The Year in Horses: 2005

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    2005

    • Hunt caps begin their descent toward oblivion
      when the USEF finally requires all riders—yes, even those over age 18, and yes,
      even professionals—to wear helmets when jumping at recognized shows, including
      during schooling sessions. The rule took effect on December 1, 2005. This opens
      the door for all kinds of new innovations and styles in protective headgear,
      leading to the wide variety of helmets we have today.
    • There was a new sheriff in town for U.S. show jumping. After chef d’equipe Frank Chapot retired after a 24-year stint, the search was on for a suitable replacement. In stepped George Morris. Originally on the search committee, Morris withdrew so that he could throw his hat in the ring. A wise decision, as Morris was selected for the gig, and American show jumping has been better for it. He won’t be repeating Chapot’s nearly quarter-century stay in the job, though. Morris has announced that he’ll be retiring in 2013, so the search is on for the next great American show jumping coach.
    • Though the Beijing Olympics were still three years away, in 2005 it was decided that the equestrian events would be held in Hong Kong, quite a hike from China’s capital city. The reason? It was determined that there was no way to set up adequate quarantine for horses on China’s mainland.
    2005 HorseChannel ad

    In the Pages of Horse Illustrated
    In 2005, the once-celebrated World Wide Web had become a wasteland of abandoned Friendster profiles, broken dreams courtesy of Match.com and a sickening reminder of fortunes lost through misguided investment in Pets.com. And then, from the rubble rose HorseChannel.com, the website for horse lovers! It was a shining beacon of useful news and information; a place where admirers of the equine could enjoy fellowship with like-minded denizens of the Internet.

    The previous paragraph has a slight exaggeration or two, including the bit about the birth of HorseChannel. While we heralded its arrival in the October 2005 issue (click the thumbnail to the left to see the full-page announcement), it was pretty much just the same old HorseIllustrated.com until sometime in or around 2007 when it started to really become the website you know and love today.

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