This Week in Horses – July 4, 2014


Happy Independence Day to our American readers, and happy Friday to everyone else! Here’s what’s been in the horse-world news this week.

  • The 1930s were not the good old days. This week we enjoyed looking back on a 1930 cigarette ad that preyed upon equestrian insecurity to market cigarettes as a weight-control agent (yikes.) We also read about a 1939 movie stunt in which a horse was pushed off a cliff into a river, survived the fall, but panicked and drowned. This led to the beginning of the American Humane Association’s oversight of animals in film.
    Horses in Advertising

    1930 Lucky Strike ad


  • Overweight-equine-turned-hero. I love this story. A horse named Murphy was initially rejected from the Portland, Oregon police force because he was 200 pounds overweight. Murphy dropped the extra weight, became a police horse, and last week he galloped six blocks after a suspect and, with rider Officer Cassandra Wells, kept the suspect cornered until backup arrived. Go Murphy!
  • William Fox-Pitt’s life story, via CNN. I was going to make fun of CNN for framing one of the world’s greatest living eventers as little more than Madonna’s former riding instructor, but this interview is actually pretty compelling. This article covers a wide range of topics, from eventing safety to the real-life soap opera that was Fox-Pitt’s first marriage. And yes, they mention Madonna.
    William Fox-Pitt

    William Fox-Pitt and Bay My Hero


  • Men like equestrians. At least the kind of men who want to cheat on their wives do. Not sure how to feel about this. Actually, I do know how to feel about this. I feel gross. Everything about this is gross. Some dating website that specializes in matching up people who are looking for extra-marital relationships (seriously) did a survey to find out what type of athletes men are most attracted to. Equestrians were number one, coming out ahead of surfers and beach volleyball players. Sorry, cheating dudes. Everyone knows equestrians only want stable relationships (badum-ching!)
  • We need more horse-friendly towns. That’s why I think some enterprising equestrian should scrape together the $399,000 to buy the entire town of Swett, South Dakota. “Entire town” is a bit misleading, as Swett is smaller than many horse farms. It spans all of six acres and is home to a single tavern, one house, and a few trailers. Still, if it was your town, you could ban cars and give horses right-of-way everywhere. You could play it up as an authentic old-west town and watch the tourist dollars start flowing in. Someone get on this.



That’s it for this week. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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  1. wish there were more horse friendly towns in this country it would be easier on the environment and no high gas prices


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