Funny, weird and wonderful goings on the horse world. As we come to the end of the week H&H provides a light-hearted read
Know your way around Newmarket? To mark 350 years of racing in the famous town, a Newmarket-themed edition of the Monopoly board game is being launched.
Instead of the usual houses, players will need to exchange their (fake) money for horses and yards — but make a wrong move and the stewards’ room will await.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Heath House Stables and Luca Cumani’s Bedford House Stables are among the properties expected to be appearing on the board.
“The historical aspect means the oldest yards will be the most expensive. It is also hoped to incorporate some studs as well as important sites such as the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing,” said Olivia Hills, of Newmarket racecourse.
Horses tread the boards at Sadler’s Wells
Sadler’s Wells might be well-known in equestrian circles, but this month the
name will be hitting the headlines because of the venue rather than the famous sire.
Though there will of course be an equine twist. A new show, Golgota, will star four horses and a donkey.
The performance has been devised by French horseman and artist Bartabas, who aims to bring equine theatre to the public eye.
He will be appearing on horseback alongside Spanish flamenco star Andrés Marín. The stage has a rubber matting style covering for the horse’s hooves.
“Inspired by the theatricality of sacred rituals, particularly the ceremonies of the Seville Holy Week, Golgota navigates the bodies of its human and animal performers through a dramatic environment of Gregorian chants and physical poetry,” reads a preview for the show.
Golgota runs from 14-21 March.
A tub in a trailer
Looking to add a little more luxury to your horsebox? Well, a Dutch firm is converting Ifor Williams trailers into outdoor spas.
Complete with a two-person hot tub, rainfall shower and a dressing corner, the internal walls will feature large pictures of animals.
The tubs are set against a driftwood background, with all the technical installations and boiler hidden behind it.
Netherlands-based “glamping” company FarmCamps has bought 20 trailers to be used as portable spas in its network of campsites.
The only catch to enjoying hours soaking in bubble-heaven between classes at a show?
Your horse might not be too impressed with travelling in the bath…
Fitness first Regency style
Want to get fit for the summer competition season? Then a piece of gym kit designed with the rider in mind could be just the ticket.
An antique “chamber horse” is up for sale at Cheffins’ March fine art auction (9-10 March), Cambridge, with an estimate of £400-600.
The mahogany exercise chair, from the Regency period, is designed to imitate the motion of riding.
Invented by Henry Marsh in 1740, the chairs were widely used in the 18th and 19th centuries — they could even be rented by the hour at apothecaries.
They were particularly fashionable among the over-indulgent wealthy members of society, who would bounce up and down on the chair to burn off their rich diets.
A version was even made as a nursery ride for King George III’s children.
Bring your horses into your home
Looking to give your home a horsey makeover?
Well now you can decorate your house with a personalised equestrian mural, thanks to a new wallpaper service.
Wallpaper Ink takes your own photographs and transforms them into bespoke murals.
Pictures can be uploaded onto its website to create a collage or a blown-up picture of your horse.
“We enable you to create your own feature wall and bring the great outdoors, indoors,” said a company spokesman. “Our talented team will merge your photographs to create your own personalised wall mural.”
The bespoke service was launched in December and prices start at £26.99 per square metre.
Horse & Hound will be giving away a £200 voucher to spend on a mural from Wallpaper Ink on the website in the next few weeks so make sure you look out for this great competition.
Fancy a tipple? A cider pressed in the traditional way — using horses — has been made in Herefordshire.
This winter, for only the second time in 100 years, a cider mill in Bacton is using a horse to press the apples.
An eight-year-old gypsy cob stallion called Pye has been pulling the stone wheel to crush the apples to make the limited edition “Fair Oak Cider”.
The former driving pony does around 15-20 minutes pulling the wheel before resting for half an hour.
Alan McCardle of St Margaret’s Cider Company believes it is the only mill in the country using a horse.
The apples are washed and fed by hand into the press, so that Pye can then use the wheel to crush them.
“It’s nice to have a horse involved, people like the traditional element of it,” Mr McCardle told H&H. “He makes around 500 litres a day.”
Eau de horse
Love the smell of your horse’s sweat after a good gallop? Well now you can wear it all the time.
French fragrance house Liquides Imaginaires has created a scent described as an “animalistic revelation”.
Its high notes feature a blend of blue camomile, cumin seed, patchouli, safranal, parsley seed and black pepper.
