The British Museum is hosting its first exhibition dedicated entirely to horses.

The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the Modern World, opens on 24 May and runs until 30 September.

The free exhibition spans the history of the horse’s close relationship with man in sculptures, paintings and historical items.

Highlights include The Standard of Ur – a 2550 BC Sumerian artefact showing warhorses – and a four-horse chariot from the Persian Oxus Treasure.

There will also be photographic panoramas of recent discoveries of rock drawings of horses.

It is rumoured that work by artist George Stubbs will be loaned for the exhibition.

“Entire peoples and cultures have been characterised by the horse and its central role in society; in peace and war, in mythology and literature,” said a spokesman for the British Museum.

“Through an impressive collection of loan objects, this exhibition will explore the influence of the horse in Middle Eastern history, the emergence of the Arabian horse and the importance of its introduction to Europe.”

For more information, visit www.britishmuseum.org

This news story was first published in the current issue of <H&H (9 February 2012)