The Hopkins Hoax
Horse and Rider Magazine, January 2004
Against All Odds
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The readers of Horse and Rider have become the most recent victims of Frank Hopkins' equestrian fantasies! This occurred when that magazine's reporter, Debra Bokur, urged its readers to "Join us on the set of Hidalgo, Disney's movie based on the true story of an American Mustang who raced 99 Arabian horses 3,000 miles across the Arabian Desert."
In a highlighted sidebar entitled "Oceans of Fire," Bokur encouraged her readers to learn more about Hopkins by visiting www.frankhopkins.com. Neither Bokur nor her editor revealed to their readers that this website is owned and promoted by the movie's screenplay writer, John Fusco. Nor did Horse and Rider's editor, Darrell Dodds, see fit to inform the public that there was a major controversy surrounding the validity of Hopkins' story.
Nearly eighty academic experts have denounced Hopkins as an Old West fraud and an equestrian liar. But Horse and Rider did not contact any of them. Instead, the magazine meekly published the press release from the Walt Disney Studio, thereby further misleading their readers.
The Long Riders' Guild is encouraging subscribers and readers of Horse and Rider to express their concern over this irresponsible reporting. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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