It comes around every year, but somehow 1 April seems to take us by surprise. These horsey gags certainly made us look twice...

1. A ‘Zorse’ to line-up for prestigious polo tournament (pictured above)

Celtic Manor annouced that a Zorse (a horse/zebra) would be lining up for their ‘Polo At The Manor’ tournament on 18 June — the first polo event to feature a Zorse, allegedly “faster, more aggressive and ultimately more effective than a normal polo pony”.

2. Shetland takes on role as ‘Motivational Education Officer’ — with a salary of carrots and hay

Brooke April Fool

Horse and donkey charity the Brooke announced a small Shetland’s appointment as a ‘Motivational Education Officer’.  Mini Fat Pony’s (MFP) new role, to start on 1 April 2016, was hoped to educate and boost the morale of their staff. The charity operates in 15 different countries around the world but is based in the UK, in one of London’s standard office buildings — without a stable. The Brooke’s aim was for its headquarters to be a “more agile and equine friendly workplace”. The role was to be on a part time basis, with the Shetland’s salary mainly made up of carrots and hay.

3. Kiwi Andrew Nicholson to ride for Australia

Andrew Nicholson at home

An Eventful Life broke the news that New Zealander Andrew Nicholson would be riding for Australia — following “ongoing and well-publicised difficulties with Equestrian Sports New Zealand”. “For the Australia selectors it is obviously a coup to have the option of Olympic medallist Nicholson on the team,” reported the website.

4. MedicAnimal to microchip all UK staff ahead of 6 April deadline

Microchip April Fool

MedicAnimal, the UK’s leading online pet supply retailer, announced that in line with the 6 April deadline, it will be microchipping all UK staff alongside their pets — a move taken in a show of solidarity with dogs owned by customers across the country.

“Britain has long been touted as a nation of animal lovers, and MedicAnimal has decided to go the extra mile in proving our dedication to our customers by having all our staff microchipped,” said Andrew Bucher, chief veterinary officer at MedicAnimal.

5. Car insurance company to insure horses on the road

April Fools

The car insurance company for young drivers, ingenie, revealed that they would be insuring horses on the road with the launch of ‘Black Beauty’ insurance.

For many years, ingenie chairman and co-founder Steve Broughton has owned racehorses. Since ingenie’s huge success with black box insurance, Steve’s dream has been to reproduce the benefits for horse owners.

“ingenie has revolutionised young driver insurance, helping people get on the road more easily and staying safe once they get there,” said Steve. “Now, we’re very proud to bring those same benefits to the equestrian world. My horses are already connected and we’re seeing great results.”

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6. And we got our own back with… horse zumba

For those looking for a new challenge this season, Horse & Hound reported the keen interest among riders in horse zumba — with Forest Edge Arena offering a weekend of “high energy” zumba for horse and rider next month, “with some wicked moves that the horses pick up very quickly!”