Domestic Diva Transformed to Ghoulish Edwardian Equestrienne on US Newsstands; Friesian Doesn't Spook

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Move over, Rachel Alexandra. Your day as the hot horse on the newsstand is over.

Say hello to Rutger, one of five Friesian horses owned by domestic diva Martha Stewart, who re-wins my affection every year for her all-out gleeful celebration of Halloween. This year her magazine has a special cover on its Halloween tribute issue--it's Martha herself, wearing crazy contact lenses, red eye shadow and sporting a three-inch scar on her cheek. But she's upstaged (in my opinion) by Rutger, the well-groomed, clear-eyed, unblinking horse at her side.

Inside the magazine, there's a double-page spread of Martha astride Rutger; she's wearing a spooky cape over black breeches with tall boots. It's strangely reminiscent of the Rachel Alexandra pose last month in Vogue--when was the last time two major magazines had double-page fashion-style spreads of a full side view of a horse in back-to-back months--or at all?

Interesting gossipy thing to note: look closely at the cover photo. Do you notice anything? Look again. One more time? I know some of you will spot it right away: Rutger is sporting what is known these days as a bitless bridle, or a shanked hackamore if you're old-school. Rutger's is pretty upscale old-school, with a padded cavesson.

Rutger's mane is done in a basketwave.

The Friesian association staff must be dancing in the street tonight--what a great endorsement for the breed!

There's lots more about Martha and all her horses on her blog or click here to read my introduction to her lame horse rehab cast of equine professionals or click here to meet Linda Friedman, her farrier, who has also been on Martha's television show since I wrote that article. And click here to see a segment of Martha's show about horse slaughter and adoption.

The photo above was one that Martha took the other day and posted on her blog; that's her stable in the spooky morning mist.

It's not hard to figure out where the inspiration for Martha's Halloween outfit originated. Right down the road from her home in Bedford, New York is the famous village of Sleepy Hollow, the fictional home of schoolmaster Ichabod Crane who was chased off this earth by a headless horseman who is believed to still gallop these roads late at night...or is it just Martha and Rutger?

Have fun and get in the mood for Halloween. The magazine featuring Rutger really is a hoot...and a howl...and a scream!