Meanwhile, the body is a mix of woody, leathery and animalistic tones with a hint of skatol — the copound that gives faeces its smell.
You might not be popular on public transport, but the reviews are not bad — The Telegraph’s Lee Kynaston said that he was both “compelled and repelled” the first time he wore it.
With a €250 (£182) price tag for 100ml, it is not cheap — but then neither is the real thing.
‘Ride’ in a live race with new app
Ever wanted to know what it feels like to ride a winner home? Well now you can, thanks to a new app by bookies William Hill.
The company’s “Get in the Race” app, developed with production company Unit9, lets racing fans virtually “ride” in a real race as it happens.
Using GPS technology and 3D graphics, the user will be able to “sit” on the horse they have backed and see the race from the jockey’s perspective.
You can also activate a “head up” display, which reveals your horse’s heart rate, stride length, distance remaining and race position.
All you need is a smartphone and a Google Cardboard device (around £10) or an Oculus headset.
A prototype was launched in May as part of the Digital Shoreditch Festival and is now live for the public.
Jamie Hart, of William Hill, said the “Get in the Race” app is the first to offer fans this level of virtual reality.
An equestrian bride
As every horsey girl knows, it’s important to include that special person in your life on your special day.
And there’s a new photographer who can help you do just that, taking pictures of bride, groom… and horse.
The Equestrian Bride offers a specialist service for horse-mad brides who want to include their four-legged friend in the celebrations.
The location is up to you — popular spots include romantic woodlands, beaches and wildflower meadows.
Sue Westwood-Ruttledge, founder of The Equestrian Bride, said: “Every bride wants the opportunity to wear their wedding dress again and for those who ride, a bridal shoot with their horse provides the perfect occasion.
“It’s all about capturing the special bond between the bride and her horse, combined with the excitement of her recent wedding.”
My Little Coffee
Fans of My Little Pony can now take their appreciation of the popular cartoon to the next level.
The My Little Pony Café recently opened in Japan, and news of the pony paradise is spreading.
Visitors are transported into Equestria — the magical land of the ponies — from the moment they arrive. A life-sized model of Twilight Sparkle stands at the entrance, and dozens of model ponies decorate the interior of the café.
Pony-themed dishes are served decorated with the characters and a brightly coloured mural features My Little Pony favourites Rainbow Dash, Twilight Sparkle, Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy.
However, those keen to eat in this sparkling pony palace need to act quickly, as the café is open only until 29 November.
Wear a piece of Olympic history
Fancy wearing a piece of Olympic history? A collection of five, limited-edition bracelets with the interwoven tail hairs of the four London 2012 team gold medal-winning horses has been created by young showjumper Yazmin Pinchen for charity.
The hairs from the famous horses, which include Hello Sanctos, who recently made Rolex Grand Slam history with Scott Brash; Nick Skelton’s Big Star; Tripple X, who was ridden by Ben Maher before being sold to Canada, and Peter Charles’ Vindicat W, have been interwoven with 9-carat gold thread. The unique bracelets, from jewellery designer The Burnished Horse, are finished with a small gold tag engraved with the year 2012.
The London 2012 bracelets will be sold during a charity online auction on eBay from 29 October-8 November and all profits will go to the JustWorld International charity, for which the 22-year-old Sussex-based showjumper is an ambassador.
Click here to view the auction.
Horse cheese on the menu
Cheese made from sheep or goats’ milk is tried, tested and now a popular choice at delis and supermarkets.
However, it now has competition.
An Italian scientist has come up with a pioneering technique for turning horse and donkey milk into cheese.
Food technologist Dr Giuseppe Iannella has discovered that camel chymosin, the enzyme found in camel rennet, is able to clot equid milk if used in a suitable technological process.
His formula has been named as the “Nativity-Equid cheese-making method” and could open up the market for the commercial production of cheese using donkey or horse milk.
Cows — not horses — are the main source of milk in most parts of the world, but in his study Dr Iannella found sales of equid milk had been increasing recently.
In Britain it is unlikely we will start drinking koumiss — a fermented horse-milk beverage used in Russian and Mongolia for the management of digestive diseases — but with more research perhaps horse milk or cheese might one day be in production as a viable alternative for allergy sufferers.
High heels for horse lovers
Do you want to be noticed at the races? Are you fed up with boring court shoes filling your wardrobe? If so, we may have the perfect solution.
