Horse People Thoroughbred Culture in Lexington and

Horse People Thoroughbred Culture in Lexington and Newmarket Animals History Culture The world of Thoroughbred racing is glamorous secretive dangerous and seductive—the sport of kings and the poor man's obsession While the spectacle of racing stirs the imagination it belies the ruthless business that lies beneathThis engaging original study demystifies this complex world by comparing centers of excellence in Britain and North America Drawing from intensive field work in Suffolk's Newmarket and Kentucky's Lexington Rebecca Cassidy gives us the inside track on all players in the industry—from the elite breeders and owners to the stable boys racetrack workers and veterinarians She leads us through horse farms breeding barns and yearling sales; explains rigorous training regimens; and brings us trackside on race dayBut the history of Thoroughbred racing culture is than a collection of fascinating characters and exciting events Cassidy's investigation reveals the factors—ethical cultural political and economic—that have shaped the racing tradition

1 thoughts on “Horse People Thoroughbred Culture in Lexington and Newmarket Animals History Culture

  1. says:

    This is a subtle sharp and insightful comparative ethnography of the UK and US Thoroughbred racing industres based on close participant observation studies of Newmarket and Lexington Although Cassidy discusses significant differences between the UK US industries her final argument is that they are nether as different as they claim to be nor as distinctive as they see themselvesAside from the insightful comparative analysis the book has two major strengths First Cassidy is clearly a horse person but as a good anthropologist is never in thrall to her field or her paricipantsinformants – she is as Michael Agar defined the anthropologist a professional stranger One who as with many anthropologists must carefully mediate respect for informants with critical analysis and insight with analysis in terms the community would use and understand and in terms developed from the outside which the community may not recognise She does this wellSecond Cassidy's grasp of breeding theories is impressive and she deploys it in such a way as to tell us an awful lot about the racing industry the gendered assumptions it makes about power mares so often being litt than vessels for foals and the social claims it makes for its significance The close links between horse breeding theories all which seem dubious and late 19thearly 20th century theories of scientific racism and eugenics are both disturbing and stubbornAn impressive and important book

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