This Week in Horses — June 6, 2014


Here’s the horse-world news you may have missed while you were getting your nasal strips ready for Saturday.

  • Horse boarding. This is a sport in which a skateboarder is towed by a galloping horse. I suppose it’s something to do to keep your skijoring skills up in the off-season. Great Britain’s Daily Mail featured a story about a horse named Candy who was found abandoned in a muddy field, rescued and brought to World Horse Welfare, and now excels as a horse boarding competitor.


  • Do Horses Have Human Emotions? That’s the question posed by, and it’s sort of a poorly worded question. I mean, assuming we’re asking if horses and humans have the same kind of emotions, you could also turn that question around and ask if humans have equine emotions. But I digress. They talked to Buck Brannaman, Thoroughbred trainer Charlie LoPresti, and our friend Julie Goodnight to get an answer to this pressing issue.
  • It’s Almost Game Time. The 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy are closer than you might think. Just 78 days to go according to the little novelty countdown clock on my mantel. That means our elite equestrian athletes are working hard to qualify. This week, the Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship took place, and while the final team hasn’t been selected yet, they’ve narrowed it down to the long list.
    Rebecca Hart
    Rebecca Hart, shown here at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, won her sixth National Championship this week.


  • Pants. Really old pants. Older than your rust colored breeches. The remains of some nomadic herders in Central Asia, believed to be more than 3,000 years old, were discovered in western China, and they were clothed in the oldest known pairs of trousers. It is believed that this item of apparel was invented because riding horses in the then-traditional robes and tunics was just too uncomfortable.
  • Top Hats. Who even wears them anymore? British equestrian news magazine Horse and Hound asked the question, “Is it the end for the top hat in dressage?” Spoiler alert: Yes. Yes it is.
    Top Hat


  • Loan Your Quarter Horse. The AQHA has put out a call for loaner horses for the upcoming Youth World Cup. Got a good Quarter Horse who can be in Texas from July 3-13? They’re looking for 150 safe, experienced horses. 
  • The Belmont. Oh so much news about California Chrome this week as he prepares to contest the final leg of the Triple Crown:
    California Chrome
    • Earlier this week, I wrote about the human shoe company that has decided to sponsor California Chrome, and asked if they can sponsor a horse who can’t even wear their gear, why can’t they sponsor me?
    • Septuagenarian trainer Art Sherman is a popular figure in the press surrounding Chrome, but the Lexington Herald-Leader ran a piece on his son, Alan, who is actually responsible for much of the horse’s training.
    • If Chrome tries and fails to win the third leg of the Triple Crown, he’ll join a long list of horses who have done the same in the 36 years since the last winner. Note that this list doesn’t even include the horses who won two of the three legs other than the first two.
    • And if Chrome does win on Saturday, will it be the shot in the arm that Thoroughbred racing needs to gain fans and become relevant to average Americans once again? Curmudgeonly sports commentator Frank Deford will go ahead and answer that for you.


Have a great weekend, everyone. And go Chromie.

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