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.

Yomping Home

The British Pathé News site is a treasure trove of vintage films. I found this clip of a 1927 ladies’ point-to-point by sticking “sidesaddle” in the search engine, and what a sight it is. Frankly, much of the riding looks pretty awful!
The accompanying notes say there is no information on where it was filmed, or who is taking part. Women competed in open point-to-points from 1913 on, and the first ladies’ race took place in 1921. In 1929, the powers that be decided that they’d had quite enough of women beating men thank you, and they weren’t allowed to enter open races again till 1967.