Franz Marc

Was a German Expressionist, a very keen and vibrant nature / animal painter. He put together a movement together with one of my other great favourites, August Macke, called Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider). Both artists died as young men, in battle, during the First World War. I thought I’d tie this image below with a lift of makemeadiva’s comment from the Hurrah! post from Saturday. It gives a good account of the feelings many people have about National Hunt (jump) racing. A part of me feels the same way; it is always a very flat day when the screens go up on a track. If much sport is more or less dangerous, and if that is some of its appeal, this kind of racing is more obviously hazardous than most.

Pferd Im Landschaft / Horse in the country

Makemeadiva’s Post

I would respond to the Guardian blog thus:

I think it is heartbreaking to see a tired horse caught on the run in up that hill…

I agree with Federico Tesio’s assertion in “Breeding the Racehorse” that horses do not jump naturally – they can jump but it needs to be under some form of compulsion and the ability (or otherwise) is not a genetic trait.

I think running fastest, which the blog refers to, is a purer test of a horse’s natural ability and inclination than that of asking horses to jump obstacles, endure distances and come up hills when they are knackered.

It is more “exciting” when fences are introduced, along with the risk. A fall runs the risk of death and serious injury for horse and rider and I can’t enjoy the spectacle as much with that at the forefront of my mind. The popularity of jump racing (despite the ban on hunting and general persecution of country pursuits) mystifies me on the one hand, yet on the other is perfectly understandable in this sanitised but brutal society we live in.

I have been to Cheltenham. Our runner that day dumped Daryl Jacob out in the country (in the days before The Listener) and they took an age to come back. Come back they did, Saucy Night was none the worse and Daryl was muddied but not bowed, but it was a darn long wait!

I don’t begrudge others their sport though and I do join in sometimes (from behind the sofa).

[Excellent Franz Marc gallery here]

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12 Responses to Franz Marc

  1. Jan says:

    that is a beautiful picture….and it does go well with Diva’s comment on NH racing. A part of me also feels the same way.

  2. Stephen Foster says:

    Isn’t it. If you look through the gallery link you’ll see at least one of a houndish-type dog too.

    EDIT: Actually, it is called this – Liegender Hund im Schnee
    Dog Lying in Snow

    EDIT 2 – and if you can find this: Blauschwarzer Fuchs
    Blue-Black Fox
    I think it’s an ancestor of your Ollie!

  3. Daftburger says:

    ‘it is always a very flat day when the screens go up on a track’

    Contrast that to Formula One where part of the excitement*, for some, is the fact that someone may crash and possibly be killed!

    I worked in a bookies (Peter Coates as it happens) through my University years and the jumps are always more exciting and unpredictable that the ‘flat’. It’s also very dodgy….the number of winners whose owner, trainer or jockey’s birthday it was is too many for pure coincidence!

    Having said that no one wants to see an exhausted animal and some of these horses have no chance of winning and have more chance of serious injury for horse and jockey to feed their desire to mix with the horsey setand gain them entry to an ‘elite’ (See Quixall Crossett’s career! http://www.quixall-crossett.co.uk/quixallcrossett1.htm)

    It’s a diificult one but one that would be resolved by a Communist Revolution! 😀

    *Personally I’d rather watch Scalextric!

  4. Stephen Foster says:

    *Personally I’d rather watch Scalextric!

    I think we’ve finally found something to agree on daftburger. Now there’s something I would ban – I don’t even regard it as a sport, it’s a rich tool’s cheating charter, a licence to destroy the planet, and it makes a wasp sound musical.

  5. Jan says:

    The blue black fox does look like my Ollie!!!Did you manage to see the photos of him? He is Dobeman colouring but with four tiny white socks. His feet look like they have been dipped in snow! 🙂 and a squiggly white line down his chest. I can never make up my mind whether he looks like a small doberman or a large whippet though!!

    I remember Quixall Crossett. Didnt he run till he was quite old but he never won a race? I cant get that link to work.
    Another example of a horse whose owner didnt have his best interests at heart was one called Venn Ottery, who Diva might know of.

  6. makemeadiva says:

    I remember Venn Ottery and his octogenarian owner Jan, I think the sad affair caused an outbreak of outraged correspondence at this end.

    Love the pictures – an artist I am not familiar with. The colours put me in mind of Gauguin but I prefer the simplicity – definitely less is more 🙂

  7. Stephen Foster says:

    Yes, I have looked up your Ollie on facebook Jan, & his mate Carey. Ollie especially looks a right sort. Also I remember Venn Ottery and the stink around his last race. Any sport where the financials are so burdensome & so murky will attract bad doings, I suppose.

    I think Franz Marc is about to become the artist of the blog. He really had it.

  8. calvininjax says:

    I remember inside forward Albert Quixall. 😉

  9. Daftburger says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/horse_racing/1781839.stm

    Hope that works Jan. It seems the RSPCA did act in the end!

  10. Daftburger says:

    Did he used to Crossett? bdum tish!

  11. Jan says:

    Than you Daftburger.the link did work that time. 🙂 I didn’t realise Quixall was 17 when he retired!! Thats outrageous!!!

    Thank you for your comments about Ollie and Carey, Stephen. Ollie is a right character!! He almost talks, and he likes to howl along to anyone who dares to try and sing in the house!! The neighbours must love us!!
    Carey was a proper tearaway in her day. She used to be much leaner than she is now, and she ran like a proper greyhound ( which Ollie doesnt!). It used to be a joy to watch her, but sadly she sustained several injuries when quite young, due to her nuttiness, which slowed her down a fair bit. She once ran across a cattle grid and was lucky she didnt break her hindleg.
    It is sad to see her getting old and frail 😦

  12. Jan says:

    i think one of the worst things was that he ran quite well when trained by Paul Nicholls, but the owner was so difficult to get along with that he ended up being taken away fairly quickly. He wasa lovely looking horse too. 😦

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