Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Prague carriage horses

  • Questions are raised over the treatment of horses on film and TV show sets. Are trainers’ welfare concerns being overruled? (LA Times)
  • A “horse palace” in Montreal seeks donors for a makeover. (Montreal Gazette)
  • A woman “gives birth to a pony” during a church service in Nigeria. (PM News)
  • Lady Gaga arrived at the launch of her new signature fragrance in a horse-drawn carriage shaped like the perfume flask. (Ace ShowBiz)
  • Don’t touch the horse! An arrest for drunkenness and touching a police horse. (Tampa Bay Times) Elsewhere, in Philly, a police horse is punched. (Policeone.com)
  • Claims of assault fly in the fight to save wild horses in Reno. (Examiner.com)
  • A smalltown official who defrauded millions sees her illgotten gains – pedigree quarter horses – sold for over a million dollars at internet auction. (Chicago Tribune)
  • A little girl’s dream comes true when she comes home from school to find her very own pony waiting for her. (This is Gloucestershire)
  • The first Exmoor Pony Festival works like a charm (This is the West Country)
  • Muslims in Gaza have to break Islamic “best practice” and eat horsemeat. (NYT)
  • The number of horse rescues in the US has nearly doubled in five years. Major welfare groups suggest accreditation for newcomers (Ventura County Star)

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Berlin graffiti

  • 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. Do they need it? Should it be disclosed? How much goes on?  As one concerned owner points out, “A stallion retires to stud that might not have held up to racing say in 1965 or 1975 and now you’ve got these horses going into the gene pool. I think that unquestionably changes the face of the genetics going forward.” (Kentucky.com)
  • The US federal Horse Protection Act is criticsed by those trying to prosecute abusers of Tennessee Walking Horses. They say the penalties must be much stiffer. (SF Chronicle)
  • In Britain a couple are fined over a thousand pounds and banned from keeping animals for ten years after keeping a pony in a 6ft by 4ft shed. (Daily  Mail)
  • Korean pop group KARA flash their gams and do the “horse riding dance”, which is apparently all the rage among the young folk. (allkpop.com) UPDATE: Thank you to the Atlantic and Ben Perry for this detailed explanation of the horse riding dance.
  • Documentary Wild Horse, Wild Ride, tells the story of trainers preparing fresh-off-the-range horses for the Mustang Makeover. Think Josephine Pullein-Thompson’s Six Ponies and then some. (LA Times)
  • The Seventh Russian polo Open at Moscow. (Living Polo)
  • Przewalski horses return to the wild in China. (Horse Talk NZ)
  • The ill-gotten gains of a city official in Illinois are up at auction: hundreds of top-rank Quarter Horses. (Wall Street Journal)
  • And last but definitely not least, these surprising and moving animal portraits by photographer Charlotte Dumas. Look! Look! (Flavorwire)

Working Like Trojans

Some Marengo High School students wanted to do something big. Their project for humanities class had to have something to do with the ancient Greeks. …

“It was a surprise and it was a big surprise,” said teacher Bob Pomykala said.

The students wouldn’t tell Pomykala what they were up to.

“They said they had a great idea, but they wouldn’t tell me what it was,” he said.

What they did was build a giant Trojan Horse, which, according to Greek mythology was used to sneak soldiers into the city of Troy for a triumphant battle. They built it in senior Sergio Aguilar’s yard, and then moved it right in front of Marengo Community High School.

Report and photos here, at CBS Chicago. I wonder if their next project will reference the horse who carried Napoleon and who shared the school’s name?

Those curious about the true identity of the little grey Arab should download  Jill Hamilton’s excellent investigative work, Marengo, the Myth of Napoleon’s Horse, and also look forward to ‘War Horses of Letters’, Marie Phillips and Robert Hudson’s forthcoming Radio 4 exposé of the love letters that flew back and forth between Marengo and the Duke of Wellington’s handsome chestnut, Copenhagen.

And to lighten the depressing snippets of the earlier post still more, here’s one of Vivian Maier’s photos from 1950s Chicago (thank you, Amro!), showing a young man riding a draft horse bareback through the city, and the story of a 1909 carousel in Spokane, still turning. I particularly enjoyed the explanation of the difference between the “romance” and the “money” sides of the figures of horses and wild animals: the outward flank of the beast is fantastically decorated, whereas the side the customer sees when they’ve paid up and are about to mount, is somewhat plainer.

Also, an extremely cute pony.