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April Fools Day 2018 – Equestrian Round Up

Written by Andrea Parker

In amongst all the Easter eggs yesterday you could be forgiven for forgetting that it was also April Fools Day. 2017 brought us Valegro’s new career in eventing, a water fountain statue of Michael Jung and Rocana and the new sports of cat dressage and seahorse racing. 2018 brought some absolute rippers as well.

USEFs new Pro-Amateur status

From the team at Heels Down Happy Hour we have a classification between Professional and Amateur, the Pro-Am. As the rule stands riders competing under United States Equestrian Federation sanctioned competitions who have Amateur status are not allowed to have any form of sponsorship or receive any free equestrian goods. The new ruling would have allowed them to have sponsorships or brand ambassadors without having to be reclassified as a professional so long as they were not a coach or trainer. The story came across as very formal and serious, so I can only imagine that Amateur riders across America were leaping out of their chairs with joy.

Germany allowing costumes in freestyle dressage classes

I think there is at least a small piece of every dressage rider that wants to do away with the prim and proper attire of formal dressage competitions in favour of glitter, diamontes and bright colours. Naturally, the April Fools Day joke from Dressage News appealed to many. The news was accompanied by a clip of Ingrid Klimke and Franziskus’ demo ride at Equitana in 2017 Klimke dressed to the nines in pink sparkling gown.

I have to admit that I fell for this one, and I was kinda torn!

USEF recognising Hobbyhorse as an official competition

The rise of hobbyhorse competitions in Europe, where people ‘ride’ through patterns on stick horses, was not taken particularly seriously by the equestrian world at large. The article stated, “2018 will be a pilot year for the USEF Hobbyhorse program as the affiliate is created and organizers bid for competition dates. We know Chinch is especially excited, so stay tuned for the unveiling of our new sister site, Hobbyhorse Nation.” They clarified at the end of the article that it was in fact an April Fools Day prank.

The all weather waxed sand surface at Hickstead

The International arena at Hickstead is famous world around for its green grassy course. Edward Bunn Executive Director at Hickstead stated that they would be transforming the famous arena with an all weather waxed sand surface, which would allow them to make use of the arena more often, as well as diversifying into other sports such as beach volley ball.

Hickstead even got in on the April Fools Day action

New technology allowing riderless racehorse training

Kim Bailey Racing yesterday announced that they would be using the ‘Jockeybot’ technology for galloping their horses. The Jockeybot which is takes the place of the saddle and not only mimics the riders movements, can steer the horse but also tracks,m distance, speed and heart rate of the horse.

Horse Feeds with a twist

A number of horse feed companies announced specialised feeding products, there was the Blue Chip Unicorn feed balancer, the Purina Unicorn feed and perhaps the most creative was from Baileys. The UK based feed company announced that they had produced feeds which would make manure glow in the dark and prevent mud from sticking.

Bailey's Horse Feed - April Fools Day Bailey's Horse Feed - April Fools Day

Horse trails without the dressage

Its no secret that for the majority of eventers dressage is a phase which must be suffered through in order to get to the good part. The Australian Group, Northern Horse Park Lakes & Craters International Horse Trials, announced that their upcoming event would run without dressage. This move had it been more than an April Fools Day Prank, would have undoubtedly been exceedingly popular.

April Fools Day 2018 - Equestrian Round Up

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About the author


Andrea Parker

Andrea is an Adult Amateur dressage rider who competes at medium level on her 13-year-old mare Mon Ami. Andrea shares her journey through the equestrian world on her blog The Sand Arena Ballerina and is working on an equestrian podcast called Equestrian Pulse.