The answer to the racing staff shortage— and 14 other brilliant April Fools’ Day pranks

Take a look at this selection of the equestrian community’s April Fool’s Day pranks for 2019 to put a smile on your face...

1. Councils to get power to fine riders for failing to pick up horse poo from roads

Our very own (fake) news story ruffled some feathers in the equestrian community when we told you that there were plans to give local authorities the power to hand out £40 on-the-spot fines to any rider who did not remove droppings within an hour of their deposit. Not only that but fines were to double if not paid within two weeks, and persistent offenders could have been banned from certain roads. Thankfully we won’t need to carry pooper scoopers around with us hacking any time soon…

2. The first ever horsey sat nav

Struggling to remember showjumping courses? Worried about forgetting your dressage test? Keep missing out fences on cross-country? Equiport had the answer! All you had to do was simply walk the course with your ‘Lirpa Loof’, and it promised to automatically remember the route and fences, and even record the number of strides in a related distance, and alert you whether you need to wait or ride to meet it perfectly. The patented design even monitored your riding position, with 100 pre-installed motivational phrases, such as ‘sit up’, ‘heels down’, ‘what on earth are you doing?’ and ‘wow, your horse is a saint’ – billed as ‘the closest thing to having your trainer out on course with you’, we’ve definitely had moments where one of these would have been super-helpful!

3. Retired racing Shetlands coming to a rehoming centre near you

We’re sure there would have been no shortage of people queuing up to rehome a former racing Shetland once their Shetland Pony racing days are behind them…

4. The surface that would revolutionise horses’ performances

Equestrian Direct Ltd announced the ultimate in equine movement enhancement technology. BounciRideTM , a surface made from recycled trampolines which were damaged during the recent storms Freya, Gareth and Hannah, was allegedly scientifically proven to improve horses’ natural cadence by over 200% and when used as a showjumping surface, it promised to turn any pony, horse, donkey or mule, into a grand prix showjumper. Equestrian Direct director, Ross Riley, said: “The horses loved it though. Once we duct taped the riders to their saddles and invested in some much taller jump wings – even the yard 12.2hh was clearing 1m40 with ease.” However there was a downside — BounciRideTM was not recommended for indoor schools with a ceiling height of less than 20m (for obvious reasons).

5. No more grooming

Blue Chip Feed announced it was launching a limited edition of their revolutionary new Super Concentrated Auto Clean Feed Balancer — a time-saving feed that would do away with the need to groom your horse or pony and mud and stains will magically disappear. We wish…

6. Equine Virtual Reality simulation for eventing

Professional event rider Alex Whewall claimed that he had a virtual reality (VR) package developed, which he said had been particularly useful as the weather has been poor at the start of this season with various “warm up” events abandoned. Alex also found that it had a calming effect on his more excitable horses as they have “seen” the course before they have to run it for real. The system used a VR headset for the horse which displayed previously captured 3D helmetcam images of the course in full HD. The images for the horse had to be taken with lenses further apart than normal to match the extra distance between the horse’s eyes compared to humans.

7. Revolutionary feeding for glittery coats

Feed company Baileys Horse Feeds took the opportunity to introduce ‘Glitter Cubes’ and ‘Rainbow Mix’, two feeds that promised to provide your horse with a glittery coat, or a rainbow look, thanks to the oil-slick sheen the feed would provide the horse with…

8. Where does it hurt?

Equine Dynamics said that it had created an app — The Equine Pain App – where does it hurt? — that would tell you where your horse was suffering pain. Simply stand your horse side on, and with the apps technically advanced viewfinder open, slowly scan your horse from head to tail including the limbs and when an area lights up, tap the screen over the area for a more detailed assessment of the pain cause and a level of discomfort reading. Swiping right on the box filled with the extra level of detail will provide suggestions for management and treatment, so much easier than getting a vet out and even faster than asking a random group of people on the internet…

9. Boots to give you a boost

We don’t think we need to say much about this one, apart from thank goodness it isn’t true!

10. Mandatory eventing headgear

Horseheath Horse Trials announced that, as its spring event is being held over the Easter weekend this year, all competitors MUST decorate their hats with an Easter bonnet. Failure to do so would have resulted in the rider being forced to run across country without a hat silk #EggHead

11. Racing staff shortage crisis resolved

Racehorse trainer Mick Easterby revealed the answer to the racing staff shortage — dogs. He even provided us with some fantastic photographic evidence in the form of his canine friend, Patsie, who he has been training up for a life in the saddle.

12. Is your horse bored in its stable?

What’s not to love? Your horse gets to watch his favourite musicians in action and you can bop along while mucking out. Win, win.

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13. ‘Herbal’ chaff

Western Hay said it was trialling out a new chaff to add to its range, which included medicinal cannabis, which promised to act as a calmer, pain killer and appetite stimulant. Is this FEI legal?

14. Coming soon to a racecourse near you…

Peter Winks, a dual purpose racehorse trainer, shared the exciting news that he had sourced a very special new team member, with some impeccable breeding. We can’t wait to see this one run…

15. Breed your own unicorn

Stallion AI Services gave us the announcement many breeders have been waiting for when it revealed unicorn semen would be available to UK breeders. ‘Flair Loop’ was a 14.2hh grey (obviously), and the price came with a LUG (live unicorn guarantee).

For all the latest equestrian news and reports, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday

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