[Equestrian Clearance Blog] As someone interested in all things equestrian, you must have heard something about the horse meat scandal taking place right now in the UK.
It’s pretty much dominated horsey headlines for the last month as disgusted diners realised that what they thought was beef was actually up to 100% horse.
Under fire is Findus, whose lasagne is in the line of fire after a Food Standards Agency report revealed the high horse meat levels in the frozen treat. As a precaution, supermarket chain Tesco pulled food from the shelves which was supplied from the same factory. Similarly, reports are abounding that Findus will take legal action against their French supplier, Spanghero, who has been at the forefront of a lot of controversy in the pass.
A sad ending
It’s never nice to hear that some horses don’t end their life as seasoned racers or retired riding ponies. Though horse meat has long been eaten across the world, in this country horses are usually friends rather than food. This blog post from Equestrian Clearance sums up the debacle.
Horses have always been an important part of British culture; in fact, the UK is famous for horse racing and for our world class Olympic Equestrian team, so today, we celebrate them.
Upsetting the odds
One of the most famous horses in racing has to be Seabiscuit. The champion Thoroughbred was foaled over in the states, and became so famous he has been the subject of a number of films and books. He’s got his own statue in Santa Anita Park too.
Despite the fact that as a colt he was notably lazy, small and had knobby knees, he went on to win 33 races and became a symbol of hope during the Great Depression.
Competition horses specialise in show jumping or the tricky moves of dressage. Milton, a show jumping horse, also had plenty of prestigious achievements under her hooves, including over £1 million in prize money – the first non-racing horse to ever achieve this.
Meanwhile, Seldom Seen stood at only 14.2 hands high but still managed to capture the heart of the racing world as his comparative tininess didn’t hold him back from Grand Prix victories.
Horses in history
Some horses have even changed the shape of history. Alexander the Great’s famous mount Bucephalus would carry the famous general through history-changing battles. He’s the horse known for having been notoriously difficult to train, and it was only Alexander who would eventually tame him.
Comache was one of the equestrian heroes of the Battle of Little Bighorn, and one of the few survivors of the historical tragedy. He was purchased by Captain Myles Keogh of the 7th Cavalry to serve as his battle mount.
During a battle in 1868, the horse continued to carry Keogh into the fight despite the fact the horse had sustained an arrow wound in his hind quarters. His bravery would continue in similar confrontations, when he soldiered on through injuries and carried Keogh back to safety afterwards.
More than just a set of hooves
Horses are seen as intelligent animals, but two of the most renowned horses with more brain matter than most were Clever Hans and Muhamed. The former was capable of solving basic arithmetic problems by way of signalling answers with his hoof. Muhamed also used his hooves to tap out cube roots of numbers presented to him – spectacular.
Other impressive horses include Huaso, who set the high jumping record by clearing a huge 8 ft. 1 inch jump, and the first cloned horse Promethia who was the successful result of intensive study by Italian researchers.
So really, horses don’t deserve being put on a plate, do they?
This equine message was brought to you by Senior Newcomers Series sponsor and horse wear supplier Equestrian Clearance.
Equestrian Clearance Blog
2nd Mar, 2013
- USDA Set to Approve Horse Meat Slaughter in the US (theintelhub.com)
- Riding high – Equestrian sports bask in Olympic success: The Oxford Times (equihunter.wordpress.com)