You can now sport a tiny paddock complete with two horses on your feet, thanks to a unique pair of shoes.
Milly J Shoes’ “Ladies’ Day” design features two bay horses standing on grass, adorned with tiny flowers.
A green and yellow rosette hangs proudly from the back of each high-heeled shoe, as well as a personalised gold disc.
“All my shoes are hand-created for the client, making them very exclusive,” Milly J told H&H.
“I can make this pair in another heel style, or use different leather and shapes. This is my only horse style, although others can be created.”
This pair of hand-made court shoes will cost you £300.
For more information, visit: www.millyjshoes.co.uk
Barbie shows off her riding skills
Is there no end to Barbie’s talents?
Now her flawless looks are matched by her vaulting style with the launch of the Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Horse.
The Barbie doll rider is, as usual, looking pretty in pink. Her riding kit consists of pink jodhpurs, gloves and helmet, a flowery top, denim jacket and brown riding boots. There is also a purple version.
The saddle and bridle are also in Barbie’s distinctive pink colours, but the horse is a dun colour with bright blue eyes.
When Barbie puts her hand on part of the mane she automatically jumps on. One more push of the button on top of the horse’s head and she rides off. No leg aids are needed, just four AAA batteries.
The allure of a Barbie horse that moves is predicted to be popular this Christmas with Toys “R” Us rating the toy as one of the bestsellers on its “hot toy” list, along with Star Wars gadgets.
Pony-mad tweens will probably prefer the Barbie Saddle N’ Ride horse —
providing their parents are prepared to fork out £49.99.
A rose for Kauto Star
Legendary racehorse Kauto Star could be immortalised in the form of a rose.
Apuldram Roses is “very keen” to launch a rose in memory of the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner at next year’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.
Kauto Star was put down on 29 June following an accident in the field.
“We were at the flower show this year when we heard the sad news,” said Liz Sawday from Apuldram, a family-run rose-growing business in West Sussex.
“We will be working with some rose breeders and selecting a rose to name after him in the next couple of weeks.
“However, the process takes some time so we’d officially launch it next year.”
Apuldram is currently looking at a white rose to bear the record-breaking racehorse’s name.
“Going on the theme of star, and the fact he had a big white blaze, it seemed most appropriate,” she added. “And we couldn’t create a purple, yellow and green one!”
Trainers to call race at Newmarket
Ever wondered if you have what it takes to call a race? A group of top racehorse trainers are about to find out just that, as they prepare to pick up the mic at Newmarket Open Weekend.
On 19 September, racegoers will be treated to on-course commentary by a handful of Newmarket trainers.
Sir Michael Stoute, one of The Queen’s trainers, has a head start having spent three years commentating in Barbados.
Joining Sir Michael will be this year’s Derby winner John Gosden, William Haggas, David Simcock, Charlie Fellowes, Hugo Palmer and Lucy Wadham.
“I’m sure we will see some healthy rivalry on the day,” said Hugo, resident trainer at Kremlin Cottage Stables.
The trainers will commentate on one race each to raise money for the National Horseracing Museum, Racing Welfare and Magpas: The Emergency Medical Charity.
To donate, visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/NOW2015
Pony rides for tiny tots
Well, now this childhood game can be made even more authentic thanks to an exciting new toy.
Donkey Products has created a strap-on pony head that can be fixed to your leg to transform boring limbs into a miniature horse.
“Imagine you’re a child,” states the product description on donkey-products.com.
“Look at a computer game then look at your parent’s leg. What’s the difference? Fun.”
The soft, cream-coloured pony with a white mane is made from cord, and sports a red bridle with matching synthetic leather strap.
Parents are spared the task of supplying their own neighs, clip-clopping and snorting noises, as the toy comes complete with “horse sounds”.
Each pony head costs €34.95 (£24.70) — a steal for endless horsey fun.
For more information visit: http://donkey-products.com/en/293/horsehead-hoppe-hoppe-reiter-2.0
Think manure can only be useful as flower fertiliser? Think again, as Finland’s government has proposed using horse poo to heat the country’s homes.
The government manifesto sets out to use dung as a renewable source of energy, as reported by the country’s national broadcaster Yle.
The Fortum Corporation is trialling a biofuel made from horse manure and a wood-based litter, which is burned to generate power.
The energy company says the annual waste created by three horses would be enough to heat a family home for a year.
