There are five csikósok galloping alongside my gently bumping Toyota Hilux, dressed in stiff-looking black shirts and high-necked tunics, bright black riding boots and wide split-skirted trousers fashioned from bolts of the brightest azure blue. They wear black felt hats with upturned brims, like windblown Stetsons, loops of bullwhip coiled snugly left-to-right against their chests and tight expressions. The horses sport a braided lasso wound around their necks, and have no girth straps to secure their saddles, so the men ride splay-footed, centaurish and uncanny, even as we lope across the Puszta, smoke-like dust curling away behind as if the horse’s hooves are smouldering. It looks like a song and feels like a poem. Pity then, that I’m a car writer, and spend the time subconsciously assessing damping. Sorry.
Words: Tom Ford
Pics: Justin Leighton
THis article originally appeared in the June 2012 issue of Top Gear magazine