Sharks have had a good run, but now it’s time for horses to have a week of their own.
Back in 1988 an executive at the Discovery Channel had an idea: A week of programming dedicated to understanding sharks, supporting conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about the ocean predator. Now, 33 years later, Shark Week is not quite a national holiday, but it’s a beloved tradition that has informed and entertained millions. And it has most certainly raised the profile of sharks.
This autumn, the Equine Network is hoping to do the same for horses. The inaugural Horse Week, running from October 3 to 9, will feature 25 hours of educational and inspirational video content, all of which will be available to stream to any smart device via horseweek.tv. Horse Week is brought to you by Boehringer Ingelheim and all programming will be free for viewers.
At the center of Horse Week will be five “daily marquee” documentary films, produced by the Equine Network, that range in subject matter from the benefits of therapeutic riding to the team effort it takes to keep elite equine athletes at the top of their game. Rounding out programming will be shorter video elements, including daily lessons with respected eventing clinician Liz Halliday-Sharp.
The Horse Week concept arose, in part, from surveys conducted by the Equine Network each year to identify trends in the horse industry. Previously, results from these surveys inspired the creation of two major programs: A Home for Every Horse, which has grown to be one of the largest horse rescue programs in the country, and Hope in the Saddle, which supports rehabilitation programs centering around the horse.
In 2020, the annual survey showed that Americans were spending more time with their horses than ever before and that interest in equine-related topics was climbing steadily, explains Dave Andrick, Equine Network Vice President/Group Publisher. “For many years, the horse industry has been considering a weeklong national focus around the horse,” says Andrick. “We have identified these two trends as critical drivers for the success of this program.” The result, she adds, is a horse-centered event designed to appeal to horse enthusiasts everywhere.
Equine Network Vice President of Marketing Services Melissa Kitchen says the week will transcend the usual segmentation within the horse world. No matter your favorite horse breed or your preferred type of saddle, she says, there will be something in this equine-centric digital festival for you: “We have pulled Horse Week together to celebrate the horse across the entire industry in this new, exciting and innovative way. All riders and horse lovers, regardless of their level of involvement or discipline, are going to love our high-powered equine content.”
Although Horse Week is a still a month away, horseweek.tv is already live. Go there for the latest updates and when the time comes, a daily programming schedule and access to content.