7 JULY 1939, Page 21

There are over four thousand animals of the highest quality

in the Great Park, but it would be easy to spend a day within the grounds and be scarcely aware of the presence of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, though horses are much more in evidence. The side-shows are so numerous and withal so magnificent that they quite dwarf the stalls. One reason is that " The Royal " is framed with the secondary objects of attracting the interest of urban persons, of moulding the young to a rural bias, and of bringing husbandry into touch with other professions. The three most spacious exhibits at Windsor are the flower show, the educational display, and the camp of pit-ponies• with their boys and " tubs." With regard to the ponies (which vary in size from nine to fifteen hands) humanitarian feelings have been roused to a degree of pity that is far from being justified. They give an admirable example of the traditional English reputation of kindness to animals. No animal may be taken down a mine before it is four years old. The underground stalls must be whitewashed every three months. The ponies are as well fed as were the old 'bus horses, which were famous for longevity. No blind pony may be used, and the excellent lighting of modern mines preserves their eyesight well. I saw one very fit-looking pony that had enjoyed, if the word is allowable, twenty-three years in the mines. Ponies are necessary in lieu of mechanical trans- port because of the quick changes and necessary unevenness of the tracks. There is some evidence that the ponies (many of which are brought to the surface " for a holiday " every three months) resemble the Prisoner of Chillon, who said:

" Even I Regained my freedom with a sigh."

They like returning to their mine.