There are around 77,000 horses in Finland, which means more than 20,000 homes could potentially be heated.
Better start bagging up your muck heap in time for winter…
Anyone for tennis?
The fizz of champagne, the aroma of strawberries, the thwack of a racket… and the pounding of hooves. It could only be Wimbledon, where this month a whole new take on the sport of tennis was enjoyed to mark Wimbledon fortnight.
Inspiration came from Clare Balding’s appeal to send in quirky tennis-themed photos and videos under the social media hashtag #anyonefortennis.
So a couple of horses and instructors from Wimbledon Village Stables — about half a mile from the All England Lawn Tennis Club — headed off to Wimbledon Common for a game of horseback tennis.
Jen Hesketh and Chester (pictured) took on Fernanda Zuniga and Rocky in a fun match, cheered on by spectators and filmed by people driving by. Who needs queues for a spot of sporting action?
The horses didn’t put a hoof wrong, and after the match finished they couldn’t resist jumping the net as a grand finale.
Carol Andrews, owner of Wimbledon Village Stables, was asked if it might catch on. “Why not?,” she said. “But the groundsman at Wimbledon may not be so keen!”
H&H wonders what a doubles match of horse tennis would be like…
Cuddle a clone of your horse
Can’t bear to leave your horse in their stable all night and prefer them to be able to sit next to you on the sofa?
Luckily, you now can — and they won’t have to be mucked out afterwards. The Cuddle Clones toy company will create an exact replica of your horse — or any pet — from a photograph. As well as soft, plush replicas, the Kentucky-based company also makes sandstone figurines in the image of your pet, and memorials made of granite.
Cuddle Clones gives a proportion of its proceeds to pet-related charities, and prices for larger animals, such as horses, dogs and cats start at $199 (£133). Smaller animals, such as rabbits and guinea pigs, start at $129 (£86).
For more information visit: www.cuddleclones.com
Get on your bike
By Rachael Hook
Do you miss your horse on the morning commute? And are you tired of your bicycle’s uninspiring appearance?
Cyclists can now embrace their love of equines by transforming their bikes into pedalling ponies, with a wooden horse-shaped cycle frame.
“I wanted to give a special look to bicycles so that people would care about cycling, not only as transportation but as a lovely pet,” said South Korean designer Eungi Kim.
“The manual is very simple, so anyone can easily arrange it according to their needs,” added Eungi.
The design, “Horsey”, has been shortlisted for the Seoul Cycle Design Competition. H&H can’t wait to get our hands on one of these two-wheeled steeds.
Dung good for health?
By Caroline Bankes
It’s good for the roses and it could also be good for you.
Horse manure has been found to have hidden medicinal properties, according to new research by European scientists.
Mushrooms grown on horse dung were found to contain the bacteria-killing compound copsin.
The discovery was made by a research team looking to develop a range of antibiotics.
“Horse dung is a very rich substrate that harbours a diversity of micro-organisms, including fungi and bacteria,” said researcher Andreas Essig.
He said copsin could be useful in the food industry as it kills pathogens such as listeria, bacteria that causes food poisoning.
The research team have registered copsin for patent approval, but it is not certain whether it could be used as an antibiotic.
No wonder there are so many worms wiggling about in the muck heap.
Thelwell your life up!
By Caroline Bankes
Do Thelwell’s cartoons remind you of young, happy days being thrown off fat, hairy ponies?
The famous loveable beasts can now be seen galloping out of control across t-shirts, aprons and phone covers.
Fans of Thelwell can add a name or a joke alongside the cartoon in the new range of merchandise launched by Spreadshirt.
Philip Rooke, of the company, said he grew up on a farm riding a fat little black pony called Damar.
“To people around horses Thelwell is still relevant today; we have just used print-on-demand technology to offer Thelwell merchandise anywhere in the world, and with a personalisable option.”
The instantly recognisable drawings are available internationally through Thelwell online shops.
Fifty years on Thelwell is continuing to make people laugh — the humour hasn’t changed, just the merchandise, and this time it might star you.
Donkey milk frappé
By Sophia Heath
Cleopatra bathed in it, the Greeks used it as a healing remedy and Pope Francis drank it as a child. Is donkey milk about to make a resurgence in 2015?
Donkey milk is reportedly the latest beauty product to sweep Asia, and looks set to hit the US soon.
