If actors were horses: 9 horse breeds for 9 celebs

By Nicola Jane Swinney on |


Keira Knightley and a horse

The Cannes Film Festival opens this week and as actors and celebrities get ready to strut their stuff on the Croisette, expectations are high for the 2016 edition, which includes screenings of Woody Allen’s much-awaited Café Society and Shane Black’s The Nice Guys (both out of competition). But if our finest acting talents were horses, which horse breed would they be?

Helen Mirren: Andalusian

With her regal bearing, Dame Helen would surely not be insulted to be represented by the Andalusian. It is one of the few breeds worldwide that has had no influence by the Arabian and is, like Dame Helen, venerable indeed.

Keira Knightley: Arabian

Pedigree all the way. As one of the world’s most ancient breeds, the Arabian is all about beauty and refined elegance. As is Keira — although, of course, considerably younger.

Aidan Turner: Friesian

All flowing hair and rippling muscle… But that’s enough about Aidan. The Friesian is a noble animal, first bred as a warhorse but today far more refined, with a chiselled profile — Aidan again! — and lean athleticism. I might have to go and lie down in a darkened room…

Carey Mulligan: Connemara

Carey’s English, not Irish, but her elfin allure would be nicely represented by Ireland’s only native pony breed. The Connemara is a hard-working, sure-footed athlete, and Carey never seems to put a foot wrong, either.

Martin Freeman: Fell pony

Martin was delightfully hirsute in the 2015 Christmas Sherlock Holmes special. His usually rather plain face (sorry, Martin) was transformed by a bristling moustache. Any one of Great Britain’s fabulous “hairies” would suffice, but since said ’tache was so dark, let’s go with the “black pearl of the north”, the Fell.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley: Thoroughbred

With her endless legs and double-barrelled name, how could the M&S model and actress be anything but a Thoroughbred? And as she is engaged to Jason Statham, she will surely make excellent breeding stock when she “retires to the paddocks”.

Kate Winslet: New Forest

Our very own English rose has blossomed over the years. The New Forest is quintessentially English and has an understated beauty. I’m rather a fan of Kate — and of the New Forest.

Helen George: Lipizzaner

Following her stint on Strictly Come Dancing, it seems fitting that the Call the Midwife actress should be a “dancing horse”. Traditionally, only stallions perform in the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, but Helen has proved she has the hoofing credentials.

Benedict Cumberbatch: Lusitano

There is an air of hauteur about our Benedict, and who can blame him? The Lusitano’s aristocratic profile would suit him to a tee, even if there are those who say he more resembles an otter. I’m not sure he could get any ’otter…

Top image: montage of a picture of Keira Knightley by Stuart Crawford via Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND, and a portrait of an Arabian mare by Sandy Horvath-Dori via Flickr, CC BY 2.0


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