This week marks the official beginning of spring, and although the weather leaves a little to be desired, here at AnOther our thoughts have turned to all things spring-like, from flowers and bees to animals. And this week's Most Loved post is not just any animal. With its mythical pink glow and champagne coloured mane and tail, this Pink Albino Stallion, chosen by Head of PR at A Number of Names* Annoushka Giltsoff, has captured our imaginations and stolen the vote.
This particular horse is called Khadi and was presented to the Prince of Wales and Dutchess of Cornwall earlier this week, as part of an equestrian show during their visit to Oman. Khadi is a Perlino horse, an usual breed defined by their cream coats and pink skin and their blue or glass eyes. Because of this, they are sometimes called pseudo-albino horses. The cream colour can vary from a very pale off white to a pale coffee colour, but shines through pink under their short summer coats.
There are, of course, innumerable equine references in popular culture, from Anna Sewell's much-loved Black Beauty, to Hitchcock's Marnie, and the affecting scenes of the protagonist with her beloved Forio. Equally, horses have appeared in artworks throughout history, frequently in depictions of battles or hunting, and later on the racecourse (think Edgar Degas and Eadweard Muybridge). More recently, a white horse took on mythical significance in Damien Hirst's Embalmed Unicorn: preserved in formaldehyde, a spindly unicorn horn was placed between its eyes.
"Perlinos are an usual breed defined by their cream coats and pink skin and their blue or glass eyes"
A number of fashion houses are of a distincly horse inclined heritage too, including Gucci with their famous bit and stirrup motif; and Ralph Lauren, with their polo player logo, and recent horse references in their A/W13 collection. While Hermés have designed riding accesories since their beginnings, their exhibition last year – a showcase of some of their most coveted one-off dream pieces – memorably featuring a winged saddle. Here, we speak to Giltsoff about her favourite horse artwork and learing to ride...
Why did you choose to Love this Pink Albino Stallion?
I had read about them recently, apparently they are prized and much sought after in the Middle East. I think they are incredible animals and so beautiful. They definitely seem very mythical.
Can you ride? If so, when did you learn?
I can! My father is a fantastic rider and I have grown up with horses – we spent our summers in Ireland at my uncle's riding school close to the Wicklow mountains. These holidays will always remain a firm favourite of mine. Riding is something I really miss living in London.
What would be your dream unusual colour/animal combo?
As I am huge dog fan too, perhaps our family dog, who is a whippet/collie cross, with fancy pastel paws and tail. If she didn't go with it however, I guess I would like a lime green hippo – seems fun! Or perhaps an orange zebra, kind of a techni-coloured safari theme?
Knights are often depicted on stallions, who is your ideal knight in shining armour?
I would love to say my boyfriend, only trouble is he can't ride so I guess for this occasion I would have to insist Benicio del Toro step in. Not sure he wouldn't be more a leather clad cowboy, however. Again, fine by me.
What's your favourite horse related film, book or piece of art?
I really love George Stubbs, he is one of my favourite artists. I love the sympathetic expression of the Whistlejacket (1762), I find it very peaceful and always visit it at the National gallery when having a particularly tricky week.
What are you most looking forward to about summer?
Early evening walks around the backstreets of London.
Text by Daisy Woodward