by Kristin Berkery
I wasn’t able to post on ilovehorses.net as often in January because I have some exciting publishing opportunities I’m working on. I’m still active on Twitter and Facebook almost every business day, sharing horse-related news and photos from around the world. Here are a few of my favorite stories from the last few weeks.
Similar to Cirque du Soleil, Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse is an artistic celebration of horses. It features 45 horses from 10 different breeds as they do amazing feats and interact with the human performers. Currently in Seattle until February 19, the show is moving to St. Louis beginning March 14.
The chestnut Thoroughbred gelding Neville Bardos was unsuccessful on the racetrack and headed for the slaughterhouse when he was purchased by his current owners for $850. A few years later Neville was seriously injured in a barn fire, but recovered so quickly that he was competing in eventing within three months. Now he’s a possible candidate for the 2012 U.S. Olympic equestrian team.
2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra foaled a colt by Curlin on January 22. A few days later the two were taken to the hospital to treat Rachel Alexandra for pain from the delivery, but mother and son returned home happy and healthy by January 31.
Genetic research has revealed that a gene variant for speed was propagated in the Thoroughbred breed by Nearctic and his son Northern Dancer. Sadly, that speed also came with weak ankles. Other research shows that Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have the highest inbreeding coefficient, meaning low genetic diversity.
In January HBO began airing a new dramatic series, Luck, centered around the action at Santa Anita Racetrack. Critics say its authentic horse racing lingo and traditions make Luck hard to enjoy for those outside racing.
Last year a new film was released about the history of Polish Arabians, Path to Glory: The Rise and Rise of the Polish Arabian Horse. Beautifully filmed in Poland and featuring rare footage and photos of well-known Polish Arabians, the movie tells the story of how Polish breeders have influenced the Arabian breed around the world. You can buy the two-DVD set at pathtogloryfilm.com.
A new book, Heroes With Hooves, features a pictorial of American mustangs in the wild in Wyoming, Colorado and Nevada. You can preview the entire book online for free. See more of the photographers’ work at tamaragoochphoto.com.
A lost wax copy of a horse-and-rider sculpture by Leonardo da Vinci was authenticated and unveiled in Las Vegas last month. Copies will probably be made and marketed to the public.