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 […]

Collateral Damage in Victorian Divorce

From Geoffrey Wheatcroft’s review of Jane Ridley’s new biography of Edward VII in the NYRB. In a scene too lurid for the trashiest episode of Downton Abbey, Sir Charles Mordaunt returned unexpectedly from a fishing holiday in Norway to find two white carriage ponies in front of his country house, and his wife Harriet talking […]

Let’s Ride… NORTH KOREA! Or Maybe Not.

Thank you to Matt for the news that the North Korean leadership has decided it needs some authentic Gangnam style to accompany the gulags and famine. Koryo Tours, a Beijing-based company offering trips to North Korea, sent Simon Cockerell to inspect the facilities at the Mirim Horse-Riding Centre just outside Pyongyang. The former military training […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Artist Mark Wallinger has made a 3D scan of a racehorse, produced it in marble dust and resin and set it outside the British Council building in London. Wallinger’s work frequently features horses, and he’s even a racehorse owner himself. The piece will tour internationally, and the artist hopes it will revive interest in his […]

The Politics of Dressage

The US election is over but how could I forget to blog this October 1st New Yorker cover by Barry Blitt? I’m not sure that a horse with a back that long could pull off a levade, but I’m amused that Mitt’s “dressage horse” appears to be a Lipizzaner. I didn’t even clock that the […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

eBay, I don’t believe you. That never happened in my daydreams. Right, on with a long overdue HHLHL! I’ve been busy organising a research trip for book two but the horse world went on turning, and lovely people have been sending me links, so enjoy this extra special post whose diversity reminds me why I’m […]

It had to be a White Horse…

I’m always collecting material on white horses for a book that may never happen, so here’s another. A trailer for Snow White and the Huntsman, a forthcoming all-glossy, all-action fairy tale starring Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron. I don’t know about you, but I’m always delighted when I find a spare horse lying around on […]

Love Among Warhorses

Napoleon’s Marengo (an Arab, Turcoman or Barb) and the Duke of Wellington’s Copenhagen (a three-quarters thoroughbred) were the most famous chargers of the nineteenth century. Both were named after famous victories of their masters. Both feature in heroic portraits, and both had their hooves repurposed after death – Marengo’s as cruet, Copenhagen’s as an inkstand. […]