Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s what’s been going on in the horse world this week.
- A pony walks into a police station. That’s pretty much the whole story, but it’s caught on security video and I find it quite amusing. According to an article from the Mirror, the horse was safely returned to his paddock.
- Bill Gates was in the horse news not once, but twice this week. First, he bought Jenny Craig’s Rancho Santa Fe ranch where she at one time raised racehorses. Gates’ daughter, Jennifer, is a competitive show jumper who competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, home of our second Bill Gates story. Apparently the Gates’ Wellington equestrian facility (because why just have one farm when you can have ALL OF THEM) is racking up $250/day in fines because their manure bin is too close to a pond. To be fair, I’m sure Bill himself has nothing to do with the farm management decisions, but you’d think his people would be on this stuff.
- Before there was Hickstead, there was Cagney, the first horse to bring Canadian rider Eric Lamaze to international success. Cagney passed away this week at the ripe old age of 34.
- More sad news: The Thoroughbred world lost a legend in Cigar this week. The 24-year-old stallion died during recovery from neck surgery for severe osteoarthritis. Cigar had been part of the Kentucky Horse Park’s Hall of Champions since 1999.
- Most of the discussion surrounding the closure of Suffolk Downs in the mainstream press has been about the resulting job losses. But many of the Thoroughbreds there are now unemployed, too. So New Englanders, if you’ve been thinking about adopting an OTTB, now would be a good time.
- The Daily Mail loves to post these photo compilations of Kaley Cuoco riding her horse, Thor. They keep mentioning her “exasperated” expression in this one, which isn’t fair. She’s probably squinting in the sun. Or MAYBE she’s annoyed that there are paparazzi hiding in the bushes every time she tries to enjoy a nice ride.
- We’re in the midst of the three-week All-American Quarter Horse Congress, which kicked off with a Quarter Horse parade through downtown Columbus. Some of the riders were local elected officials, including the mayor.
- The Christen O’Donnell Equestrian Safety Act is in the news again. This is proposed legislation that would require non-approved, “for apparel only” hunt caps to be clearly labeled as not safety gear. The act is named for a young girl in Connecticut who died in 1998 after falling off a horse while wearing a hunt cap. Her mother says she bought the hat thinking it was a protective helmet. This law seems like a no-brainer to me. It’s not asking shops or manufacturers to get rid of hunt caps, just label them more clearly. But it’s been introduced in the legislature three times without success. Seriously, who is against this?
- For the cost of just a few weeks’ worth of Bill Gates’ farm’s manure fines, you could afford the riding outfit proposed by this Town & Country slideshow. Because who needs money?
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