2014 Top Equestrian News
 By Winniefield Park   •   14th Dec 2014   •   1,521 views   •   0 comments
2014 Top Equestrian News

Twenty-fourteen is winding down. What was the top equestrian news of the year? Here’s a small sample.

World Equestrian Games
This was the year of the 2014 World Equestrian Games. This fall, they were held in Normandy, France. It was announced that the 2018 WEG will be held in Bromont, Quebec, where some of of the 1976 Olympic Equestrian events were held. This will mark only the second time the WEG will be held outside of Europe, and a first for Canada. I wonder if they’ll have that crazy pickup truck jump still? A friend of mine actually jumped that, speaking of crazy. Related: The World Equestrian Games are Headed for Canada

Horse Racing
Even if you aren’t a horse lover, you’ll have heard of California Chrome. The flashy red stallion was a favorite coming into the Kentucky Derby and after his clear win of the Preakness, was a Triple Crown hopeful. But, “Junior” was clipped by another horse, sustaining injury to a front leg. He finished that race in fourth place. Despite the disappointment he earned the popular title of ‘America’s horse’ and was ranked top three-year-old horse in the United States by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. Australia, UK and Canada all contest Triple Crowns, and no one horse took home the three wins required. Related: Was the Greatest Racehorse a Gelding

Wild Horses
The struggles between activists, cattle ranchers and the BLM continues over the fate of America’s wild horses. Even though there were not to be any round ups in 2014, Utah ranchers asked a federal judge to order the BLM to hold round ups. Ranchers say wild horses are destroying the range by overgrazing. Wild horse supports argue for historical and humane issues. Whether these horses are actually a native but extinct species, or a new invasive species has spawned some discussion, with arguments on both sides. The debate continues as the BLM calls for people to sit on the national Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board. Related: Euthanization Imminent for Wild Mustang Herds in Western Utah

Paleontologists have unearthed more fossils that give us a glimpse into the pre-history of the horse. This fall, a new fossil was revealed of a 47-million-year-old mare and her unborn foal. The fossil bones were unearthed at the Messel Pit fossil site in Germany. It’s thought the mare was killed by toxic volcanic gasses. The mare was about the size of a fox, and had four front toes and three hind. Despite its diminutive size, researchers have found many parallels between our modern horses and the Eurohippus messelensis fossil.

A horse-like creature dubbed the rhino horse may shed some light on the theories of continental drift and evolution. While not thought to be a direct ancestor of the horse, it is thought to be a relative of the rhino, horse and hippo and a glimpse into how diversified mammals were 55 million years ago. Related: Unicorn Lair Discovered in North Korea

Several top equestrians lost their lives or were badly injured in 2014. The eventing world took a double hit in June when two riders died on the same day. A German died due to a rotational fall and a Canadian rider suffered cardiac arrest on course. Top polo player Carlos Gracida was crushed by his horse during a practice. Gracida was a member of the Polo Hall of Fame and coached Princes William and Harry. Related: Is Eventing Really Too Dangerous

There was much more. What was your most memorable bit of horse news in 2014?

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