Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New from War Horse: Off-Screen Actors Speak on the Film (and the Horse)

A new two-minute trailer from Dreamworks Pictures juxtaposes the off-screen stars of the new Steven Spielberg film War Horse with their on-screen characters. What do the actors have to say about the film, what it means, and what's at the heart of a horse's journey into the swirling maelstrom of war?

The momentum is building for the premiere of this film in the USA on Christmas Day. To learn more, follow @warhorsenews on Twitter.

Silver-mounted hoof of ‘Jim’, the horse of Trumpeter W H Barrett, Royal Horse Artillery, c1920. NAM. 1989-06-42

Speaking of World War I, which this blog will be doing often in the runup to the premiere of War Horse, here's a fascinating artifact from the National Army Museum in London, which is currently hosting a War Horse exhibit.

They named this object "Jim's Hoof" and describe it this way: "Trumpeter W H Barrett rode Jim throughout the First World War (1914-18). Unlike so many other horses, he made it back to Britain alive and in 1919 was presented to Queen Alexandra by the British commander-in-chief, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig."

I'm sure it must be the photo, but it doesn't look silver on my computer screen. And do you notice anything about Jim's hoof? You're right: no nail holes. How is the shoe attached to the hoof? Why did they choose to cover the heel bulbs that way?

Perhaps this priceless artifact was the inspiration for the Shoe Secure heel guards from Scotland.

Also from the National Army Museum, but pre-dating World War I is this memorial to a favorite polo pony of Captain Sherer of the 49th (Bengal) Native Infantry in India. He is often credited with bringing the sport to Europe.

The museum tells us that though there is no inscription to suggest that it was awarded as a trophy, it is among the earliest examples of polo memorabilia (1865) belonging to a British Officer; they assure us that both hooves are from the same pony.

Looking at this photos, do you think that Captain Sherer commissioned a silversmith or a farrier to make the  silver horseshoes?

War Horse Television Commercial (November 2011)
First War Horse Movie Trailer (June 2011)

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