This Week in Horses – April 18, 2014


Here’s the news you may have missed while you were shoveling late-season snow off the barn walkway this week.

  • Horse people are sooo dramatic, you guys. So says the Wall Street Journal. But don’t read their article. Read my response to it.
  • Four legs good, two legs better? A human outran a horse this week in a unique 10-mile race in the U.K. To be fair, the human in question is a seasoned marathoner while the horse is a five-year-old mixed-breed rescue. I say give him a few more years to grow and train, then demand a rematch.
  • An EHV-1 breakout has led to a voluntary lockdown of equines in Minnesota. Unfortunately, the Minnesota Horse Expo is set to begin next week, right around the same time the quarantine ends. Some of the horses scheduled to appear in clinics and demos will still be at the event, but the majority of the stalls will remain empty. Bummer.
  • Carriage horses. Everyone (except me) seems to have a strong opinion about them, but the strongest opinion of all comes from actor Liam Neeson. Neeson has a very particular set of skills, namely bringing up the carriage industry in strange places, like late-night talk show appearances. This week, he took to the opinion page of the New York Times to reiterate his pro-carriage stance. Mayor Bill deBlasio, who said that ending the city’s carriage industry was a top priority, has backed off a bit , but still says he’s going to get to work on it this year. 
    Carriage Horse
  • Speaking of horses in the big city, some of New York’s police horses are going to move into some sweet new digs in a ritzy apartment complex in Manhattan. It’s certainly not the fresh air and green grass most of us want for our horses, but for urban working horses, it is pretty swank. 
  • Zenyatta, Queen of All Racehorses, will be welcoming her 2014 foal soon. But the news out of her camp this week was that they’ve finally come up with a name for her 2013 colt. He is Ziconic, as in Iconic with a Z. Her 2012 colt is named Cozmic One, and in my opinion, the name Ziconic is an upgrade.
  • Robert Krulwich of NPR’s Radiolab wrote an interesting blog post about how members of different animal species identify each other. Included is an amusingly illustrated bit about how horses recognize each other’s voices. And did you know that parrots name themselves and identify each other by name? It’s pretty fascinating.
  • This isn’t the first time a young girl has been denied a horse and settled for a cow and made international news because of it, and it probably won’t be the last. But I like this article about young Georgia Auricht because of this quote from the young cow whisperer herself:

    “I get lots of orphaned baby poddy calves because otherwise they would just be donged on the head but we like to give them a life, and we like to show them.” 

  • Everything about this next story is fantastic. A bloodhound named Pa Kettle won the mayoral election in the town of Divide, Colo. Among his competitors were a horse and donkey, which is why I get to include this story in the horse-news roundup. Also throwing their hats in the ring: a hedgehog, a cat, several other dogs, and a wolf. Divide might be a little corrupt, as you have to literally buy your vote, for $1, but all proceeds go to charity. 
    Mayoral Candidates of Divide, Colo
  • I really enjoy blogging for you all here on HorseChannel, but sometimes you’ve just gotta move up in the world. That’s why I was thrilled to read that Queen Elizabeth is looking for a groom. The salary is £20,000 (approximately $33,600) and it includes “accommodation in the surroundings of Windsor Castle.” I think I have what it takes to shovel the royal manure. I’m polishing up my boots and my CV and I have a feeling I’m a shoo-in, so excuse me while I grab the beer and deploy the emergency slide outta the Horse Illustrated offices and into the world of British royalty.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone. I’m off to practice my curtsey.

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  1. Happy Easter!!
    I will have to come back and check out all the links. Thanks for keeping everyone up to date on the horsey new.

  2. Good luck on the grooming job!
    As for the UK race horse vs man that’s been going on for decades and it’s not the first time a human has won. We really are the ultimate long distance machines.

  3. There is an annual Man vs. Horse marathon in Wales which was allegedly started to settle a disagreement between a couple of pub patrons (naturally.) That one’s in June. The race that took place this week was shorter and just between one horse and one human.
    It’s an interesting concept, for sure. I imagine the results would vary considerably depending on the terrain and other conditions.

  4. like Liam Neesons view on the NYC horse carriage industry why mess with it, it all boils down to money and the investors wanting destroy land the horses live on


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