The Year in Horses: 2004

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    2004

    • The U.S.
      riders posted phenomenal results at this year’s Olympics in Athens. Chris Kappler earned individual show
      jumping silver, helping the U.S.
      win team gold. In eventing, Kim Severson and Winsome Adante took the silver
      with the team taking bronze. The U.S. dressage team also earned the
      bronze. Anky van Grunsven, this time riding Salinero, earned her second
      consecutive dressage gold while Germany
      won the team competition. The French team won eventing gold with Great Britain’s
      Leslie Law snagging the individual title. A young rider named Rodrigo Pessoa
      earned his first individual show jumping medal at Athens.

      2004 was the year the short format appeared for Olympic eventing. The change was inspired, at least in part, by threats to kick the sport out of the Olympics. Short format requires less space and time with the elimination of the steeplechase and roads and tracks segments of the endurance phase (now just plain old cross-country day.)

    • Viggo Mortensen starred in Hidalgo, a fictional story
      of a Pony Express courier and his pinto Mustang who travel across the globe to
      (spoiler alert) win a race across the Arabian desert.
      Hidalgo was
      played by five different registered American Paint Horses. Mortensen purchased
      one of those horses (real name: T.J.) after the end of filming. What’s not to
      love about that?
    2004 Helmet bling
    Click for larger image

    In the Pages of Horse Illustrated
    Bling in the hunter ring? Say it ain’t so! After the Euro-style (or skunk-style) helmets became popular, jumper riders felt the freedom from the traditional hunt cap style and decided to run with it. In 2004, we featured custom decoration for your new helmet, a fun new way to add color do show-ring-attire monotony. Rumor has it the trend leaked into the hunter ring for a time before the traditionalists put the kibosh on that. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted.

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