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Zebra vs horse who would win
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Stage and screen. Birds and the bees. MIRIAM Rothschild, in her book about her uncle, Walter Rothschild, describes how, in November 1894, he introduced zebras to his Tring estate and broke them in with difficulty as they objected strongly to harness and bridles. He eventually succeeded in driving a four-in-hand with three zebras and one pony down Piccadilly to Buckingham Palace.
In later years a zebra fatally injured a groom. Valerie Lapthorne, Aylesbury, Bucks. A seemingly tame zebra wandered the grounds. The manageress said it belonged to one of her African workers who regularly rode it like a horse. She showed me a cutting from a Bulawayo newspaper which showed him in action and the caption said that riding a zebra was unheard of.
I spend much time bicycling through the African Savannah where the typical village tractor always seems to be out of action awaiting some vital spare. A draught animal would be far more reliable. Villagers tell me that no zebra can be trained to do the job but they never give a reason or any evidence of anyone having tried to use the animal for this purpose.
Brian P Moss, Kingsbury, Warwickshire. This was in fact a horse painted black and white, as the ankles on zebras are too weak to carry a human being and would break. I therefore assume no one does ride them, as it would be nearly as cruel as making someone sit through Sheena. Bill Reiss, London NW3. I WAS told by my father in the 1930s that a Mr Gaulstaun of Calcutta, who was a wealthy businessman and owned a string of racehorses, but unfortunately never won a famous race, once entered a male zebra for the Viceroy's Gold Cup, at the Royal Calcutta Turf Club.
Of course, he had the zebra dyed black to resemble a horse. The zebra romped home by three necks. Mr Gaultaun's wife received the cup from the Vicereine, amid acclamation. But, sad to say, this being August - the monsoon period - the heavens opened up and the trick was revealed. A year earlier, in Calcutta, he had managed to saddle up an old true, or mountain zebra Equus hippotigris though Hayes gives it the nomenclature Equus zebra belonging to a circus, but found it difficult to control: I soon taught it to do what I wanted in the circus; but when I rode it outside, it took me wherever it liked.
It was possibly three zebra of the Burchell type that Walter Rothschild used to drive his carriage. The African villagers referred to above may have been referring to the true zebra when said that zebras were intractable. Capt Hayes predicted that the Burchell zebra would one day be domesticated since it bred well in confinement, was easy to train and - unlike the true horse was immune to the bite of the tsetse fly. That his prediction has not come true may be due more to the development of the internal combustion engine than to any deficiencies in the animal itself.
Peter Hazeldine, Todmorden, W Yorks. The late Sir Sanderson Temple lived near Lancaster and apparantly owned a zebra crossed with a donkey a zonkey?
I never saw it, but I did meet him once and I read his obituary last year which mentioned this pastime. Darren, Lancaster Yes you can ride Zebras like a horse. I lived near a farm that owned 2 mares and 1 stallion. We not only rode them but he also trained them to drive and high dive into pools. I've seen videos on YouTube and heard stories of people riding zebras as if they were horses.
Shannon, Auckland, NZ. I am happy to see that for the most part that very few people belabor this poor wild animal to the rigors of horsemanship.
They are beautiful special and delicate creatures of this world we live in.