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
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]