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'Gee up Neddy... or it's the glue factory'

How disappointing it is when you flip through the channels on a dull Saturday afternoon to find horse racing is on… all the time. In the UK Channel 4 persists with this and it is a thoroughly depressing thing.

Horse racing has no place on television. It’s fine if you are in a betting shop but any TV channel that has dedicated half a day to this should consider reviving the testcard.

There are plenty of worthwhile arenas for horses: they are particularly good at eating straw and sugar cubes. They are also excellent at leaving piles of excrement on roads and they make mighty fine glue. A horse with an erection is untold fun. If you throw sticks at the offending appendage there’s a fair chance you’ll hit it. Hitting a horse’s boner is mostly definitely a ‘high five’ moment.

Horses are good at jumping over brightly coloured fences and fake walls, and having metal attached to their feet (how did horses cope before the iron age?)

Horses come in handy on the Queen’s birthday or for weddings when couples think it’s cool to go ‘retro’ and turn up in a carriage. A horse goes well with a cart, unless you decide to put the cart before it, but it makes up for that because it’s a nice expression. And Sunday lunch in France isn’t Sunday lunch unless there’s a bit of equine fare on there. Chewy.

A horse is useful on hunts but, remember, hunting’s bad and cruel. Horses make nice pets for rich people who don’t want to have a proper relationship with their children. Horses were also handy in the First World War and had a pivotal role in the Charge of the Light Brigade. They are also great for measuring power in cars and who can forget the cynicism – and the hilarity – of the naming policy behind the chosen mounts of 80s showjumper Harvey Smith? When was it ever a good idea to call a horse ‘Sanyo Music Centre’?

Horses should be used for all of the above, but getting a horse to run around a field encased by white iron railings carrying small, brightly dressed oompa loompas in the name of ‘entertainment’ is a very bad idea.

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