England's Uffington Horse is a 3000-year-old iconic carving into a chalky hillside. Was it designed by the ancient Celts as a sign to the gods, like some sort of equestrian crop circle? No one really knows. It's always been there, galloping freely across the vast clear hillsides.
Until this week, that is, when the local people woke up to find a jockey on the horse. and reins.
The amazing publicity stunt was pulled off by the Irish online gambling shop ("bookmaker") Paddy Power. We're in the final run-up to the Cheltenham Festival of National Hunt racing (steeplechasing, more or less, in US racing terms) and an annual prank was expected.
As you can see in the video, they didn't carve the soil, but rather used canvas to create the rider.
Paddy Power is known for its pranks and its controversial (and usually quite humorous) television commercials about gambling.
If you needed to end the week with a smile, this should do it.
© Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site, www.hoofcare.com, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions or problems with this blog? Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow Hoofcare + Lameness on Twitter: @HoofcareJournal
Read this blog's headlines on the Hoofcare + Lameness Facebook Page
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any direct compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned, other than Hoofcare Publishing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.