Take a look back at the most popular stories on coth.com this year, featuring everything from news stories about unusual tack choices, to clinic reports, to an impactful piece that earned a shoutout in the New York Times. Here’s the countdown:
Shire enthusiast Tiffany Goldman started riding in her late 20s after being inspired by seeing a team of Shires up close. Goldman bought one Shire, but she quickly advanced to owning several, competing them in dressage and also standing stallions at stud.
“We always talk about being Shire Strong,” she said. “That’s our little thing we do. Anytime we need confidence or to get through anything tough, we get through it like the Shires because they do it with true grace and dignity.”
U.S. show jumper Andy Kocher is a character unto himself, so it was fitting that he made his World Cup Final debut on a horse with a story of its own.
No one would have guessed Navalo De Poheton would jump the top level so easily, least of all Kocher.
“I own him with three people. How funny is that? An $18,000 horse, and we have three owners,” Kocher said with a laugh. “It’s kind of a miracle, to be honest with you.”
Sinead Halpin reflected on how her life has changed (and hasn’t) since her appearance on the U.S. eventing team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, including all the highs and lows that come with a life dedicated to horses.
“For the past six months I have had to find a lot of ways of distracting myself from the constant gnawing at my soul to do everything humanly possible to find the next superstar or get more intense with the nice few youngsters in the barn or map my season from start to finish for each individual horse with key FEI competitions in mind,” she said. “I mean, I am an upper-level event rider. I have goals, and I’m already late getting to them, and I’m getting left behind. You see this is who I am … or is it?”
COTH was lucky to have several freelancers attend clinics with Charlotte Dujardin this year, but the most popular entry came from Natalie Voss, who captured the high points of the masterclass for those unable to reap the rewards of Dujardin’s wisdom in person.
The Washington International Horse Show (District of Columbia) is a special stop on the indoor circuit for riders across the country. One of those riders this year was Cali Karbler, who rode her Standardbred ex-pacer High Standards in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Jumper Championship. “Percy’s” unique way of going caught our eye, and his story captured readers’ hearts.
Pam Wangenheim-Hawkins got Cheval Noir after he’d been rescued from a pregnant mare urine facility in Canada. Now 18, “Chevy” made his debut at the U.S. Dressage Finals competing in the Grand Prix freestyle.
Lauren Tisbo turned heads during her win with Jeleena De Muze at the Live Oak International due to her unconventional choice of tack.
Israeli show jumper Daniel Bluman posed the question: “Are there realistic chances or opportunities for a middle-class 12-year-old in this country to pursue show jumping?” Then he talked to us about his plans to make the answer “yes.”
The second most popular story of 2018 is a blog by Lauren Sprieser published during International Helmet Awareness Week. Sprieser recalls “That One Time” fall that inspired her to make sure she wears a helmet every time she gets on a horse.
The most popular story of 2018 is an examination of the now-defunct Jimmy A. Williams U.S. Equestrian Federation Lifetime Achievement Award, and how the landscape of equestrian sport will change under the influence of the #MeToo movement and new SafeSport regulations.
Check out our Best Of 2017, and make sure you follow @chronofhorse on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to catch the rest of our Best Of 2018 posts.