Hermaphroditism in Horses

When is a mare not a mare? South African racing authorities have just reclassified a filly called Tuesday’s Child as a colt after post-race checks showed a raised testosterone count. Nothing to do with dodgy injections or rum dealings: Tuesday’s Child is a male pseudo-hermaphrodite, and he had his breeder, owner and trainer fooled. I’ve …

New Study Reveals More About Origins of Domestic Horse

Ahem. I am now going to attempt to write a simple account of the findings of a new study into the genetic origins of domestic horses. I’m doing this as much for my benefit as for yours. Hopefully my brother will step in in the comments if I’ve got it all wrong. Now. Horses. This …

The First Appaloosa

From The Local: An international team of researchers led by a German scientist believe they have found the first evidence that spotted horses, often seen depicted in cave paintings, actually existed tens of thousands of years ago. “We are just starting to have the genetic tools to access the appearance of past animals and there …

Hunting Horses

Geoff Nicholson sent me a snippet from an interview with German director Werner Herzog on his new 3D documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. In the film, Herzog explores the Paleolithic paintings in the Chauvet cave in the Ardèche, a fine-drawn menagerie that includes horses, rhinos, big cats and mammoths. Yesterday in the library I was …

Nina’s Filly

Last summer I was lucky enough to be introduced to one of the Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s herds of Konik ponies, who are busy doing conservation work by stuffing themselves silly on grass, rushes, and tree leaves. The material wasn’t right for If Wishes Were Ponies, but I hope to use it in future work. Meantimes, …