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Other titles in the Animals, History, Culture series:
Horse People: Thoroughbred Culture in Lexington and Newmarket (Animals, History, Culture)by Rebecca Cassidy
Synopses & Reviews
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 beneath.
This 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 day.
But the history of Thoroughbred racing culture is more 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.
Book News Annotation:
Cassidy (anthropology, Goldsmiths College, U. of London, UK) considers Thoroughbred racing by examining two cities in Britain and the US: Newmarket in England and Lexington, Kentucky. Within the context of what humans choose to do with animals as a reflection of society, she focuses on flat racing and describes the origins and history of racing, breeding, and the association of the two cities with the sport. Based on fieldwork she began as a doctoral student in 1996 and ended in 2004, the book also details activities that take place on stud farms, at auctions, at training yards, on the track, and in the stable, and the lives of people who work with the horses. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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