The White Horses
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|The White Horses|
|Written by||Hanns Wiedmann, Vladimir Carin, Gitta von Cetto|
|Directed by||Hanns Wiedmann|
Helga Anders: Julia|
Helmuth Schneider: Dimitri
Franz Muxeneder: Hugo
|Opening theme||Ivo Robić instrumental version|
|Country of origin||
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
Triglav Film, Ljubljana
|Cinematography||Günter Senftleben, Manfred Ensinger, Ivan Belec|
|Original release||12 September 1966 – 27 February 1967|
The story follows the adventures of a teenage girl Julia (Helga Anders) who leaves Belgrade to spend a holiday on a stud farm run by her Uncle Dimitri (Helmuth Schneider), where with the help of head groom Hugo (Franz Muxeneder), white Lipizzaner horses are raised.
In the first episode, stallion Boris 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.
The series, called Počitnice v Lipici in Slovenian and Ferien in Lipizza ("Holidays in Lipica") in German, comprised thirteen 25-minute black and white episodes.
A dubbed version was broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1968, and repeated for many years afterwards. The dubbed soundtracks were was long thought lost, but audio tapes of twelve of the thirteen episodes have been located.
The theme song to the German version was played by Ivo Robić.
The UK theme song - written by Michael Carr and Ben Nisbet and later back dubbed onto all versions, was simply titled "White Horses", and credited to "Jacky" - was sung by Irish-born Jackie Lee. It became a top 10 hit in the UK charts in April 1968. The book The Penguin Television Companion claimed it to be the best television theme in history. It has been copied and used many times since, including:
- The theme was covered in 1968 by Claudine Longet, as a B-side to the single "Nothing to Lose".
- Trixie's Big Red Motorbike covered the song on their second John Peel session in 1983.
- Scottish female group Sophisticated Boom Boom covered the song in 1982 on their Peel Session.
- The Trashcan Sinatras featured a version of the song on their EP Circling the Circumference (1990)
- The English band Kitchens of Distinction recorded a cover of the theme song during the sessions for what would be their final album, Cowboys and Aliens (1994). The song was first released in the UK as a b-side on the album's first single, "Now It's Time to Say Goodbye"; it was later released in the US as a b-side on the album's title track
- Morwenna Banks released a cover version in 1995 as her Absolutely character, The Little Girl.
- The film Me Without You (2001) used the Jacky "stereo" version on its opening credits, and a version by Lucy Street during the end credits
- Cerys Matthews performed the song on the compilation Songs for the Young at Heart (2007)
- The theme was covered by Dean and Britta on their album Back Numbers (2007)
- The theme was covered by Andrea Ross on her album Moon River (2007)
- Liška, Miklavž ed. (1988). RTV Ljubljana. Ljubljana: Radiotelevision Ljubljana. p. 33.
- "DVD Of The White Horses 12 Episodes Now In English". The White Horses 12 Episodes Now In English. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
- "Cult show tops TV themes". British Broadcasting Corporation. 4 September 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - 17/08/1983 Trixie's Big Red Motor Bike". BBC. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
- Banks, Morwenna. "White Horses". YouTube. Retrieved 20 December 2014.