Impress all of your barn friends during your weekend rides by being on top of the latest horse-world news. Here’s what happened this week.
- Louisiana currently doesn’t have a state horse, but a bill in that state’s senate would bestow the honor upon the American Paint Horse. Why the Paint? Why not?
- A new Scottish landmark has been unveiled and lit up for the first time. “the Kelpies,” a pair of enormous horse-head sculptures, will be officially open to the public beginning April 17. They’re kind of strange, but I like ’em. Check out the photos here or watch a time-lapse video of their construction below.
- The United States Equestrian Federation announced that Chris Welton would take over as the new CEO in June after John Long retires. Welton has an extensive background on the business side of Olympic sport, but he’s a horse person, too. He rides western pleasure and his wife has a hunter/jumper background.
- Sad news. Actor Mickey Rooney passed away at age 93. His short stature and equestrian inclinations made him a natural choice to play jockeys. Among his most beloved roles were as the ex-jockey Mi Taylor in National Velvet and trainer Henry Dailey in the film and television adaptations of The Black Stallion.
- More sad news from The Fork Horse Trials in North Carolina last weekend. Powderhound, ridden by Andrew McConnon and Conair, ridden by Will Coleman, both collapsed and died during the competition. Exact causes of death are unknown. The Fork released brief statements to the press on their website.
- Let’s just finish out the sad-news trifecta. One of the horses to play Shadowfax in the Lord of the Rings movies, a gelding named Blanco, was euthanized this week after fighting a serious illness. His owner has set up a GoFundMe account in hopes of offsetting some of his veterinary expenses.
- Moving on from sad to weird, this year-old video of “horse yoga” has resurfaced and made the rounds this week. Allegedly the video comes from the Doma India School in Argentina, which uses yoga to heal horses in need. I mean, whatever works…
- Fashion is a funny thing. If you’d shown me a pair of Dubarrys five or six years ago, I probably would have shrugged my shoulders, like, “Meh, they’re okay I guess.” But I think I’ve been primed to covet these very expensive boots by seeing them (and their knockoffs) on top riders and average spectators at Rolex every year. Now I feel like I would suddenly become hip, stylish, and probably a better rider if only someone would just GIVE me a pair of Dubarrys. Well, if you feel the same way, now’s your chance to win your very own just by putting together a slammin’ outfit. Click here for details.
- Anyone who’s held employment as a barn worker probably won’t be surprised to learn the results of a survey by the British Grooms Association. To sum up the survey’s findings: Grooms are overworked, underpaid and often their employers aren’t operating within the confines of employment law. This survey was conducted in Great Britain, but I’m pretty sure it’s more or less the same situation here in the U.S. I could write a whole separate post discussing my feelings on the way entry-level employees are treated in the horse industry, but I’ll save it. Just go check out the results, also organized into a handy infographic if you prefer fewer words with your data.
- The PAST Act, which would strengthen the anti-soring Horse Protection Act, has been approved by a senate committee. Next up, it’ll be considered by the full Senate.
Have a great weekend, and don’t forget to make time for a trail ride. It will improve your life, guaranteed.
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