The three horses are probably Anarchist (see lot 119), Cheena and Rufus (see lot 116), all owned by Munnings and his wife Violet during their stay on Exmoor during World War II whilst Castle House, their home in Dedham, was requisitioned by the army. Munnings used these horses as models for racing and hunting pictures and during the war painted them with various stable hands at Withypool, including Morning Exercise and Boy and Pony (nos. 53 and 76 respectively in the Wildenstein exhibition catalogue, 1983).
At the start of his memoirs, Munnings pays special tribute to the horses of his past and to these particular ones by revealing that, ' ... they have been my supporters, friends - my destiny in fact ... these last remaining horse friends of today - friends which have helped to place me where I now stand' (Sir A.J. Munnings, An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 14).
This work will be included in Lorian Peralta-Ramos's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works by Sir Alfred Munnings.