Ulrich Raulff’s new book Farewell To The Horse: A Cultural History (Liveright, 2018) takes a deeply academic look at the ancient and complex relationship between horses and humans.
Once man’s most indispensable companions, horses were for millennia essential in helping to build cities, farms, and industries. But during the 20th century, in an increasingly mechanized society, they began to disappear from human history. Continue reading
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga has launched Foal Patrol, a fan-based interactive web program that tracks the lives and daily routines of several in-foal mares during their pregnancy through the birthing process.
The project includes an interactive website and several contests for racing fans and horse lovers. The site can also be reached through the Museum’s website. Continue reading
On Sunday, November 5th, at noon, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs will hold a Man o’ War Spotlight Tour.
In celebration of the thoroughbred racehorses 100th birthday, this guided tour will take visitors through the history of the sport and feature objects related to the original “Big Red” and his connections, including an in-depth look at the “Man o’ War at 100” exhibition. Continue reading
Horace Brown, perhaps the greatest horse trainer from the northern Adirondacks and foothills, attained fame and many trotting victories in America, Europe, and Russia. Of all his successes, none was more acclaimed than the marvelous season of 1882. Collectively, it was among the unlikeliest stories in sports, an early equivalent of the US hockey team’s stunning Olympic victory in 1980, when a group of fresh, largely untested amateurs came together and conquered the world’s best.
The 1882 story became legend and was often repeated, but the first couple of names involved aren’t absolutely certain. Bear with me briefly through the details, for the story will get better. By most accounts, the horse in question was bred by Jeff Brown of Dresden, on the western shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In the vicinity of Dresden, he sold it to Richard Brown (and now the names are certain,) who sold it to Lawrence Bogert, who sold it to Stewart L. Purdy of the town of Benton. Continue reading
One of my favorite people to visit when I was a child was my maternal grandfather, who owned a 100-acre farm in remote northwestern Clinton County. Ninety acres of the property were wooded (I loved exploring nature); he had cows, horses, and a dog (I loved animals); and he was an avid fisherman (I lived on the riverbank in Champlain and loved fishing). From my perspective, everything about my Grandpa Jim (Lagree) was cool (this was back in the ’60s, so “cool” is appropriate).
On the wall near his usual sitting area in the living room was a framed photo of a horse and sulky with the caption, “Dan Patch.” Since it was my grandfather’s picture, I knew it had to be something cool, and I was right. As he explained to me, Dan Patch was the greatest trotter ever. Trotting, as I learned, was once the most popular sport across Northern New York.
Within a general loop from Albany north to Glens Falls and Plattsburgh; west to Malone, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, and Watertown; south to Boonville; southeast back to Albany; and many stops in between, dozens of communities in the Adirondacks and foothills had trotting tracks of varying quality. Participants ranged from farmers to professional horsemen, all of them eager to put their horses’ abilities up against others for bragging rights, money prizes, and, of course, side bets. Continue reading
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has announced a series of Triple Crown events for the 2017 season.
On Saturday, April 29, 2017 the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will host Countdown to the Triple Crown. Hosted by local author and racing historian Michael Veitch, racing experts Tom Amello and Jeff Carle will be on hand to offer analysis and predictions for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby and answer questions from the audience about the Triple Crown series. Guests will receive a complimentary issue of the Triple Crown preview edition of The Blood-Horse, featuring past performances, while supplies last. The program will begin at 1 pm and is open to the public and free to attend. Continue reading
On Saturday, May 6th, from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, celebrate two historic tracks as Goshen Historic Track hosts its Third Annual Kentucky Derby Day. Watch the Kentucky Derby races simulcast on several large screen TVs while enjoying the rest of the day’s festivities that also features family-style BBQ food, beer, wine and soda. Off Track Betting will be available. There will also be a 50/50 and more. Continue reading
Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” returns this winter with monthly programs January through April 2015.
Programs take place on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm in the Mars Education Center. The cost for each program is $10 per person and will be collected at the door; free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. Continue reading
If you like horses (and who doesn’t?) and some funny grammatical errors, check out these two sentence segments from regional newspapers. From 1927: “Mounted on his favorite and favored horse wearing a white broad-brimmed hat … ; and from 1980: “Fans hurled confetti at third baseman George Brett, who was atop a horse wearing a grey cowboy hat.” Both excerpts contain misplaced modifiers: it’s a pretty safe bet that neither horse was wearing a hat.
But as silly as it sounds, it’s an idea that was actually once in vogue. About a century ago, many of northern New York’s horses were sporting the latest craze―hats for horses.
In parts of Europe and the West Indies, it had long been a practice for operators of hacks―horse-drawn taxis, carriages, and the like―to bedeck their horses with hats, which minimized the wearing effects of the hot sun during long days of strolling the streets. Continue reading
Details of mid-19th-century life come alive in the letters of a German immigrant, translated by Sigrid Wilshinsky and recently published as My Life in America Before, During and After the Civil War.
Louis Hensel was born in 1817 and lived a life of travel and adventure, as colorfully described in letters to his granddaughter back in Germany. Wilshinsky translated them from Suderlein German into modern English. Continue reading