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 […]

The FEI Comes Under Fire

Hyppoblog reports (en Français) on seismic shifts in the equestrian world. In March the president of the SVPS or Schweizerische Verband für Pferdsport (Swiss Federation for Equestrian Sports) wrote to the FEI expressing concern about the sport of endurance riding. Hyppoblog provide a PDF here (in English) which should be read in full as the […]

Rollkur, the FEI and Byrialsen: An Interview with Julie Taylor of Epona TV

UPDATE: Here. Last month’s Ecco FEI European championships in Herning were the biggest sporting event of the  year for Denmark. Hundreds of riders and thousands of fans came from across the continent for dressage, paradressage and show jumping competitions. But amid the clear rounds and medal ceremonies there was a groundswell of discontent with the […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

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 […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

A young Scottish showjumper who’s only been riding for three years has been sponsored by Euromillions lottery winners. (Horse and Hound) Meanwhile a nineteen-year-old started a millionaire’s fund of his own when he became the youngest ever winner of the showjumping CN International via Karen K. (Spruce Meadows) Corrective surgery for thoroughbred yearlings before auction. […]

Books for the Saddle Bag

Books I want to buy and read: Sometimes it’s tiresome when publishers try to ape a successful book by buying similar titles, but sometimes that policy opens the best of floodgates: suddenly writers get the chance to work on projects that would have been turned down as uncommercial till a forerunner proved otherwise. Laura Hillenbrand’s […]

Here Comes the Cavalry!

Every year the Household Cavalry holidays in Norfolk, my home county. The annual paddle in the sea at Holkham is a press favourite, but not so many people know about the show they hold in Thetford. I went for the first time last Saturday with Mum and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, even if we were […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Jeunes Filles Bien Elevées

I loved this chapter and had far, far to much to write about, some chunks of which may appear here if not used elsewhere. Meanwhile, enjoy the slideshow. The books came largely from Archive.org. J. Collinson and Sons rocking horses. A website maintained by Nannie Power O’Donoghue’s biographer, Olga E. Lockley. The brilliantly titled Unprotected […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Diminutive Dianas

Here’s some Pathé footage of the International Horse Show at Olympia in 1920 (spot the hydrangeas and the standard lamp shades!), the King’s Gold Cup in 1921,  opening day in 1922 (plus side-saddle) and a little showjumping. You can just make out the backdrop of Lowther Castle in this film from 1923. And this – […]