My Five Last Horses

“First, Anarchist, height sixteen and a half hands the best I ever rode a bold, clever, un- assuming and well-mannered horse, with a calm outlook on life. All jumps came alike to him, and he never gave me a fall. Bred in Normandy, schooled by a Saumur instructor, he was jumping more than six feet in French competitions as a four-year-old.

Anarchist. c1940

…Then Rufus, fifteen and a half hands, a strong, healthy brute, a chestnut with a white blaze and a head and crest like an Arab stallion one of the best. Cheena next, my wife’s old friend and companion. Sweet, kindly, long-suffering Cheena, with large ears, a kind eye and a beautiful forelock and mane. I love her. Then come two half-sisters, Winter Rose and Cherrybounce.

Study for ‘Rufus’ for ‘Our Mutual Friend the Horse.’ c1954

Dear Cheena, a Bay Hunter. 1943.

Study of Rose, Wild Bird, Peggy and Stockings.

I bred these two from a Red Prince mare that my wife used to hunt in the Whaddon. The first, a lovely dark brown mare.

The Red Prince Mare. 1921.

…Anyhow, I’ve ridden her and used her as a model since she was foaled sixteen years ago, and she has more quality and beauty than many of the swell winners I’ve painted.

Her half-sister, Cherrybounce, goes back on her sire’s side to Fowling-piece. A year younger than Rose, a big, upstanding bay, sixteen and a half hands, with a white star on her forehead, a strong back and loin, thick, curly mane and tail, and good constitution. She’s what you call a goer, and takes some holding; the best over a gate I’ve ever ridden.

…As one of many models, Cherrybounce has helped to run the show.


These five horses, with one called The Lizard, lent out, are all I have left of seventeen when war began. The rest are over the Styx now, but not enjoying a happier life, for they were happy with me. They could even choose their own paddocks.”

Stables at Withypool, Studies of Cherrybounce and Anarchist. 1944.

Sir Alfred Munnings, An Artist’s Life, 1950.