New arrivals, prehistoric matchy-matchy, and other things the horse world is talking about

Horse & Hound’s daily debrief, brought to you every weekday

  • Congratulations!

    The H&H team would like to congratulate two event riders who have recently welcomed their first children. Coral Hardman (née Keen) and her husband Oliver’s son, Rupert Oscar Hardman, was born on 15 February, while Lissa Green and Giorgio Audino’s new arrival, Emilia Rose Audino, was born on 20 March. Coral said that they “couldn’t be happier”, adding “our hearts are very full as we head into this exciting new chapter of our lives”, while Lissa described motherhood as “our most exciting and important journey yet… my heart/brain/eyes are full to the brim.”

    Find out what Coral’s plans are for this season

    April fools – or are they?

    This year, our April fool story was about the earliest example of “matchy-matchy” horse and rider gear, dating from about 35,000 BC. Expedition leader Dr Rob Graves, of the Advanced Prehistoric Research Institute Laboratory (APRIL – see what we did there?), described finding the horse and rider, complete with tack including a pad under the saddle made from sabre-tooth tiger’s skin, as a “startling discovery” and “a major anthropomorphological find”.

    While most readers correctly identified this as a spoof story to mark the day, some assumed that the story published later the same day about the BSPS introducing a hobby horse championship was also an April fool, when it was not.

    Check out our April fool story and the BSPS’s hobby horse championships

    A sad farewell

    Our thoughts are with owner John Fairley, trainer John Quinn and all of Highfield Princess’s connections after the home-bred mare died, aged seven, having sustained an inoperable fracture while in her stable. Despite the best efforts of the Rainbow Equine Hospital vets and their team, she could not be saved.

    Highfield Princess, pictured winning the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh in 2022.

    Highfield Princess, pictured winning the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh in 2022.

    Mr Fairley said: “Highfield Princess was the pride of Yorkshire, a superstar on the racecourse and adored by so many, for her irrepressible spirit at home and on the racecourse. We’re thinking of everyone who loved and admired her, in the UK and all around the world. She will be for ever held in our hearts.”

    Read full tribute to this special horse

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