The Chronicle of the Horse is celebrating its 75th birthday in 2012. This is the last article in a seven-week series in which we’ve brought you a decade-by-decade look at the history that has filled its pages since 1937.
At the turn of the century, the horse show world, like much of the rest of the world, looked forward to a new age filled with technological advances and high competition. Although both played a significant role in the equine industry during the first decade of the new millennium, after the midnight glitter settled on Jan. 1, 2000, and everyone realized Y2K was something to be celebrated and not survived, the horse world got back to business.
At the Chronicle, the 2000s brought a variety of changes to both format and staff. In March 2006, Tricia Booker became editor at the magazine when John Strassburger retired. He continued to write columns for the magazine. Less than a year later, on Sept. 14, 2007, the print magazine went to full color, and for the first time photographs in editorial stories were regularly printed in color instead of black and white.
In 2010, Beth Rasin became editor. The Chronicle Connection, a digital monthly magazine, debuted in January of 2011. Most recently, the print magazine received a redesign that launched on April 9, 2012, with a white cover and a return to a masthead reminiscent of the original 1937 design.
The Chronicle website grew and evolved into a platform for up-to-the-minute news and daily coverage of events. Instead of waiting a week to read about the latest competition, the 2000s saw a rise in the amount of online coverage from horse shows across the world.
The information is presented in a different way, but these changes did not affect the Chronicle’s tradition of following the latest happenings in the sport horse world.
When Tragedy Strikes
After the world was shocked by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the horse show world skidded to a stop. Cancelled flights and safety concerns prevented international travel, and horse show organizers questioned whether or not it was disrespectful to hold competitions in the days following 9/11. The horse world was not immune to the political environment, and patriotism soared at horse shows. At the Lincoln American Gold Cup in Devon, Pa., riders and spectators alike wore red, white and blue ribbons as the show continued.
Four years later, Hurricane Katrina caused severe flooding on the Gulf Coast, animals were abandoned or lost, and food was scarce. However, the equine community jumped to action to send hay and grain to the area, evacuate animals in danger and find new homes for unclaimed pets. On Sept. 9, 2005, a report in the Chronicle described some of the rescue efforts:
… More than 90 horses and mules have been rescued and are now at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, La., where veterinarians and veterinary students from Louisiana State University, and volunteers, have been caring for them.
Among those 90 are 19 carriage horses and mules rescued from New Orleans’ downtown district, where they were used for tourist carriage rides. One brave soul, identified only as Lucian, stayed behind during the hurricane to care for the horses. He and 22 horses rode out Hurricane Katrina. He lost one to a broken neck, but helped 21 survive almost a week with no food, water or supplies. When finally rescued from waist-deep water on Sept. 4, the animals were transported to Baton Rouge, although two did not survive the journey….
This Isn’t Science Fiction
Technological advances in the 2000s allowed competitors to not only submit entries for competitions online, but also to see results instantaneously. In 2003, the Upperville Horse Show (Va.), the oldest horse show in the country, provided results online to celebrate its 150th anniversary and joined more than 420 shows that submitted results electronically to USAEquestrian that year.
In July 2006, scientists began sequencing the horse genome, and on Feb. 7, 2007, the first draft of the horse genome sequence was publicized. Stem cell therapy with adult stem cells as well as embryo stem cells expanded treatment options for ligament or tendon injuries in horses by injecting stem cells directly to the site of the injury.
The first cloned horse, a Haflinger filly named Prometea, was born on May 28, 2003, at the Laboratorio di Tecnologie della Riproduzione in Cremona, Italy. Soon after, a Quarter Horse clone was born, and don’t forget Gemini, the clone of show jumping great Gem Twist. Gemini was born Sept. 15, 2008. He was cloned for breeding purposes, and he currently stands at stud for Mary and Frank Chapot of Chado Farms.
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