Mr Ned at Blair.
Probably only a few people know that the horse in the Equiworld Logo is a real live horse and belongs to our editor Caroline Martin. His name is Springdale Steven and this year he was part of our busy team at the Bowmore Blair Castle International Horse Trials and Country Fair. While I was showing a group of American visitors round the event, Peter Asprey who is our technical chap was supervising the live web coverage and Caroline was keeping the site updated plus finding time to compete in the various show jumping classes. For all of us it was a funny feeling to be knee deep in the heather in the Scottish Highlands beside historic Blair Castle yet be connected to Equiworld by a high-speed ISDN line! Steven on the other hand was happy in his temporary loose box munching hay and enjoying the company of a hundred other horses.
Steven first became the horse in our Equiworld logo after a thoughtless graphic artist copied the million dollar show jumper Miltons image from a magazine and called it Mr.Ned the talking horse, without ever thinking about copyright! Then after talking to John Whittaker who rode Milton at the time, we decided to replace Miltons image with Stevens. To tell the truth it has been much more fun with Steven as our mascot and we could write a book about the antics and nonsense he gets up to. When Caroline bought him eight years ago he had just come over from Ireland as a three year old and would buck and leap about all over the place. Caroline would just laugh and say he will learn and he did. After a year or two he had steadied up enough to start jumping and in those early days he loved to charge round the show jumps like a whirlwind and win! Caroline would just smile and bit by bit they both became more polished in their performances until now he can jump round a 1.20 meter course and they both look quite professional.
Because we are all proud of Steven and I have decided that he will have his own pages on equiworld.net for those who would like to hear about all the things he does and also get to know his friends. And please dont hesitate to send him an e-mail which we will stick up in his stable.