#EqHist2018: Hylke Hettema, Warhorse to Trophy Horse

All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!

How an Oriental Warhorse Became a Global Trophy Horse
Hylke Hettema, Leiden University

   The Arabian horse is one of the most popular breeds in the world, and generally quoted to be one of the oldest and purest breeds. The Arabian is also said to have influenced the development of nearly every modern light horse breed and although the contact between Arab and European cultures predates the 19th century in which many modern breeds were first defined,  most of the circulating general knowledge on origin and history of the Arabian horse stems from Orientalist writings. Remarkably the Arabian horse was not considered superior to other breeds until the end of the 18th century, when the European and American interest in the Orient begins to bloom and the current assumption that the Arabian horse is superior to most other breeds starts to prevail. However no academic research has been done into the sudden change in European and American attitude towards Arab equestrian culture and auxiliary horses, or, the motive for the seemingly abrupt transition of the Arabian horse from Oriental warhorse to  a Global trophy horse.

   This paper will investigate the process of the Arabian horse climbing to its current superior status in global equestrian culture and subsequent impact on general knowledge. Examining Orientalist writings that portray the Arabian horse as superior to all western breeds, this paper will investigate probable factors that may have played a part in the change in status of the Arabian horse from Oriental warhorse to a Global trophy horse.

Read our Member Monday profile of Hylke Hettema here.

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#EqHist2018: Teresa Rogers on Maureen Love and the Kellogg Arabians

All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!

Ceramic Artistry, Equine History: The Unknown Story of Maureen Love and the Kellogg Arabians
Teresa Rogers

   Since the 1920s, the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center has been a significant part of Southern California’s equestrian community. The names of horses bred at the Kellogg Ranch, such as the important stallions Abu Farwa and Ferseyn, appear in the pedigrees of show and pleasure horses today.

   But almost no one knows that the legacy of the horses of the Kellogg Ranch lives on, in display cases and toy boxes in countless American homes today.  Their legacy is found in retail shops, thrift stores, online, at horse events and collectors’ conventions across the country, and in the exhibit at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library during the Equine History Conference.  The images of Abu Farwa and Ferseyn, along with other local horses of many breeds, were immortalized by artist Maureen Love (1922-2004) and turned into horse figurines by the California pottery Hagen-Renaker, Inc.  Several of Love’s designs for Hagen-Renaker were later reproduced in plastic by Breyer Animal Creations of New Jersey; both companies still produce them today.  Collectible model horse figurines have been affectionately called a “gateway drug” to the greater appreciation of real horses. 

   Since the 1950s, Hagen-Renaker and Breyer model horses have reflected the continuing importance of the horse in entertainment, education, pop culture, and local communities. My research helped inform the exhibit at WKKAHL; this paper will further illuminate the relationship between the quiet artist Maureen Love, the Kellogg Arabians and other Southern California horses she captured in her art, and the people who loved them.

Find more of Teresa Rogers’ work here.

 

 

 

 

#EqHist2018: Kit Heintzman on “Whose horses matter?”

All month long we will be featuring speaker’s abstracts for the upcoming Equine History Conference: Why Equine History Matters. Register now!

Whose horses matter?
Kit Heintzman, Harvard University

   Thousands of sick horses were brought to the École Royale Vétérinaire de Paris since it opened in 1766 to receive treatment, but few of them were ever referred by name in medical writing. This paper compares three genres of medical writing among eighteenth-century French veterinarians during the first 25 years of the hospital’s existence: the published account of treatment interventions, the hospital’s individualized treatment report, and the autopsy record. Such works reveal distinct ways of fashioning the meaning and importance of animal death in the early decades of state-supported of veterinary medicine. In the published reports, animal death was reduced to mere numbers, and became a mechanism to convey information about the state of veterinary practice, but not about the animals themselves. The hospital records reveal a detailed, meticulous, and experimental approach to determining the new curatives. Horses were framed as emotional creatures, but not as individuals. The autopsy reports, in contrast, were pathos-ridden documents, where creatures had names, experienced suffering and, eventually, release from painful illness. In this paper I argue that this had less to do with the form of writing itself or even human-animal hierarchies, than with its intended audience. Autopsy reports were written exclusively in cases when a king’s horse had died. They functioned as apologetic explanations for why this new state-funded group of healers had failed to keep the Crown’s companions alive. This paper examines how “mattering” is itself a part of the archival logic of human-animal relations, reflecting hierarchies between persons, as well as those between humans and other animals.

