Most-read news stories of 2013


Of the hundreds of news articles publishes each year, there are always those that strike a chord with readers – sometimes unexpectedly.

Good news and bad, we’ve covered it all around the world. Here are the year’s 10 most-read news articles.


Rivenlee Floats' three-storey horse truck.
Rivenlee Floats’ three-storey horse truck.

Aussie firm creates luxury set of wheels for horses

This three-storey horse trailer is believed to be the biggest horse truck made in Australia. Made by Rivenlee Floats, in New South Wales, the semi-trailer was made for the owner of a northern Queensland cattle property who has an interest in the horse sport of camp drafting.

It cost $A1.1 million to make.

The lower level comprises room for 14 horses, finished in stainless steel, and accommodation for two strappers. Upstairs, the truck boasts two bedrooms and a lounge-kitchen area.



Amish family riding in a traditional Amish buggy in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, USA.Horse pulling Amish buggy shot from passing car

Horrific news from Pennsylvania in November, as a horse towing an Amish buggy carrying five people was fatally wounded in a shooting.

The wounded horse continued for about a mile to a Pennsylvania farm before the occupants of the buggy noticed the animal bleeding from its mouth, with a gunshot wound to its chest.

The animal died before a veterinarian arrived.






Tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma.
Tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma. © Maj. Geoff Legler, Oklahoma National Guard

Heavy horse toll as twister destroys farm

Many horses died when a massive tornado ripped through Oklahoma in May. Our article centered on the Orr Family Farm’s plight, and the devastation of their properties.

It was reported that 75 to 100 horses had died in the area, and the Orr family’s farm stalls and barns took a direct hit. But miraculously, tales of survival emerged.





A still from the video.
A still from the video. that caused world-wide outrage.

Large woman with whip atop pony sparks anger

A video which went viral, showing an overweight woman sitting on a miniature horse, resulted in the arrest of three people in The Netherlands.

Internet users rightly expressed outrage at this bizarre behavior.








Johnny Depp as Tonto in a scene with Silver from the film.
Johnny Depp as Tonto in a scene with Silver from the film.

Horses steal show in Lone Ranger bloopers

Apparently readers love Johnny Depp.

This December 18 article, featuring  a blooper reel from the movie The Lone Ranger, leapt up the most-read rankings, despite being published with less than two weeks of the year to go.

The bloopers include Armie Hammer being licked by a fake horse tongue, and Depp, who plays Tonto, having trouble keeping control of Silver.



Cuoco during her stay in hospital.
Cuoco during her stay in hospital.

Kaley Cuoco shows off horse-accident scars readers also love Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, whose riding accident in 2011 continues to pull the viewers.

Cuoco has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, explaining the circumstances of her riding accident.



The fake horse yard was a front for a massive dope-growing operation.
The fake horse yard was a front for a massive dope-growing operation.

Fake horse yard a cover for underground dope operation

Not surprisingly, this article also make the “Weird and Wacky” list for 2013.

It appeared to be a pleasant Canadian horse pasture with an attractive barked yard with open-air stalls lined up along one side.

But it was all fake – and covering up a sophisticated muiltmillion-dollar underground cannabis-growing operation.




rider-weightMany riders too heavy for their mounts – study

This was the news that many did not want to hear – and it caused a flurry of comments on the article and on our Facebook page.

But there it was: British research suggested that only one in 20 riders may be within what they describe as the optimum weight range for their horse.

The study found that a third of recreational riders were too big for their horse, leaving the animals at risk of back troubles and lameness.



Blue Hors Matiné
Blue Hors Matiné

Blue Hors Matiné dies in paddock accident

This famous dressage horse died nearly four years ago, but readers are still drawn to her story, and to the video of her 2006 World Equestrian Games performance.

The video has had 12 million views to date.




Christy in Tunisia.
Christy Henchie in Tunisia.

Horror smash in Tanzania claims life of Long Rider

In January we received the terrible news that English Long Rider Christine Henchie has been killed when a bus ploughed into a group of well-wishers in Tunisia.

Henchie’s riding companion, South African Long Rider Billy Brenchley, suffered a broken leg in the accident, which also claimed the life of two bystanders.

The couple had set off in 2007, determined to complete the first ride from the most northern point of Africa, Cap Blanc in Tunisia, to the most southern point of Africa, Cape Agulhas in South Africa.



Gary Sanderson and Amigo.
Gary Sanderson and Amigo.

11: Injured Belgian showjumper dies after head injury

12: Shire horses thunder down track in British spectacle

13: Belgian showjumper on life support after fall

14: Moonwalking Shetland pony stars in British commercial

15: Bit found in mouth of donkey buried 3700 years ago

16: NZ wild horse unseats motorcyclist, tramples him

17: NZ eventer killed on British cross-country

18: Amigo marks anniversary of horror accident

19: Going clear at Badminton – forget the horse

20: Canadian showjumper dies after riding accident


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