The present work is a study for Going to the Post, which is itself a study for Going to the Start, 1947 (exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1948, no. 18). Other similar studies exist featuring the same central horse with rider.
The 1940s were a busy decade for Munnings, his output was prodigious and there was a ready market for his work. His name was put forward for the presidency of the Royal Academy and if elected his name would be in the Birthday Honours List. Munnings beat Augustus John into second place by twenty-four votes to seventeen. When he heard he had been elected he shouted,'I feel like riding along Piccadilly on a horse. What a go!' (see J. Goodman, What a Go!, London, 1988, p. 221).
When this picture was sold in 1961 it was one side of a double-sided work on panel. Soon afterwards the panel was divided so that each side was a separate picture. The whereabouts of the other painting, A Grey Horse saddled, is unknown.
We are grateful to Lorian Peralta-Ramos, the Curatorial staff at The Munnings Museum and Tristram Lewis for their assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.