The Year in Horses: 2002

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    2002

    • The 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games were held in Jerez de la
      Frontera, Spain. This was the first year that reining was included in the
      competition, bringing the total number of sports to seven. If you’ve been following
      along at home, you will have already guessed that Germany was the top
      medal winner, with nine medals in total, four of them gold. However, the United
      States edged in on them, winning eight medals including team gold in eventing and reining. France tied Germany’s gold
      medal count and came in with seven total medals.
    • Matt Damon was quite a stud this year. He narrated the
      animated film Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron as the title character. The
      story followed the life of a young stallion who is captured by the U.S.
      Cavalry. Adventure ensues. Spirit was nominated for Best Animated Feature at
      the Academy Awards (the award was ultimately won by the highly acclaimed Spirited
      Away
      .)
    • A new USA Equestrian rule required ASTM/SEI approved helmets for all junior riders in hunter, jumper and hunt seat equitation for this year’s show season. The rule actually went into effect on December 1, 2001, effectively making it a 2002 competition season rule. The rule specified that the harness on the helmet must be properly adjusted and secured, and the clear, snap-off helmets were no longer acceptable. The US Eventing Association (formerly the U.S. Combined Training Association) also proposed a rule this year making approved helmets mandatory for all eventing competitors when jumping in competition.

    In the Pages of Horse Illustrated
    Before everyone and their brother had a blog, writers could express themselves in magazine columns. In January of 2002, we introduced longtime contributing writer Cindy Hale’s column, Life with Horses. Readers still enjoy Cindy’s adventures and observations of the horse world to this day, only now they don’t have to wait a month to read it. Go ahead, take a look.

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