In a Word . . . Horse

 

Horses are such beautiful-looking animals, elegant, noble and sensitive. And I actually know absolutely nothing about them.

However, that didn’t prevent me from enjoying the TV series Mr Ed when I was a child.

(You have never heard of it? Kid! It was an American series about a witty, talking horse which . . . yes, a talking horse . . . what’s so funny? No, he was no good for tips . . . he wasn’t a racehorse).

As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, it also didn’t prevent me from enjoying Ireland’s best-ever Eurovision entry My Lovely Horse from the Fr Ted TV series.

Who would not be inspired by those moving lines: “My lovely lovely lovely horse/My lovely horse (my lovely horse)/Running through the field (running through the field)/Where are you going/With your fetlocks blowing/ In the wind?”

Sigh . . .

And, yes, I know it wasn’t ever Ireland’s actual entry to the Eurovision Song Contest, but if it had been, it would probably have done far better than that turkey’s Irelande Douze Pointe. Some birds really should stick to what they are good at: politics, in this case. And, yes, I mean you Dustin.

In fact, I’ve never been to a race meeting or even felt an urge to attend one.

Correction. I worked in what used to be described as the longest bar in Europe through two race meetings in Galway, under the stands.

However, I didn’t see one race, so busy was I dishing out the beer to thirsty punters.

Then, in my part of the west of Ireland, horses weren’t so plentiful. Donkeys more so, of both the human and animal variety.

My late father made reference to this in an open letter to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, published in the Roscommon Herald in his days as a county councillor.

Aware of the royal family’s interest in matters equine, he suggested she might send Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew over for a holiday where, though there were no horses, there were plenty of asses. He was referring to locals with whom he was in dispute.

However, despite his generous invitation, we never did see Charles, Anne or Andrew in our part of the world.

Yet even I, in all my inglorious ignorance, will still have as good a chance as any expert in picking a winner for the Grand National in Aintree today.

Horse from the Old English hors.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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