The Year in Horses: 1999



    • 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.
    McLain Ward tops $1 million McLain Ward disqualified
    Click for larger images

    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.

    1999 English equestrian fashion
    Click for larger image

    Was the last nail finally in the coffin of rust breeches? We thought so in our June 1999 issue, stating, “…you might see a scant number of stalwarts wearing rust breeches on the stock hunter circuit, these are way out.” We also suggested English riders ditch their lucky green coats, velvet collars and canary breeches. Fashion may seem a frivolous concern for the hunter ring, but the fickle trends are a glowing endorsement for the always-acceptable beige breeches and navy coat.

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