This Week in Horses – December 12, 2014

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Happy Friday, everyone! Here’s what you may have missed in horse-world happenings this week.

  • Helmets in barrel racing. A Facebook-fueled rumor stated that the AQHA had passed a rule making helmets mandatory for youth riders. But nope. There’s no such rule change in the works.
  • A Mini Horse could help you ace your finals, if you go to the University of Minnesota – Duluth. A pair of trained therapy Minis (and one dog) visited the campus last week to help students de-stress at the end of the semester.
  • Random piece of feel-good news from Texas. An 8-year-old girl asked her friends to donate money to a local horse rescue instead of buying her presents for her recent birthday. She raised $300 for the rescue. Well done!
  • More than four years ago, 73 Morgan horses along with dozens of cats and a few dogs were removed from a farm in Erie County, New York due to neglectful conditions. The case has been volleying around the court system ever since. Farm owner Beth Hoskins was convicted of 52 counts of animal cruelty last year, but she might finally end up in jail because she’s violated the conditions of her probation, according to this news report.

  • What was going on there at 0:21-0:24?
  • December means year-end parties and awards and general merriment. The United States Equestrian Federation this week announced that para-equestrian star Sydney Collier is Junior Equestrian of the Year and Judy Werner of the American Saddlebred Horse Association would be honored with a lifetime achievement award. Congrats!
  • Charlotte Dujardin is one of 10 athletes up for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year title. She’s the first dressage rider to be nominated. The overall winner will be determined by votes from the public and announced on Sunday. Go Charlotte!
  • In 2013, actor Zooey Deschanel leased a horse named Literati, and now Literati’s owner is claiming that Deschanel returned the horse “injured and unusable.” Mainstream celeb media keeps reporting that she “broke” the horse, which, in equestrian parlance is usually a service other people pay you for, not something you get sued over.

    I’m going to editorialize for a quick sec. According to USEF show results, Literati was shown extensively throughout 2013 by several different riders. Deschanel only rode him at one show, in August. At a show two months later, he was ridden by two other riders in a total of six classes, so apparently he wasn’t unusable then. I can’t piece together how, exactly, Deschanel could be blamed for whatever condition he ended up in.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend!

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