Alicia Yoon, co-founder of Korean beauty site Peach and Lily, told American press that donkey milk is one of the hottest new cosmetic trends.
“It is known to be gentle and soothing for those with sensitive skin and eczema, has four to five times more vitamin C than cow’s milk and is rich in proteins,” she said.
As well as its cosmetic values, the milk is being marketed as an alternative to human milk for babies that are allergic to cow’s milk.
A website has been set up that not only sells donkey milk products but also gives advice on locating, preparing and certifying the milk, as well as recipe ideas.
Fruit and donkey’s milk frappé, anyone?
Pint-size rare breeds
Britain’s rare equine breeds have received a welcome boost — thanks to toymakers Breyer.
Suffolks and Clydesdales (pictured) might be on the rare breeds watchlist (news, 29 January) but they can now take pride of place in your home as the heavy horses are being scaled down from 18hh to 3.5 inches.
The company is launching its new “Best of British” collection this week (22 February). There is also a model of the Highland pony at 3.5in, while the Welsh cob, Connemara and Shetland pony are being produced in 9in versions.
“We have been working towards these special collections as part of our international expansion,” said Breyer’s Stephanie Macejko.
“It was only natural to begin with the UK. It is a country filled with horse lovers and so many rare breeds.”
Get back in the game
By Sophia Heath
Has the long winter break from eventing taken its toll? Are you feeling a bit rusty and looking for a way to get your mind and body back in the game? Well, help is on hand because the first-ever eventing simulator has been developed.
The new model — from Racewood, which produces dressage, jumping, polo and racing replicas — uses flight simulation technology to replicate the movements of a horse in all three phases.
Four years ago the company developed a jumping simulator, which could test riders up to 1.20m, but it has now put all three disciplines together in one multi-tasking fake horse.
“This is the world’s most realistic and interactive riding experience in a safe and controlled environment,” a spokesman from the company said. “It challenges riders of beginner or professional status.”
If you fancy giving it a go you had better grab your passport — Racewood will be giving demonstrations at Equitana in Germany (14-22 March).
For more information visit: www.racewood.com
Love is in the air
You’ve heard of Tinder, now horse owners glued to their mobiles could benefit from a new app — designed to help people connect with others who share similar interests.
InCommon, which launched in December, puts people in touch with those who have common interests and live locally.
Founder Jennifer Jones said: “Many people have an interest that that none of their close friends or family share. The idea is to have a buddy to share something that perhaps you’ve always had to do alone up until now.”
New users can sign up through Facebook or Google. Once they have created a profile, they can then view friendship matches.
They can also filter searches by distance, gender and age.
“This sounds like a great idea to connect with people for hacking or even sharing transport to fun rides or events,” said one rider.
➤ To find out more visit: www.getincommon.com
H&H horse owners can also link up with fellow riders on the H&H forum page: www.horseandhound.co.uk/forum
The poop’s in the post
By Caroline Bankes
Bagging up horse manure and selling it on the side of the road is one way of getting rid of a mounting muck heap.
Otherwise it’s a case of relying on the local farmer to spread it on his fields.
But now one company has turned to technology.
You can buy almost anything on the internet — and now horse poo is being sent around the world after an entrepreneur set up an online company called Shit Express.
The company’s website claims it made US$10,120 (£6,640) in its first 30 days, and charges people $US16.95 (£11) for the service, which includes free packaging, shipping and a personalised message.
“We had media attention from almost 500 websites. As of 4 December, we’ve already shipped poop to 36 different countries,” said the company.
Although, unless you’re a keen gardener, it’s likely most people will think the idea of receiving a parcel of poo in the post stinks.
Saddles in fashion
By Sophia Heath
Have you always been envious of Paul Tapner’s and Mary King’s colour-coordinated saddles? Do you feel you lack that extra something special when you stroll though the lorry park with just a normal black saddle?
Well, panic not! Help is now at hand as Sue Carson has developed a jump saddle which allows riders to choose a specific colour for their back cantle and piping.
Eventer Jake Fowles is the proud owner of a new Zeus saddle with electric blue additions.
“It looks fantastic and makes the already attractive Zeus a very sexy saddle,” he said.
Unfortunately, as with many fashion statements, this product does not come cheap. The saddle costs £3,300. However, with a blue Dior handbag setting you back in the region of £2,000 H&H thinks the saddle offers better value for money.
For more information visit: www.suecarsonsaddles.co.uk