Originally Broadcast on October 10, 2002
SETTLERS BRING HORSES TO JAMESTOWN
Dr. John A. ("Jim")Bowen: . . . the horses traveled very badly, especially at sea and a lot of them would die on the journey and the Spanish had great difficulty in getting horses introduced into the New World at all. . . . the British, when they came, introduced horses into Jamestown.
Dr. Heather Lapham: . . . they were probably shipped over from England. They landed at Jamestown.
(Lapham): The Reverend Richard Buck site is located about a mile north of Jamestown. It's an inland site. It's named after the first landowner, which was the Reverend Richard Buck.
(Lapham): The horses most likely came to the Reverend Richard Buck site with the first occupants in the late 1630s.
(Lapham): The horses at the Buck site were most likely used for transportation, as draft animals, and there is evidence that the horses were also being consumed during hard times.
(Lapham): Horseflesh was no longer taboo. Difficult times and hardships made people really sort of go beyond what was considered social norms . . .
(Lapham): The horse bones at the Buck site, the elements that are being found, the body parts, the body part distributions, the cuts of meat or the lack of cuts of meat are identical to other domestic animals that we know were being eaten such as cow and pig. . . . Horses were not being butchered on a regular basis, but if they were ill, if perhaps they died of natural causes, horse flesh was not being wasted.
(Bowen): . . . there are ponies on the Outer Banks of the Chesapeake, the Asateague Islands, the Chincoteague ponies as they're called. Nobody is absolutely certain of the origin of these. They could have been dropped off by sailors. Sailors often left horses and sheep in various islands and places where they might get shipwrecked in order that they were to have some food were they ever to land in these places or be abandoned on these sites. So whether the horses were, this is what happened to them or whether they were the result of a shipwreck, nobody is actually to be certain.
LOGGING and OTHER TRADITIONAL USES OF THE HORSE
(Bowen): . . . for centuries, the only way that a horse would be harnessed to a chariot or something else was with a harness and breast band. . . . From a work point of view, this wasn't very efficient. In reality, a horse with a harness could do the work of four men and it was much cheaper to feed four men than it was to feed one horse. The Chinese in about the first century A.D. invented the horse collar.
Chad Miano: The reason these horses are called draft horses is right here. This is called the point of draft or the point of pull. And this point of pull needs to be, when they're under load, a ninety-degree angle. And so what you want is this collar to pull evenly from the top and bottom on the horses' shoulders. If not, what you will get is a collar either that's got too much force down here and it pulls the collar down on the horse and pulls the collar down on the points of his shoulders and will cause abrasions on his shoulders and abrasions on the top of his neck. If the point of draft is too high and the collar is pulling up, the horse will be choked. It will restrict his airway. So this is the most important part of the fit. The harness for logging, what we do, because we're asking them to pull heavy loads. So this has got to be right and comfortable so they can work all day and be comfortable. So we pay a lot of attention to this part right here."
Miano: . . . they're the most gentle things in the woods that we can find. We don't pull tree length. We pull our logs in log lengths. We only have to have small trails through the woods. As far as ground compaction and weight, you know they're a very lightweight power source. And they, because of they're walking on feet and they're directing their power straight into the ground, they can pull more than they weigh. . . . we are trying to take care of nature and we're using nature to take care of nature. They fit into the biological system very well. We feel these guys�they're put here for a purpose. And we can work together with them and work together on the forest. This is part of the reason they're here. That's why, you know, Good Lord gave them to us. So we can use them to take care of ours and our woods.
GOVERNOR ALEXANDER SPOTSWOOD/MOVING WESTWARD
Narrator: The British in Virginia pushed the active frontiers west over the Blue Ridge. As Dr. Matthew Mackay Smith tells us, the horse enabled a Royal Governor--Alexander Spottswod--to enlarge the British mission in North America.
Dr. Matthew Mackay-Smith: Governor Spotswood arrived here in 1710, . . . he was the first of the royal governors to realize that the great future for this part of the world lay west of the fall line and over the Blue Ridge. . . . he was the first to imagine empire here rather than colony. And he threw his purse and his heart into the process of moving things westward. . . . the British were committed to going everywhere they went on horses. And it wasn't until 1716 that a way certified to be negotiable by horses was determined to exist and he determined to go and take a party of responsible citizens over to see the Valley. . . . And within five years . . . he had arranged for roads to be built. . . .
