We don’t need reminding that people expect to see Hugh Grant armed with his reporter's notepad in Horse & Hound HQ. But there are plenty of other celebs whose famous faces have made an appearance on our pages — from rock legends and actors to models and football stars. When did horse sport get so showbiz?
1. Taylor Swift
Pop star Taylor Swift hit the H&H headlines this month (January 2015) when she was spotted sporting a pair of jodhpur-like tan trousers, long brown boots, a red coat and black riding hat. All she was missing was a horse. South Shropshire huntsman Otis Ferry even took to Instagram to illustrate Taylor’s get-up looking remarkably similar to his hunting attire…
Rappers and riding might not be a common partnership — but Dappy from N-Dubz had his unlikely hobby revealed in November 2013, when it was reported that he’d fallen from a horse while riding at his Hertfordshire home — and was subsequently kicked in the face.
3. Kenney Jones
When rock star Kenney Jones announced plans to revamp Hurtwood Polo Club in Surrey and turn it into a major equestrian venue in October last year, the idea was welcomed by the polo and equestrian communities. The former drummer for the Small Faces and The Who submitted plans to build an all-weather arena for polo, showjumping and dressage, stabling for 78 horses with grooms’ accommodation and 14 country homes.
4. Kristen Stewart
The Twilight actress Kristen Stewart admitted she was “terrified” of having to ride for her new film “Snow White and the Huntsman” in 2012. “I was shaking like a leaf when saddling up. Riding horses terrifies me,” Kristen told the Daily Star newspaper at the time. “I’ve felt that way ever since I fell off a horse when I was nine and broke my elbow.”
5. Simon Cowell
You may well have spotted music mogul Simon Cowell strutting his stuff in the paddock in his signature high-waisted trousers. The straight-talking X Factor judge invested in a two-year-old thoroughbred with fellow prime-time TV presenters Ant and Dec in 2013. The aptly named It’s A Yes From Me is in training with James Fanshawe in Newmarket.
6. Tom Cruise
Glorious Goodwood’s glamour was taken up a notch in 2014 when Hollywood actor Tom Cruise was drafted in to present the prize for the Magnolia Cup charity race — which was narrowly won by supermodel Edie Campbell.
7. Bruce Springsteen
Over-eager parents cheering you on from the ringside can be the cause of embarrassment. But not when your dad happens to be rock legend Bruce Springsteen. Bruce’s daughter Jessica Spingsteen has been riding since she was four, and in September 2012 Peter Charles’ London 2012 horse Murka’s Vindicat W was sold to the young showjumper.
8. Leona Lewis
In 2010 we revealed that X-factor winner Leona Lewis, who was made the honourary president for Horse of the Year Show in 2014, had a poem about horses tattooed in a line down her spine. The poem reads: ‘Their beauty captures every eye, a gift from God for all mankind, they lend us wings so we may fly, to ride a horse is to ride the sky.’ That certainly shows commitment…
9. Jennifer Aniston
Asking for ‘The Rachel’ at the hairdressers was once a well-known request — the Friends’ star’s hair was the envy of every teenage girl. And in 2014 H&H revealed that the secret behind Jennifer Aniston’s voluminous locks was Mane ‘N Tail shampoo and conditioner. Start raiding your horse’s grooming kit now.
10. Henry Cavill
In May 2011 Superman star Henry Cavill popped the question to showjumper Ellen Whitaker in a Hollywood hotel — after seeking the permission of Ellen’s dad, Stephen — but the engagement was later called off.
11. Michael Owen
Together with trainer Tom Dascombe and a top team of staff, former-footballer and heart-throb Michael Owen seems to send out winner after winner from his Manor House Stables in Cheshire — subsequently making repeat appearances on our racing pages.