Eurovision 2017: Chevaux, deux points

Folks, I know you thought that the Montenegrin entry for Eurovision, a man with a six-foot ponytail – think top Friesian stud Frederick the Great or Khal Drogo with extensions – was the horsiest entry for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but you were wrong. Wrong! Here’s Slavko Kalezic in action: But here, my friends […]

Unbridled Dressage, Brushes with Scandal and a Tragic End: Adèle Drouin

Scores or maybe even hundreds of women in nineteenth century Europe performed as haute-école riders in circuses and hippodromes* before audiences from all classes. A handful of them became famous, as the expansion of the newspaper market meant that they were the first women to be widely celebrated for their equestrian skills (other than the […]

May 2017 Bring You Obedient White Horses

Therese Renz of the famous Renz circus dynasty, c. 1895. I’ve seen wonderful pictures of her in action (have you see the one where she and her horse are jumping rope?) but didn’t realise that she was a Berliner, and is buried just up the road from me in St Hedwig’s cemetery in Weissensee. She […]

Horses in the Wings

The theatrical and circus historian A H Saxon is the don of hippodrama history. I bought an old library copy of his Enter Foot and Horse when I was working on The Age of the Horse because I knew it would be the key to nineteenth-century equestrian theatre. I wasn’t disappointed. Hippodramas were, to quote […]

Mozart, Uccello, Caravaggio and a Riding School Carved from Rock

I don’t blog much about the work I’m doing on book two (The Age of the Horse), but here’s a sneak peak of something I’ll be writing about. In November I was lucky enough to have three days at the Equestrian Academy at Versailles, where they were rehearsing for this performance in the old riding […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

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 […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

An Irish Draught called Rupert performs on stage at the Royal Opera House in London (simplymarvelous) Elizabeth I’s sidesaddle came up for auction in England. (Sidesaddle Girl) A British farmer working a 265-acre farm with a team of Percherons (simplymarvelous) Facebook is hot on the heels of a self-styled record breaker in the US who […]