Brit vet claims ancient Uffington White Horse looks more like a dog

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LONDON - A vet has claimed that the ancient carving in the Oxfordshire hillside, known as the Uffington White Horse, bears more resemblance to a dog.

Olaf Swarbrick, a retired vet, said the carving is not anatomically correct and has more canine-like features.

He wrote a letter to scientific journal the Veterinary Record appealing for his fellow professionals to cast their opinion on what he claims to be the figure of a hunting hound at full stretch.

“Anatomically it’s not a horse at all. It’s too long and too lean and it has a long tail - horses don’t have a tail the length of that stylised creature at Uffington,” the BBC quoted him as saying.

He also joked that if his idea was proven correct, then its name might have to be changed.

“If I’m correct, it needs to have its horse removed - maybe the wolf hound of Uffington,” he said.

“The other thing about short-carved figures is that over the years they have had to be cleaned and refurbished and they do change in their shape over periods,” he stated.

But the National Trust, which said soil samples indicated the figure dated back 3,000 years to the Bronze Age, rejected his idea.

Keith Blacksall, from the National Trust, said he thought its shape suggested the figure was supposed to be a horse.

“What you have to remember it’s a stylised horse, almost like a stencil on the hillside, so it’s not a complete figure of a horse, it’s a suggestion,” he said.

“I would like to think it’s frozen in perpetual canter across the downs.

“Visibility wise you can’t see the entire figure, my theory is it’s meant to be revered by the living and by the gods and the ancestors - a view from above and below,” he added.

Written records of the carving date back to the 12th Century but do not give proof of its exact age or why it was created.

It used to be thought that the figure was constructed by the Saxons to celebrate a victorious battle of King Alfred’s. This view is now mainly discredited. (ANI)

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