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News of the Weird: Going 'Horseless'
Horse show jumping is a longtime Olympics sport, but for the last 10 years, equestrians have been performing in “horseless” show jumping, in which horse courses are run by “riders” on foot (who, by the way, do not straddle broomsticks). According to an October report in The Wall Street Journal, an international association headed by retired pro equestrian Jessica Newman produces at least 15 shows a year, with between 40 to 130 competitors galloping over jumps that vary from two to four feet high (five feet in “Grand Prix” events), with the “riders” graded as if they were on horses (timed, with points off for contacting the rails). Explained Newman about the shows' success: “It's just fun to be a horse.”
By Chuck Shepherd
October 30, 2012