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U.K.: Retired Show Horse Gets 'Stable HD'

Those madcap Brits at BSkyB are at it again. The Rupert Murdoch-owned DBS firm serving the United Kingdom wants more folks to know about its HD service (Sky+ HD) — which includes live coverage of some of Britain's beloved racing events — and has gone as far as to furnish a former international show jumper with her own HD screen in her stable quarters (as if the horse, Belle De Harlequin, isn't already spoiled enough).

Sky hooked up the Thoroughbred (nicknamed Belly Bumps) with a 52-inch HD screen in her well-appointed stable quarters to watch all the races she sadly no longer can compete in (plus, presumably, large doses of Animal Planet and old John Wayne Westerns).

And apparently taking full advantage of a four-legged HD consumer who cannot protest out loud to the pure commercialism of it all, a human veterinarian actually was quoted in a Sky statement as declaring that "Belly Bumps has been responding to the action on screen. The clarity of the images and sound provide a great stimulus, and her ears are constantly pricked forward, showing she's engaged with the television. She seems to recognize some of her fellow stable mates and viewing other horses will certainly stop her feeling lonely." (Truly, that's what he said.)

The unabashed promotion was for Sky Sports' multi-day coverage of the Longines Royal International Horse Show on Sky+ HD last weekend. And Belly Bumps, apparently not one to look another gift horse in the mouth, didn't seem to be complaining.