Archive Article: 1997/11/21

21 November 1997

Country folk on the march

IN mid-1997, the country people of Britain, terminally fed up with the threat to field sports from the Labour anti-hunting Bill, did something about it.

A massive groundswell of feeling throughout rural Britain culminated in countryside marches and a London rally. The events, both actual and organisational, are ably chronicled in a new book*.

The regional marches are covered in detail, with many quotes from the nitty-gritty rural dwellers who bulked up the numbers and the back-room politics and manoeuvrings are skilfully revealed.

The author captures the feelings of "enough is enough" as a grass-roots protest gathers energy over perceived wrongs. Ann Mallalieu, one of the ring-leaders, writes a stirring foreword. In her speech in the climactic Hyde Park rally she sums up the mood of the event quite aptly. "We cannot and will not stand by in silence and watch our countryside, our communities and our way of life destroyed for ever by misguided urban political correctness."JE

*When the Country went to Town by Duff Hart-Davis. Excellent Press (£12).

Take super horse pictures

I THOROUGHLY recommend that you read this book* if you have any liking for horses and photography, writes farmers weekly photographer Jonathan Page.

Stuart Newshams considerable knowledge is converted into easy-to-understand information. No endless technical chat, just the right amount of detail. Just what makes a classic horse picture is a mystery to most of us as we hastily snap away for that grabbed shot. But read on and see how to vastly improve those prints into a proud exhibit or even a saleable item.

Stuart shows you what to look for and how to make the best of the situation. His coverage of the equine world is thorough.

The books print quality is high and, of course, excellent photographs are used throughout.

*How to Photograph Horses by Stuart Newsham, published by J A Allen & Co (0171-834 0090), £19.95.

Equine hoard of knowledge

DO you know what fanning is? Could you describe a crinet? In case you are interested fanning is a rodeo term – a movement a cowboy makes with his hat to encourage a heartier buck, or an old coaching term referring to the light use of the whip, while crinet is medieval armour used to protect the neck and throat of a horse.

These are just two snippets of information gleaned from The Allen Equine Dictionary* which is a must for equine students, "the ultimate reference book for the horse owner", according to its publishers, a useful aid for quiz enthusiasts and a brilliant tome in which to browse.

Compiled by Maria Ann Belknap, an avid horsewoman who rides and writes in Southern California, this dictionary takes you from AAAI (the acronym for the American Albino Association, Inc) to zoophobia (an abnormal fear of animals). In between come 7998 words connected with horses: Medical terms, physical descriptions, horse and pony breeds, types and parts of harnesses, vehicles and farriery, phrases from the numerous fields of equitation, and notes on equestrian personalities.

For example, did you know that John Warde (b1752) is known as "The Father of Foxhunting", that he pioneered the modern style of fast foxhunting and invented the telegraph springs? Or that François Robichon de la Guérinière (1688-1751) is known as "The Father of Classical Equitation"?

OK then, what did James Todhunter Sloan (1874-1933) popularise? The crouched-style of flat racing in which the rider is positioned well over the shoulders of the horse, riding with very short leathers, of course!

With this book you, too, can be a know-all.AR

*The Allen Equine Dictionary by Maria Ann Belknap, J A Allen (£16.95).

See more