A staple of holiday TV in my childhood (along with that interminable version of Robinson Crusoe) 'The White Horses' was a collaboration between RTS (Radio Television Serbia) of Belgrade and BR-TV of Munich, and followed the adventures of Julia, a fifteen-year old girl, played by Helga Anders, who leaves Belgrade to spend a holiday with her uncle Dimitri (Helmuth Schnider), on his stud farm where, with the help of head groom Hugo (Franz Muxeneder), he trains valuable white Lappizaners. In the opening story Boris, one of the horses, is stolen by gypsies who dye his white coat brown so that no one will recognise him. Julia and Hugo set off to find Boris and upon his recovery an affinity is formed between girl and horse thus setting the scene for the adventures that followed.
Originally shown in Germany as 'Ferien in Lipizza', in Slovenian it is known as Poèitnice v Lipici. It didn't reach the UK until 1968, when the BBC began broadcasting a dubbed English language version. Although the series still exists on film (in Germany) it is thought that the English soundtrack has long since been lost. The 'cheesy' theme song, White Horses, sung by Jacky, reached number 10 in the pop charts in April 1968.
The series provided pleasant entertainment in its time. The star, Helga Anders, died at the early age of 38. The sight of Ms Anders in riding breeches lingers fondly in my memory and I'm sad to know she is no longer with us.
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