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Hungarian Cavalry Performing Dressage - 1940

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  • Hungarian Cavalry Performing Dressage - 1940

    Check out the slow motion sequences.

    "No matter how well you perform there's always somebody of intelligent opinion who thinks it's lousy." - Laurence Olivier

  • #2
    My instructor many years ago was a Hungarian refugee named Gyula Nadasy. He had been on the Hungarian Olympic team, I think in eventing, not pure dressage. His brother-in-law was Bertalan de Nemethy, also in the Hungarian Cavalry, who was the USET show jumping coach here in the states for many years.
    Captain Nadasy was a very very kind and patient man. I wonder if he might be any of these riders in the film. At least he must have been exposed to them. Thanks!


    • #3
      Mike, I believe these are riders of the Hungarian Spanish Riding School -- a sister school to the one in Vienna. Remember for a while it was the Austro-Hungarian empire.

      Sadly, the school was razed and the horses taken by the invading Soviet Army at the close of the Second World War. Many of these magnificent animals were worked to death, others were eaten by the Soviets. A tragic end.

      I, too had an Hungarian instructor -- my first one as a child in Texas (yes! Texas!) Miklos de Vargha had the old-world manners of a true gentleman. He would bow from the waist and click his heels together upon greeting someone. He was 74 years old and still riding and jumping. He attended this Hungarian school and participated in the '56 uprising -- he was forced to flee with one of his sons and ended up in Fort Worth.

      He remains my most memorable teacher. I wish I could have ridden with him longer.


      • #4
        Very nice !!
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


        • #5
          This is the tradition that Charles de Kunffyy hails from....he has a new book that discusses the travails post WWII. He is a fabulous teacher. Those gentlemen are treasures.

          I also had a Hungarian instructor, Istvan Sorenyi Sander. He was in the Hussars, surrendered to the Allies and emigrated to England and Venezuela after the War. He was alive during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and talked about the "Court"....and also of the disbursement/partition of the horses. I wish I had taken notes.
          Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
          Alfred A. Montapert


          • #6
            The very ancient traditions of Magyar horsemen.
            ... _. ._ .._. .._


            • #7
              I am pretty sure Major Bela Butykay was also Hungarian and I know he rode on their Olympic Team, in eventing, I believe. But he was also wonderful as a dressage instructor as well as jumping. Was in Birmingham, AL for years and then in Middleburg, VA at a farm called Dresden, I believe. His wife was also a lovely rider. He was pure charm and such a gentleman! I was fortunate to have a few lessons with him.


              • #8
                Yes, Maj. Buttykay was Hungarian....along with Deszo Szylagyi, Gabor Foltenyi, Bert deNemethy.....those are the ones I recall right now. All left their country after WWII when it fell into Russian hands.
                Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.
                Alfred A. Montapert


                • #9
                  Wonderful! Mike, thank you for this!


                  • #10
                    Can't watch it yet, but I proud to own a Hungarian Warmblood. They have a rich history, and many were saved by Patton along with the Lips and eventually brought to the US. The story can be read here: http://www.hungarianhorses.org/history_breed.htm
                    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


                    • #11
                      I rode with Gabor Foltenyi for several years in the 80's and lived with him and his wife for nearly a year. He was an amazing horseman! I believe he is still alive and was given an award by the Hungarian government a couple of years ago.

                      He was good friends with Bert DeNemethy as well as the others mentioned above. Gabor was in the Hungarian Cavalry and fought on horseback against the Russians in WWII. One night at dinner he told chilling stories of the war. Absolutely hair raising, just unreal.

                      I cannot imagine fighting on horseback.

                      Gabor escaped from Hungary on a Christmas eve, I think, in 1950 or so. He carried with him a leather zipper pouch filled with food. He still carried it like a briefcase when I lived with him. He met his wife, Elizabeth, in NYC. She was Hungarian too and escaped with her family. She carried two silver candlesticks shoved up the sleeves of her coat. She often used them on the dinner table.

                      Gabor got his start in this country riding jumpers for Mrs. Sears. She had a string of jumpers that weren't very good. Gabor had them winning in no time. I believe he showed against Harry DeLeyer and Snowman. Years later he lived in Michigan where he showed hunters. He was famous for doing very well with TB mares! All of his horses did third level dressage because, to him, it was just basic training. When I rode with him he was an "I" rated dressage judge.

                      He did not like the Maygar horses. He like Hanovarians and imported them.

                      I am so very fortunate to have ridden with him. I used to imagine that I had a little "Gabor" sitting on my shoulder when I rode--his instructions ringing in my ear! I can still hear him!!


                      • #12
                        Thanks Mike.
                        "Friend" me !