Friday, May. 24, 2024

Our Best Of 2014

As 2015 looms on the horizon, we took a look back at the most popular stories on in 2014, from tack malfunctions to sage advice to controversial debates, we published it all and thousands of you read and shared the stories...

Who Needs A Bridle?



As 2015 looms on the horizon, we took a look back at the most popular stories on in 2014, from tack malfunctions to sage advice to controversial debates, we published it all and thousands of you read and shared the stories…

Who Needs A Bridle?

How does a bridle FALL OFF mid-course? And, more importantly, how does a rider keep jumping and turn in a clean round with the bridle dangling off the horse’s face?

That’s what we found out when we called Gregory Wathelet and asked just how he turned in a clean round on Conrad de Hus after the horse’s bridle slipped off. “If he had gotten upset, it could have been really dangerous. He’s a really good horse, his mind is fantastic, but he’s quite sensitive, too, so I was very surprised and happy he stayed calm with the bridle.” 

The story went viral around the world, with more than 3,500 shares on Facebook.

Yesterday, I Didn’t Know About Equine Jock Straps

When a photo of Katharina Offel competing at the Gucci Paris Masters showed an unusual piece of equipment on her horse, we got in touch to find out what it was. The answer was both unique and informative!

Readers seemed to think so, too, as the post went all over the world with fun Facebook comments like “Who knew?” and “Who gets to tack that critter up?”

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

Comments on social media can turn ugly pretty quickly, and when trainer Tom Brennan saw some derogatory Facebook comments on a photo a Chronicle reporter had posted of him, he decided to turn it into a teaching moment for his students. 

“It seemed like a good opportunity to show the kids how you persevere through other people’s bad behavior,” he said.

So, it was very fitting that a follow-up article about Brennan’s open-minded reaction went even more viral than the negative comments had. 


What Trainers Really Think

Jody Lynne Werner’s monthly columns for are hilarious, and her imaginary interpretation of what trainers might be thinking versus what they actually say got shared and laughed at quite a bit!

“It’s all right, everybody has days like this.”
We can never come back here.

Throwback Thursday: Five Factors Make A Good Rider A Great Rider

George H. Morris’ words of wisdom are always timeless, and this column he wrote for the magazine in 2005 certainly resonated with readers. It got traction all through the year as it was shared over and over again even after we first brought it back into the spotlight in January as one of our Throwback Thursday posts. 

“As a child, I was always timid on a horse; stiff, and with limited talent. But I was obsessed with success and loved to work. Whenever I accomplished something, I had to accomplish something higher. And it wasn’t easy for me.”


USEF Censures And Fines Torano Over Facebook Post

After the inaugural Pre-Green Incentive Championship, Don Stewart voiced an opinion in a Facebook post, and Jimmy Torano clicked “like.” 

Little did they know, but both Stewart and Torano, who judged the class, would get letters from the U.S. Equestrian Federation in response to their Facebook activities. 

“Whatever happened to freedom of speech? There’s no freedom of speech if you can’t say how you feel. We’re trying to do what we can to make the sport better,” Torano said. 

Dressing Up For A Good Cause


I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to click on a photo of Rodrigo Pessoa dressed up as Katy Perry? The photo galleries of costume classes at the fall indoor shows are always a big hit, but this one from the Charity Pro-Am competition at the Longines L.A. Masters Grand Slam really got some views.


The 2014 Medal Finals Commentary

It’s not riveting reading; it’s not even really a story. But the rider-by-rider account of the Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals is a perennial favorite with readers every year, getting huge hits. 

Penalized For Patting

When one U.S. Equestrian Federation judge sparked an online conversation about whether some judges were penalizing equitation riders for patting their horses, opinions flew back and forth. We talked to some industry mainstays about their thoughts on the topic and got some interesting debate. 

Horse Show Photographers Are Facing A Crisis

It was in 2011 that horse show photographer Shawn McMillen (who sadly passed away in the fall of 2013) wrote this column for the Chronicle. It addresses the growing problem of copyright violation and the theft of digital images.

The article has become a touchstone for photographers in trying to explain the problem to their customers, and it is linked too frequently. Despite being originally published in the summer of 2011, it has been in the top 10 articles by hits on the Chronicle’s website in 2013 and 2014. 


Stay tuned tomorrow for some of the Chronicle staff’s best photos from 2014, and on Wednesday we’ll share some of our favorite behind-the-scenes moments from our jobs interviewing and writing about competitions from Pony Finals to World Cup Finals.