Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Friday, 22 August 2008

Classical Dressage

The lack of gentry sports at the Olympics is dismaying. Certainly most forms of English and Roman equestrianism should be permitted on the basis of their heritage. Chariot racing should take the place of beach volleyball, for example, so should polo, horseracing, foxhunting, combined driving and the fine harness.


Luckily though, dressage, eventing and jumping are recognized olympic sports.

courtney%20front%20pageAbove: Just look at this dame on her horse! Excellent dressage turn-out, with braided mane, banged and pulled tail, trimmed legs and polished hooves. Rider wears a shadbelly and top hat, with white gloves, tall boots, and spurs.

An upper-level dressage horse at the canter.

A welsh pony in fine harness competition

800px-George_Bowman_Hopetoun_2005Combined Driving: George Bowman in the dressage phase at Hopetoun National Horse Driving Trials Edinburgh, Scotland in May 2005.

800px-HRH_Lowther_2005Combined Driving: HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh exiting the water obstacle at Lowther Cumbria in August 2005.

An Andalusian at the collected trot.

An upper-level dressage competitor performing an extended trot.

Olympic gold for Eric Lamaze of Canada on individual jumping.



Lord Best said...

While somewhat debased from its noble heritage, fencing is still an Olympic sport. Sadly there is a startling lack of other Western martial arts bar boxing and wrestling. No rapier, hand and a half, zweihander or jousting to be seen.

Neil Welton said...

Anything that gets the lovely Zara back on her Toytown is fine by me. Nothing wrong with the beach volleyball either. Some of us would rather like to see the Zara attempt beach volleyball - minus the horse of course.

I read in my newspaper this morning that London 2012 will be known as "the cool Olympics". In our Opening Ceremony, it appears, we are going to be entertained by the "stars of reality television". I can hardly wait. Indeed, for a foretaste, why not tune in to watch the Closing Ceremony in China tomorrow (Sunday)? You are exclusively informed that The United Kingdom is to be represented by a big red bus which will arrive at The Bird Nest. I'm going to be on it. See if you can see me.

When will people realise that calling the British cool is distinctly uncool. The British do not do cool, we just do class. Giving the impression that we do cool, is merely a politically correct attempt to disguise the fact that we do class so well. Mind you, do not grumble, anything that convinces the masses that they can be made cool by spending a fortune on designer brands. Else there be an economic collapse and the potential for revolutions.

Yet, despite all this, I still do greatly value the Olympic hopes, ideals and beliefs. I only wish they would dump the phrase 'Team GB' when describing all our athletes. Call me old-fashioned but I prefer The United Kingdom.

I can't be alone in believing that being "a chap" should be made a new Olympic sport - umbrellas at the ready!

Marlborough said...

Do I detect a bias of English riding over Western riding. And here I thought Canada was half-cowboy, to say nothing of the Australian outback.