Tuesday, November 01, 2005

a horse is a horse of course of course...

Before I talk about the horse, I wish to say Happy Diwālī (or Dīpāvali) to our kitty friends owning humans with Hindu, Jain or Sikh background.

I also want to acknowledge the 250th anniversary of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. My human visited Lisbon more recently and said that much of that city, while old, only dates back since the earthquake when it was all rebuilt.

On to the horse. Australia has one famous Tuesday, and that is the first Tuesday in November for a horse race. Other countries have Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) or Super Tuesday (elections).

Today, we had a horse race which stopped the entire nation. Literally. Just about everybody who works through out Australia stops what they are doing at 3pm (Australian Eastern Summer Time) to watch Race 7 at Flemington (in Melbourne). Of course, Race 7 is the Melbourne Cup, one of the most famous horse races in the world, and certainly one of the world's richest in prize money.

As far as a horse race goes, not even the UK Grand National (a steeple chase) or the Kentucky Derby has the same effect on an entire nation. It is a public holiday in Melbourne, and for the rest of Australia, not much work actually gets done as people prepare sweeps (draw horses out of a hat for $1 to $5 each - the person who drew the winning horse will get x amount, 2nd horse y amount, and 3rd horse z amount), have lunches or parties.

The winner of this year's Melbourne Cup was Makybe Diva, an eight year old mare who won her third Melbourne Cup in a row. She has now attained legendary status in the same league as our Phar Lap and the American Seabiscuit.

Makybe Diva after winning the 2005 Melbourne Cup

She probably wouldn't appreciate cat claws hanging on her back

More information:
Melbourne Cup - from the Australian government (truly)
Victorian Racing Club - this also tells you what else goes on

While on the subject of horses, my human wanted me to mention that a plaster sculpture of a horse by Elie Nadelman (1882-1947) is one of his favourites. It was purchased by the National Gallery of Australia in 1980.

Elie Nadelman, Horse c.1911-15 (plaster) 92.8(h)x72.6(w)x27.2(d)cm

He also likes the Tang Dynasty pottery horses. Unfortunately the prices are beyond the capacity of the household to afford such an acquisition.

Tang Dynasty (618-906 AD) pottery horse from the Fongxian area of Shangxi Province

One more thing about the horse, Mister Ed didn't actually talk. People gave him peanut butter then dubbed his eating motion with a human voice. It was just a TV show.

Another thing about the horse, in Shakespeare's Richard III, King Richard the Third said "A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!" in Act 5, Scene IV.

One final thing about the horse, my human told me he was sorry that he ate that horse steak in Zurich. He didn't realise it was horse meat. (Yeah yeah, I know that he knows what the word Pferd means).

*As always, please check out Cooper and Camilla who always have interesting things to say.


I had a long brush of my fur last night, including from the new knobbly gloves.

I also had cooked chicken and some of my human's sirloin steak for dinner tonight. Mmmmmm, haven't smelt steak cooking for a while.



Anonymous giddy said...

Damn! I always thought Mister ED was real and really talked!

Wednesday, 02 November, 2005  

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