This is a portrait of the stallion Blank. He was owned by Peregrine Bertie, the 3rd Duke of Ancaster.Here is some information I found about this horse from an early book on the painter George Stubbs.
“Blank, a bay horse foaled in 1740 was bred by the Earl of Godolphin and got by the Godolphin Arabian out of Captain Hartley’s Little Mare ,out of Flying Wig. His career as a racehorse was too brief and unrewarding to have made it worthwhile to give him a specific name; after winning one match at Newmarket in April, 1748 ( for 40 guineas) he appears to have been purchased by the Duke of Ancaster and retired to his renowned stud at Grimsthorpe. It was at Grimsthorpe that Blank proved his worth and was ‘allowed to be as valuable a Stallion as any that ever covered in England, as well appear from the uncommon number of fine Horses and Mares of his get, which have not only been allowed to be excellent racers, but their blood valued by every eminent and skillful Breeder. “
But what about the blanket or rugs he has on? It seems the major effort was put into wrapping up his neck and shoulders and much less into keeping his hind quarters warm. Although we still have wraps for horses’ necks and heads we usually also want the hind end to be covered as well. Or was this arrangement something for breeding purposes?
Interesting to see this. If anyone has more information about the horse rugs of that era, I’d love know ,so please leave me a comment.