What a year it’s been! For me, the highlight of 2014 was undoubtedly the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, but there were so many other great moments we’ve shared with H&H readers during the past 12 months.
The H&H team has been scattered far and wide on our quest to bring you great video; the office camera — affectionately known as “Graham” — has travelled at least 30,000km this year. We’ve documented the plight of working equids in Ethiopia and Morocco, filmed with the Metropolitan Mounted Police, and visited countless top riders, as well as bringing you up to the minute reactions from events such as WEG, Olympia and Badminton.
Here are a few of my favourite quotes from this year, which I couldn’t squeeze into the video above. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, and some just reminded us why we all keep mucking out at 5am. Bring on 2015!
“He absolutely loves it, and when you ride him, you just get such a great feeling.” – Charlotte Dujardin gushes about Valegro after their world record-breaking grand prix test at Olympia.
“As a competitor, I’m disappointed. As a horseman, I couldn’t be prouder of my mare.” – Gareth Hughes reflects after his ride with DV Stenkjers Nadonna at WEG.
“We have to help them. Without this help, that means the animals will suffer, even to death”. – Dr Nigatu Akilu, Director of SPANA (Ethiopia), explains why the support they receive is vital.
“Regain your position, get where you can, and keep going with the ride” – no sympathy from Sergeant Wilkinson-Begg of the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch when things go awry for his officers
“I am doing nothing, and I think that’s half the problem!” – Carl Hester discusses his difficult test on Dances With Wolves at the BD National Championships.
Which was followed by…
“Has he? That’s news to me!” – Michael Eilberg‘s reaction when H&H broke the news that Carl Hester had withdrawn Dances With Wolves leaving Michael going into the grand prix freestyle as the leader.
“He’s got an illustrious pal to follow who used to live in his box” – high hopes for the Paul Nicholls-trained Emerging Talent, who occupies the stable vacated by star hurdler Big Buck’s.
“Bugger!” – Nathalie su Zayn-Wittgenstein learns she is “0.0-something”% behind Britain’s Michael Eilberg at WEG.
And last but not least…
“Don’t kill spiders.” – Wise words from a spectator discussing her superstitions at the BD National Championships.