Lady Godiva’s grey stallion Aethenot galloped

Naked horse rider Lady Godiva galloped her 16-hands grey stallion Aethenot sidesaddle when she rode through Coventry after a dare from her husband Leofric.


Godiva by P Pargetter for Minton Pottery. On display in Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Godiva’s husband, Leofric, dared her to ride naked because the Roman and Greek paintings she loved featured nudes. She surprised him when she did and Leofric  stopped collecting all taxes, except for those on horses.

Godiva is said to have loosened her long hair so that it covered her body except for her legs. This is thought to refer to the Bible (Corinthians) verse: “If a woman nourish her hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering”.

She asked people not to look. One man, a tailor, later called Peeping Tom, did look and was blinded by god.

Other horses in history and legend


Whealie is the trademarked nickname of award-winning freelance journalist Chris Wheal. Follow @whealie on Twitter Wheal's Business website is He sometimes blogs at He's on Facebook: And LinkedIn: Flickr: Instagram: YouTube: Vimeo:

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