by Fran Jurga | 16 August 2009 | The Jurga Report
Make it nine million and one.
Say it isn't so!
European news sources, including our friends at London's Horse and Hound, are reporting that the Danish Blue Hors Stud has decided to retire the spectacular mare Blue Hors Matine to their breeding program.
I'm sure many others, like me, were waiting for this horse to make a huge comeback for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. The Alltech European championships later this month at England's Windsor Castle would have been the natural re-entry point but the decision was made instead to retire the mare.
A van loading accident at the 2007 FEI World Cup in Las Vegas led to a long layoff from competition for the gray mare. Now, after two years, the decision has been made to remove her from competition consideration altogether.
Matine captivated the world in 2006 when she literally danced her way around Aachen's huge arena in the World Equestrian Games freestyle with rider Andreas Helgstrand.
Television commentator Richard Davison ran out of superlatives. A star was born, albeit a star whose light shown in a most unusual way: A virtual unknown to mainstream dressage fans around the world, Matine became a YouTube star, possibly the fist viral equine celebrity.
Matine's video has been viewed more than 9 million times. (Stacy Westfall's viral reining video, by comparison, is considered huge at 300,000 views.) I'm pretty sure that the video was illegally posted from an off-the-air recording by an Australian television viewer named Dan. The rest is history.
After all this time, I was finally get the pronunciation memorized on her name. It is "mah-teen-AYE". I only know that because, like so many others, more than one of those nine million views was mine.
Have a nice life, Matine. We'll see you on YouTube, again and again and again.