Kit Heintzman is currently a fellow at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia, PA 

#EqHist2018 Plenary

Plenary:
“Breeding Rebellion, Racing to Revolution: The Mystery of Honest Tom’s Missing Stud Book; or, The Political Legacy of the Woodstock Mare.”
Richard Nash, Indiana University Bloomington

    Dr. Nash is a leading scholar of Human Animal Studies and eighteenth century English culture, and is Professor of English at the University of Indiana, Bloomington. He is the author of numerous academic articles, including “‘Honest English Breed:’ The Thoroughbred as Cultural Metaphor,” in The Culture of the Horse: Status, Discipline, and Identity in the Early Modern World (2004)–one of the landmark works that reinvigorated the field of equine history. He co-authored The Heath and the Horse: A History of Racing and Art on Newmarket Heath (2015), and his book Wild Enlightenment : The Borders of Human Identity in the Eighteenth Century (2003) won the Walker Cowen Book Prize. He served as past president of the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts, and has held fellowships from the British Academy and the Huntington Library.

Read our profile of Dr. Nash here.

Have you registered yet?

Nonprofit Status

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    The EHC is now a federal 501(c)3 public charity as well a registered charity in the State of California! All donations are tax deductible.

   The Equine History Collective promotes the horse as a lens for trans-regional history, and serves as an interface for related historical research in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. We have three aims:

  • To make specialist and sometimes technical knowledge relevant and available to a broader audience of academic scholars in the discipline of history.
  • To provide a forum for connecting related research interests in equine studies across regional and chronological divisions within the discipline of history, mirroring the trends of transnational, connected world histories.
  • To provide a point of contact for inter-disciplinary collaboration with scholars in equine studies in the social sciences and sciences to provide a historically rigorous foundation or counterpoint to contemporary studies in fields ranging from genetics to sport culture and tourism.

   Our current focus is the Equine History 2018 Conference at the W.K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Library in Pomona, California. In addition to hosting an annual conference, our long term goals include the creation of equine history fellowships, collaboration with other historical groups, and public talks.

   If you are interested in sponsoring any of our projects, developing a partnership, or establishing a named fund to support any field of equine history, please contact us.

Board of Directors 2018-2020
Katrin Boniface
Janice Gunther Martin
Kathryn Renton

#MemberMonday: Mike Huggins

huggins
Mike Huggins
University of Cumbria

Ph. D., Lancaster University, 1999
Diploma in Reading Studies, Open University, 1988
Diploma in Management Studies, CNAA, 1986
MA, CNAA, 1983
Diploma in Religious Studies, Cambridge University, 1976
BA (Hons), Open University, 1975 (first class)
Certificate in Mathematics, National Extension College, 1969
Cert Ed, Durham, 1967

What got you in to history? horse history?
I initially taught in primary schools, specializing in reading, and later worked in teacher training and school inspection. But I did a doctorate on the nineteenth-century history of British horse racing to fill my time during the school holidays, and that motivated me to move into the academic world to teach leisure history.
Rather like Saul of Tarsus my conversion to horse history took a long time. I’ve never ridden a horse. Though amongst my many books are three on British racing’s history, covering the period from 1660 to 1939, including my most recent on the long eighteenth century, they’ve focused on cultural, social, economic and political themes and the debates about betting, and did not foreground the horses anywhere near as much as I should have. But I’m belatedly giving it more thought now.

Who is your favorite historical horse?Statue of Kincsem
Kincsem, the thoroughbred mare foaled in Hungary in 1874, is a favourite of mine, not least since mares can be overlooked. She won 54 races from 54 starts, many of them high standard, on racetracks across Europe, and later through her offspring influenced the breed.

What are you working on now?
I am currently exploring the cultural transfer and knowledge circulation of thoroughbred breeding and racing between Britain and Europe between 1700 and 1880.

 

#SourceSaturday: Dr. Fager’s Mile

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   50 years ago yesterday, Dr. Fager set a new world record for the dirt mile: 1:32 1/5. America’s Best Racing calls his record “unbreakable,” and certainly it has stood untouched for half a century. 

 Much of racing history is caught up in these statistics, but we also have at our disposal a century of video to examine not only what these horses did, but how. Watch Dr. Fager’s record smashing Washington Park Handicap here.

Image: DRF (click to read about his name sake).