#MemberMonday: J.N. Campbell

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M.A. History

M.A. History of Decorative Arts

What got you in to history? horse history?
   I’ve always enjoyed thinking about it, discussing it, and wading into it. If you are lucky enough to have grandparents and parents that instill a sense of the past, I think that is grist for the mill. I went to the University of Kentucky for graduate school, and I drank the kool-aid, along with a bunch of hot browns and burgoo. I took jobs at the Kentucky Horse Park, and spent time at Keeneland. If I could have my ashes spread across the Haggin Course I would.

   Horse racing is such an important part of the American fabric. I think scholars, whether attached to a university or independents, like myself, can do much to shed light on the state of the sport. Honestly, I am concerned. The local track in the hamlet or even in the mid to large-size city is under attack. My hope is that somehow racing will not just be someday at a handful of tracks like Santa Anita, Gulfstream, or at the NYRA courses. We have to do all we can to lobby, cast our nets widely, and support the Sam Houston Race Parks and Turfway Parks in our universe too. Otherwise, its going to be pretty grim.

Who is your favorite historical horse?

That’s like asking which kid do you like the most. I am partial to turf runners because 330px-Wise_Dan_2012_03I truly believe that running on the grass is the way it should be. I know that sounds crazy, but the dirt just doesn’t do it for me. I got to see John Henry in person after he retired. But, all-time is Wise Dan. That record, his style, and just the way he battled back time and time again. It was impressive to witness.

What are you working on now?
  I just finished up this past summer a new brief on the history of the opioid epidemic. It is called A Time-Release History of the Opioid Epidemic, published through Springer’s History of Chemistry Series. This is the second brief (History of Aspirin was the first) that I have published with a good friend of mine who is a chemist called Steve Rooney. Writing together is a true joy and it has brought us closer together through some tough spots. Right now, I am focused on writing a weekly editorial for The Sports Haven. Long-term, Steve and I plan to complete a third volume on the history of Lasix and its impact on American thoroughbred horse racing. Stay tuned!
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