If you were driving through Paris earlier this month, you'd have seen some of the most spectacular billboard banners in the world. They promoted the Qatar Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe, one of the world's greatest and richest horse races, which was run on the turf at Longchamps...and won by the Aga Khan's spectacular filly Zarkava.
And if you know Paris, you recognize the sculpture details superimposed on the horse as part of the race's namesake, the famous arch and symbol of Paris (detail below).
Who is that horse? It's not Zarkava. London's BBC decided to find out, or perhaps they were tipped off that that was no French horse's head, but rather a British one. Click here to read the BBC web site's story about the model, a gray filly from Berkshire, England.
But what about the other horses of Paris, the ones in the butcher shops? A group called Je Ne Mange Pas De Cheval ("I don't eat horse") also has a horsey billboard in Paris.
If you never thought you'd need your high school French, try to decode the billboard anyway. Rough translation: "How do you like your horse? Free running or plastic-wrapped?"
NOTE: The photo for the horse race banner was taken by my friend, British photographer Tim Flach, whose book EQUUS (no connection to our favorite horse magazine, other than an appreciation for fine horse imagery) is being published this month in the USA. You'll be seeing exclusive sample images from the book in this blog; you can email me for details on how to order a copy of this most extraordinary photography book, which will be the ultimate Christmas gift of 2008! On the cover: Icelandic horses at home in action in their native environment.
Click here to read a post and see a short video on this blog from September 4, 2008 about what Tim Flach saw in a one-eyed rescued horse at a World Horse Welfare farm.