Colonel Gaddafi, a Very Young Michael Whitaker and Fantasia in Libya

Thank you Matt for this spectacular oddity from Adam Curtis at the BBC. In 1982, Libya held an international showjumping contest that featured top British riders and a thousand-strong Bedouin “fantasia”. Head-tossing barb horses in embroidered bridles, a dictator at the height of his powers and one very dour Yorkshireman, who really does not want to talk to the plucky BBC film maker, all packed into 15 minutes of footage.

Sunday Morning Time Travel

Wonderful news for overworked writers who don’t have time to maintain their blogs: British Pathé have uploaded their stock of vintage film clips to YouTube. As the old slogan of the British tabloid the News of the World used to claim, “all human life is there”, and quite a bit of horsey life too. So where shall we go today?

Maybe to Soviet-era Dagestan to watch the locals ride:

Or a ladies’ point-to-point in 1920s Britain, with half the field sidesaddle and half riding heels-first like sulky drivers:

To 1920s Vienna, where the lipizzaners at the Spanish Riding School look as though they are about to join in the human conversation to clarify some of the finer points of the piaffe:

And Liverpool’s cart horse parade in the 1920s, featuring shires got up in elaborate floral rigs and stepping out for the lady mayoress. For more about the tradition of the parade, click here.

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Subway art at Campo Pequeno station, Lisbon

Subway art at Campo Pequeno station, Lisbon

  • The American Quarter Horse Association is being sued for not allowing the registration of cloned horses. (ABC News)
  • A New Yorker suggests that the local Boris bike system is replaced by one providing horses. (Gabe Capone)
  • The suspicious death of a racehorse in West Virginia. (Bloodhorse.com)
  • A profile on Marty Irby, a Tennessee Walking Horse breeder who switched sides and joined the campaign to end endemic cruelty in the Big Lick industry. (The Tennessean)
  • More intrigue in New York: carriage drivers say the ASPCA has funded a group that’s attempting to trash the campaign of a mayoral hopeful (New York Daily News)
  • Fascinating gif of a horse jumping – with a skeleton painted onto its coat, so you can see the physical process of leaping. (Reddit)
  • The Wall Street Journal on London’s mews: once stables and carriage houses, now des-res homes. (WSJ)
  • Lone Ranger star Arnie Hammer says his co-star stole the show. Not Depp, but Leroy, a tall grey Nebraskan who stepped into the shoes of Silver. (Omaha)

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

photo-4

  • Billionaire Roman Abramovich has purchased Pringle, one of the best showjumping ponies in the UK, for his daughter Irina. (Daily Telegraph)
  • Mustang round-ups in the US are halted after video evidence of abuse of the horses is presented (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • The owner of a pit bull that chased a police horse for a mile-and-a-half through a San Francisco park is fighting a court order to either euthanise the dog or hand it over to a sanctuary. He claims that the police horse should have been trained to deal with dogs, and that he has no idea how the wounds it suffered were inflicted. According to a comment: “The horse was bitten 13 times in a 1.5 mile long attack.  The officer was bitten as well, then thrown and knocked out (very lucky he wasn’t hurt worse) when the horse was bitten in the belly.  The horse ran to the stable but the doors were shut, and the dog attacked it a second time, in the chest, belly, hindquarters and legs.  The dog was originally 200’ away, the owner was present at the start of the attack.” (ABA Journal)
  • Dan Stevens and Dominic Cooper star in a forthcoming film about the life of equestrian artist Alfred Munnings. I wonder if they’ll film in Costessey? (Telegraph, via Fran Jurga)
  • Anti-horse meat advertising campaigns photographed in France. (Market Design)

Someone Trying to Stop the Abuse of Horses? Time to Invoke the US Constitution!

A leading Tennessee Walking Horse industry group sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday, contending that the government’s effort to impose minimum penalties for soring and abusing horses is unconstitutional. …

SHOW Inc., the Shelbyville-based horse industry organization, filed the lawsuit in the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth, claiming that the new rules violate the constitutional right of trainers and owners to due process under the law. …

“Reformers within the walking show horse industry are committed to self-regulation as demonstrated by recent efforts but the USDA’s regulations are not only unconstitutional, they unfairly punish those most aggressively working to clean up the industry,” SHOW President Stephen Mullins said in a statement.

Report by Duane W Gang at The Tennessean.

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Spotted by Helen Maguire at the UCCA contemporary art gallery in Beijing