Our Best Of 2015

Dec 27, 2015 - 5:58 PM

As 2016 looms on the horizon, we took a look back at the most popular stories on www.coth.com in 2015. From funny looks at our quirks as horsepeople to unusual equipment choices and equipment malfunctions to breaking news, we published it all and thousands of you read and shared the stories…

#1 How To Date A Horse Girl

Jody Lynne Werner’s humor columns always get lots of clicks, but this hilarious (and apt!) look at what it’s like to date a woman devoted to her horses really struck a chord!

“Saying you own a hot sports car won’t excite us. But you’d have to really screw up to not get a second date if we find out you have a truck. Before we even buckle our seatbelt we’re giddily calculating how many fewer trips we’ll need to make to the feed store,” Werner wrote. #truth

“How To Date A Horse Girl” got views in the six figures and was shared almost 5,000 times on Facebook.

#2 Fleur De Lis Sticks A One-Leg Landing At Jersey Fresh

It’s a rider’s nightmare—their horse’s shoe getting stuck to the girth in mid-air over a fence! It happened to Tami Smith at the Jersey Fresh CCI** (N.J.) in May and our story—complete with photos and video of the incident—got quite a bit of attention. We asked Tami about the incident and found out a little bit more about Fleur de Lis.

All’s well that ends well, and this scary moment had a happy ending, but we’d bet lots of riders were double-checking their equipment to make sure they didn’t experience it too!

#3 Updated: Young Jumper Winner Asked To Leave The Hampton Classic

One of the Chronicle’s primary missions is to keep readers up to date with breaking news in the sport horse world. When we heard that officials at the Hampton Classic show had dismissed a competitor, we got on the phone with show officials and the USEF steward involved and got the full story behind the rumors.

#4 No, He Didn’t Forget His Bridle

Would you jump in a grand prix with the reins attached to a halter, not a bit? Kelly McKnight came up with a unique solution for Zan Chin’s sensitive mouth and our story about it was one of our most-read stories.

“The first time I showed up for a grand prix in a halter, people thought I was looney tunes,” McKnight said.

#5 Tori Colvin Shows Us What A 100 Hunter Score Looks Like

What does perfection look like? When you have a video of a round that scored a 100, you can see! We posted video of Tori Colvin’s handy hunter trip on Way Cool that scored that perfect number at the Upperville Horse Show (Va.) and people watched. And commented, with both criticism and admiration!

#6 Overheard In The Indoor

Blogger Lauren Sprieser put together a hilarious collection of the most-used phrases in her ring, with gems like “Don’t you want an amateur lady who gives you cookies? Then get a grip!”

And readers loved it. “LOL, I admit a couple of those have passed my lips!” and “I’m not alone!!! Thanks so much for the giggle!” they commented.

#7 “Kick!” Says Charlotte Dujardin

Any post with Charlotte Dujardin and the legendary Valegro gets lots of traffic, but this article about the wisdom Dujardin imparted in an Oregon clinic was one of our top 10 posts for the year.

Readers loved hearing about Dujardin’s approach and commented things like: “Thanks for posting this summary, I’ll most probably never get to one of her clinics so it’s great to learn from her like this.”and “Thanks so much for this recap! Wish I was there so I really appreciate hearing a little of what Charlotte said.”

#8 Updated: Debbie Stephens’ Show Jumping Horse Found Slaughtered In Florida

It was a story that shocked the country and shone a spotlight on a disturbing trend of illegal slaughterhouses in Florida.

As details emerged in the horrifying and as-yet unsolved case, readers shared the story.

#9 For Those Who Don’t “Get It”: A Non-Horse Addicts Guide To Understanding Horse Addicts—Part 1

Blogger Christiane Campbell put together a hysterically funny two-part guide for the non-horsey to understand the equine lovers in their life and readers fell in love with her witty and all-too-honest voice.

“Most barns are outside of normal cellular networks, so while you should not expect us to respond to calls or texts while we’re at the barn, you should expect to see on Instagram at least 12 bird’s-eye-view photos of our horse’s mane, at least 27 angles of our horse grazing at the end of a lead rope, and at least 15 shots of him lying in his stall, all with proper filtering and hashtags.”

Really, it’s required reading for any horse-lover’s family or friends. (And you can read the equally funny Part 2 as well!)

#10 Precious Cargo: The European Horses On The Way To Las Vegas For The FEI World Cup Finals

This photo gallery was an unprecedented peek into the life of the globe-hopping horses that compete across the world.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale put out these great images of horses like Valegro, Cornet d’Amour, Molly Malone and El Santo and their hard-working grooms on their way to Las Vegas for the World Cup Finals.

It’s a unique look behind the scenes of some of the top horses in the world.

Bonus Article: this one came in as #11 in our list, but it’s really a don’t-miss kind of read, so we thought we’d make sure you saw it…

Gallop

Blogger Kristin Carpenter has a knack for finding the words to describe our deepest emotions about our sport. In this post, after attending too many funerals, she talks about what he last wish would be: to gallop.

“We all have a speed that is the maximum of our comfort, and I would hit that, then I would kick on a bit more so that I hit the speed where a gallop changes from thundering hoof beats to a steady hum and, looking down at the flash of legs, you can hardly believe anything can go this fast without the axles breaking and the machinery all flying to bits. But the horse doesn’t fly to bits. You just fly.”

Read it. Trust us.

We’ll be posting more of our top stories from 2015 all week, with the best Behind Stall Door posts going up on Tuesday, some of the most-read Amateurs Like Us posts on Wednesday, a collection of top Throwback Thursday posts on Thursday, and some of our bloggers’ best entries on Friday.

In addition, we’ll post some of the Chronicle staff’s favorite photos on Tuesday and some of our staff’s favorite moments from the year on Wednesday. Don’t miss a day—follow along on www.coth.com and on our Facebook page!

Want to check out what our top stories of 2014 were? They involved a bridle falling off mid-course, dealing with online criticism, what trainers really think, equine jock straps  and more!

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