The inaugural Equine History Conference!
Nov. 30-Dec. 2
We are so glad that you are here. This conference was the brain-child of the Equine History Collective (EHC), a recently incorporated federal 501(c)3 public charity, with the enthusiastic support and sponsorship of the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. Thanks to your invaluable participation, this conference brought together scholars, public historians, and archivists with an interest in equine research to demonstrate “Why Equine History Matters.” Rather than a narrowly focused and specialist topic, the equine figure in history is fascinating precisely because it cuts across wide swathes of society, in diverse cultures and regions. The EHC hopes to capture this intellectual energy and promote this research to the academic community, equine professionals, and the broader public.
We were equally glad to launch our first conference at CalPoly Pomona, California–an important center for Arabian horse breeding, as well as for the history and culture of the United States. On these grounds, the breakfast cereal mogul W. K. Kellogg bred Arabian horses brought from the Crabbet Stud in England and became a popular ambassador to the early Hollywood entertainment industry. His land was eventually donated to the state’s university system and housed the cavalry remount breeding program during World War II. A popular campaign to preserve the Arabian breeding center and restore its public educational purpose led to the development of the first southern California agricultural science program in the Cal State University system in the Kellogg Arabian Center.
The unique resources of the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library (WKKAHL) preserve this history, and more. With a dedicated space for their special collections and archives, the WKKAHL works hard to make material available to researchers related to the Arabian horse, leisure sport, art, and southern California history. This conference was only made possible by the foresight and efforts of Katie Richardson, Head of Special Collections and Archives, and Dr. Emma Gibson, Interim Dean of the Cal Poly Pomona University Libraries.
In addition to the rich historical resources and financial support for equine research on campus, the horses themselves bring history to life. The W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, directed by Jeanne Brooks, continues to breed Arabian horses to preserve the breed and to educate the general public in the spirit of the original grant from W.K. Kellogg. Students in the horsemanship club and the school of agriculture participate in equine-specific training at the center. In a long-standing tradition, the Arabian Horse Center hosts a monthly “Sunday Show”–similar to those hosted for a public audience between 1925 to 1932– to display the skills of students and characteristics of Arabian horses (historical programs for these shows can be found in the WKKAHL). The Sunday Show scheduled for the weekend of the 2018 Conference was unfortunately cancelled due to rain (equine safety first!), but Director Brooks kindly gave us a private tour of the barn and educational facilities.
The EHC would like to thank Katie Richardson for her enthusiastic support in making this event a reality. The Cal Poly University Library has sponsored the coffee and food provided at this event, as well as the library rooms where we convene. We would also like to thank Richard Nash, one of the scholars who regenerated interest in the equine perspective, for agreeing to speak at the Plenary. Finally, we would like to thank you for making the effort and arrangements to participate in this exciting event, the first of what we hope will be many more Equine History Conferences.
Check out the #EqHist2018 tag on Twitter!