It may seem a little strange to discover that citizens of a republic are often fascinated by royal connections. So it is in France that when people hear about the Cleveland Bay they associate the breed with Her Majesty The Queen, long time Patron of the CBHS. This may have been one of the reasons a French regional television company descended on the stud farm run by CB enthusiast Zoe Woods near to Angers. They concentrated first on the Clevelands and then discovered that Zoe also had Shagya Arabs, another rare breed with a royal link. The Shagya was a favourite of the Empress Elizabet of Austria and Queen of Hungary. The crew from Le Mans TV shot about two hours of footage, including interview and the horses shown by trainer Eric Flaichaire. The recording was distilled down to a mere few minutes. Sadly this meant that some lovely shots of Afondale Highlander (Arthur) cantering and Beamish Rosemary doing some excellent leg yielding were not included. You can see part of the broadcast, which was transmitted on 2nd November 2011 and featuring two breeds of horses, “both Royal and Rare”, by clicking here.
The above first appeared in our News pages.