Year in Review: A timeline of the horsiest presidential campaign in history

From foam fingers to Olympic dressage to “horses and bayonets,” here’s a highlight reel of the role horses played in the 2012 presidential election.

All spring, Horse Nation closely follows the Olympic qualification prospects of Ann Romney’s horse Rafalca.The rest of the world catches on in June, when Steven Colbert reports that Rafalca is competing in the U.S. Olympic Selection Trials, chants “Rafalca No. 1! Rafalca No. !” while waving a red foam finger, and declares dressage “the official sport of the summer”:

Our friends at SmartPak take it upon themselves to egg the whole thing on (reason #4,589 why we love them), mass-producing “Dressage is #1” foam fingers, pushing Olympic trucker hats, and mailing Colbert a full dressage outfit.

The dressage community, God bless them, responds with the release of a strange video showing red foam fingers and bottles of Budweiser being distributed at Gladstone, starring a completely freaked out Rafalca herself:

Colbert reappears on national television wearing a helmet, taking full credit for Rafalca’s placement on the U.S. Olympic team.

Colbert’s newfound desire to unravel the mysteries of dressage leads him to take a lesson in “horse ballet” from former Olympian Michael Barisone.

Romney’s presidential campaign struggles to rebound from criticism of their involvement in the “elitist” sport.

Which leads Colbert to make fun of them some more:

In August, Olympic dressage competition commences, with Rafalca finishing in out of the top 20 amidst a swirl of media attention and Rafalca GIFs.

Just when we thought horses had finally exited stage right, they reappear en mass in October, when horses and bayonets quickly became an internet sensation.

Whatever the effect horses have had on the 2012 presidential campaign, it sure has made for an entertaining ride.

Go horses, and GO VOTE!!!


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