Ever exhilarating: take a ride round the cross-country course at the Fair Hill International in Maryland with the wonderful Henny and Peter Atkins of Australia. Henny (whom I wrote about briefly here) loves cross country, as you can probably tell by his ears, which are pricked all the way round. Atkins says he once saw Henny standing stock still in a turn-out paddock at a major event, gazing into the distance where part of the course could be seen, as though he were working out his tactics. He’s now being syndicated, and I can’t imagine who wouldn’t want a piece of him.
Enjoy Eventing Nation’s footage of the cross country day of the Olympic Test Event in Greenwich Park. The extremely enthusiastic South London schoolkids made it for me.
Thank you to Susan for sending me a link to this piece on horse prints in fashion at Style Bubble.
Roo shared this, er, fascinating set of what you might call outsider art portraits of horses smoking cigarettes, for sale now on Craigslist New Orleans. Click now before they’re sold.
Ed Ward let me know that Marianne Faithfull’s new album is called ‘Horses and High Heels’, and also directed my attention to this New York Times travel feature on horses and music in Louisiana:
I HAD never noticed how closely the syncopated rhythm of zydeco music echoes the rollicking stumble of horses on rough terrain. But on a September afternoon in the piney woods of Evangeline Parish, in Louisiana’s Cajun country, with hundreds of dusty horseback riders moving down a narrow trail, the kinship was impossible to miss. As the horses followed a tractor towing a D.J. and a zydeco-blaring sound system, they bucked and swayed in a cadence fit for the barroom floors of Lafayette, 70 miles away.
HBO’s new blockbuster/DVD box set of the future is Luck, about hosses and gamblers. There’s a trailer here at Television Blend. Directed by Michael Mann, starring Nick Nolte and Dustin Hoffman. Looks fantastic.
Teenage hearthrob Robert Pattinson shoots a horse in his new film, Water for Elephants, in which he plays a ‘circus veterinarian’ opposite Reese Witherspoon. Reese’s character performs with horses in the circus as a liberty trainer, and a big part of me is fondly hoping that she was inspired by Jenny de Rhaden or Emilie Loisset, though I doubt it. The trailer looks like a big, cheesy waste of Christopher Waltz. Thank you to Patrick (who is always fascinated by horse disposal) for this one.
April brings out equine finery. The president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, showcased the Akhal Teke horse, complete with traditional dress and jewellery (fancy), while in the town of St Augustine in Florida, the 53rd annual Parada de los Caballos y Coches took place. Carriage horses parade through the streets in Easter bonnets contributed by worthy American ladies. Past bonnet-donations came from Mary Pickford, Nancy Reagan, Mrs Billy Graham and Mrs Jimmy Carter. No word on whether Michelle Obama has been asked to help out.
Mark Todd won Badminton, and there’s a fantastic slide show of the cross country day here (see if you can spot the little girl in the crowd who’s brought along her hobbyhorse).
Peter Atkins of the Australian team and his horse Henry Jota Hampton, or Henny, take us round the World Olympic Games 2010 cross-country course in Kentucky courtesy of a helmet cam. Just watch those ears! If you want to contribute to this partnership, or learn more about Henny, who was picked up by Atkins for a song because he’d burned out as a show horse, click here. Henny combines eventing at top level with leading rein classes with Atkins’ two year old son, and, off the cross country course, has been known to be scared of shadows – not that you’d know it from this video. They finished 24th overall – not shabby.
If you’re wondering what happened at a later fence (at about 10.52), here’s an explanation from Peter on the YouTube page:
At 26A he jumped up great and stalled on top, I’m not sure why. We slipped off the far side, I checked to make sure he was OK, trotted around the corner and jumped the option.
The Stevenson Brothers have made a rocking-horse replica of three-day eventer Headley Britannia which will be just one of the lots in a British Horse Society auction to aid their Drawing the Line campaign against irresponsible breeding. Sadly I couldn’t track down a photo, nor a shot of another famous rocker I read about – a lifesize Anglo Arab created for Harrods a few years ago.
UPDATE: see photos of the Headley Britannia rocking horse and Headley herself here.