge of the pins and has competed mostly without incident ever since, becoming one of America’s best international Grand Prix riders. Was Ward cheating, or was he framed by someone angry with his father, Barney, due to his involvement in the horse murders that had rocked the show jumping world? We’ll never know.
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