We hustle to keep up with the newsworthy happenings of the horse industry, but it’s equally important to look back on moments from our history. The COTH staff takes full advantage of our archives dating back to the Chronicle’s first publication in 1937, so here’s the countdown of the top 10 Throwback Thursday posts for 2018.
The 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games (Spain) represented a dream come true for Peter Wylde. Not only was he chosen to represent the United States on the world stage for the second time in his career, but he also made it to the final four and took home a bronze individual medal. But the Games almost didn’t happen for Wylde and Fein Cera. (Bonus points for video.)
Molokai and Dorothy Trapp were the saving grace for the U.S. eventing team at the 1994 FEI World Equestrian Games (the Netherlands). This off-the-track Thoroughbred showed his true heart in the long-format eventing competition.
“I’ve been saying Mo is one of the best horses in the world, if not the best, and now he’s proved it,” Trapp said. (We’ve got video in this one too.)
Candi Powell Weddle was not going to let anything come between her and competing at the Washington International Horse Show (District of Columbia) in 1971, not even a broken arm…or two.
“In the photo my jacket is riding way up my arm because it kept catching on my bandages,” Weddle said. “I was in so much pain riding, but I was like, ‘I’m doing this.’ ”
Susan Kayne combined two of our readers’ favorite things: Thoroughbreds and colorful horses. Kayne reflected on one of her most cherished memories showing in West Palm Beach before Florida became an equestrian mecca.
“The horse in these photos is Casey Jones,” she said. “I was told that he was 7/8 Thoroughbred. That’s hard to imagine given his color, but his courageous heart was every bit that of a Thoroughbred.”
Grand prix rider Candice King showed not one, but two, multi-talented Appaloosas as a young rider. Chocolate Mousse and Sioux Bobby did everything from puissance classes to team penning.
“We couldn’t afford to keep my horses in training, so we’d work them on the cattle at home to keep them fit and quick on their feet,” King said. “So the whole time I was jumping these horses, they were coming home and working cattle in between these big horse shows.”
(Video from the 1984 Monterey National Horse Show [California] puissance.)
Before Georgina Bloomberg was sailing over grand prix jumps, she rode a junior hunter named Diplomacy, an inimitable Thoroughbred who taught her about being a horseman and standing by your partners. He died just this past December at the age of 30.
“I’ll never forget that the first time I laid eyes on him, he took my breath away. I knew at first sight that this horse was special and that my life was about to change with him in it,” Bloomberg said. “He was so incredibly beautiful.”
Laura Kraut’s first international jumper was a quirky Thoroughbred named Simba Run. He was challenging in just about every sense of the word, but without him Kraut said she would not be the rider she is today.
“He was so brave,” Kraut said. “I don’t think the whole time I rode him he ever stopped. You could come sideways to a fence, and he would hop over it. The only worry I ever had was the control. There were often times when I didn’t have a lot of control. But it didn’t matter—as long as I could get him in front of the jump, he was going to do his best to get over it.”
Joe Fargis and Touch Of Class are famous for many reasons. Their gold medal performance at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics is definitely one of them, but without the ingenuity and dedication of groom Noel Solomon that medal might have never happened.
Walter “Jimmy” Lee bought Sketiton after he proved too slow for the race track. He enjoyed success in the pre-green and open hunter divisions under Maryann Steiert Charles. When Sketition’s performance career was over, he returned to Lee, who preferred equine transportation to the ever-popular golf cart at shows.
“I’d get off him to adjust the jumps, and he’d just stand there,” said Lee. “I’d give him a bath and take him to a nice grassy place and drop the lead shank. I’d keep an eye on him, but he was so happy to be there grazing, he didn’t go anywhere.”
The best Throwback Thursday post of 2018 is a piece from our Oct. 15, 1978, issue that we re-published as part of our series on helmets and concussions. Clarke Cassidy Jr., a member of the advisory committee for the U.S. Pony Clubs, wrote this guest editorial regarding a photo of Caroline Treviranus suffering a serious head injury during the show jumping portion of the 1978 World Eventing Championships. The photo sparked controversy, and the letter is credited with helping to galvanize safety advocates within the USPC and eventing communities.
Check out all of our Best of 2018 posts, and make sure you follow @chronofhorse on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to get your fill of Throwback Thursdays and much more.