Friday, 17 April 2009

All horses great and small

The Civil Veterinary Department of India had 3 main duties: horse-breeding; animal disease research and control; instruction in veterinary medicine and animal husbandry.
While adding metadata for several India-wide CVD volumes (this is one example from 1893-94) I came across interesting correspondence between Veterinary Officers about procurement of good quality horses in the early 1890's. Troop horses from Arabia and Hungary were particularly sought after as they could work for longer in the hot climate on less food than UK horses. "[Hungarian horses] are strong, with great stamina and stand fatique...better than any other horse," wrote J.B. Hallen.
Transit from Buda Pesth to Bombay by rail and steamer cost £10-15 per horse, including the groom's wages and expenses, so it wasn't cheap to import the animals.
Australian Thoroughbreds were also recommended as excellent breeding stock for cavalry mounts.
There are many tables in these volumes recording Government stallions and mules. Some of the names are fascinating - there are occupational names like The Doctor, The Butler and The Lawyer, royal names such as Silver King, Black Prince and His Grace, Imperial names like Colony Boy and East Indian, men's monikers such as Stanley, Stuart and David, and funny ones like Martini Henry, Sinbad the Sailor and Not Beaton. The Arabs were more exotically christened; there are Pasha, Silvermane, Khushnuma and Ali Abdoolah. My favourites are Wigwam, Safety Valve and Leotard!

Starter for 10

Life in the United Kingdom
Passing the life in the UK test - official practice questions and answers.

This book is based on the content of the Official Home Office Life in the UK handbook. It is a guide to the questions asked in the Life in the UK test, so if you want to live permanently in the UK or apply for British Citizen, you need to take the test.
It contains over 400 questions in a variety of formats such a multiple choice, true or false statements, etc. and maybe more importantly has the answers to the questions.
The instructions are simple to follow and each test should be answered in 45 minutes. The pass rate is 18 out of the 24 questions in each test which is a 75% pass mark.
Some of the questions are:
What is a quango?
Why did the Huguenots come to Britain?
How many days a year must schools be open?
In which year did married women get the right to divorce their husband?
How many parliamentary constituencies are there?
And how many senior MPS make up the cabinet?
Do you know the answers to these questions?
I will post the answers on the blog next week.