Richard Nicoll: He definitely went with horses, went through the Valley. Of course the Valley became very important later, not only to this area, but also to the Philadelphia area. And we see the wagon roads coming down through the Valley from Philadelphia and so there was that linkage to the Philadelphia market, which Philadelphia, by the middle of the 18th Century, is really one of the largest population and market sources on the east coast.
(Mackay-Smith): Spotswood knew there was iron in this colony and had himself invested in iron working at Germanna. And one of the reasons that he pushed so hard to come west is he had run out of iron ore. So he certainly expected iron working to be part of it. And it did in fact come to fruition within his lifetime.
(Mackay-Smith): . . . roads across the major intersecting gaps were developed over a period of about fifty years, beginning about 1720 and this just lit the whole lamp of western expansion and proved Spotswood to have been a visionary.
GEORGE WASHINGTON USES THE HORSE FOR SURVEYING, FOR TRANSPORT, and FOR FARM WORK
Dahl Drenning: George Washington was about seventeen years old, I believe, when he started surveying in the western part of the state.
(Drenning): . . . since he was located in the Tidewater area to begin with, . . . the only way there was either to walk or ride. And I think riding was the way that he went into that part of the country.
(Drenning): . . . He managed to get a commission in the Virginia militia and then as conditions deteriorated on the frontier during the French and Indian War, he finally joined up with the Braddock expedition that went into western Pennsylvania.
(Drenning): . . . It was an ill-founded expedition to begin with. General Braddock, by the way, was riding in a chariot. . . . Colonel Washington was mounted. And Braddock didn't believe that there would be any resistance or significant resistance from the enemy troops . . . and of course that was completely wrong. And when the fighting began, it was a catastrophe for the British forces. . . . Colonel Washington rode gallantly in the fray, having one or more horses shot from under him. . . . that fighting in western Pennsylvania was Colonel Washington's baptism by fire. It was his first experience in combat and it stood him well in subsequent years.
(Drenning): In an effort to develop a more efficient way of threshing grain, George Washington designed the sixteen sided treading barn. The grain tied in sheaves was laid on the second floor over the slacks, or the slatted floor, which is under, and horses were brought in. Horses and mules were brought in and run over top of the grain. The action of their hooves on the grain then separated the seed from the stalk and it dropped down to the first floor where it could be shoveled up and used.
(Nichol): The type of carriage was very stratified by class. Any four wheeled vehicle meant that you had to have a substantial income to afford one of these vehicles. And in the early 18th century, these vehicles were being imported from mainly England. And later, they were being built here, but you definitely had to have the money. As we move into the 1770s, well even earlier, there was a tax put on carriages. And this was twenty shillings a year I believe it was for four wheeled vehicles and two wheeled vehicles were ten shillings a year. So that the�there was also penalty for owning these vehicles that you had to pay taxes on it. The two wheeled vehicle is the most common vehicle we see here, called a chair normally. And those were something that we saw fairly large numbers against the number of four wheeled carriages.
FOUNDING FATHERS AND RACES/ QUARTER RACING/GAMBLING/COURT CASES
Edward C. Hotaling: Washington not only went to the races at Williamsburg and at Alexandria and at Annapolis, but he funded the purses for the Williamsburg Jockey Club of which he was a member, all through the 1760s.
Lucia ("Cinder") Stanton: . . . in his youth, Jefferson did have a phase where he would go fox hunting and attend horse races. The only actual race that we've heard about that he was to take part in is a race that never took place. When he was at school here in Albemarle County and he was challenged to race his slow pony against Dabney Carr's fast horse. So Jefferson accepted the challenge and proposed the date of February 30th and everybody was taken in by this deception and so they didn't make him actually race his horse. Otherwise, he loved horse racing, although he didn't participate himself. He attended races all the time, even as President. There was the annual meeting of the Washington Jockey Club. Right, in some years, right next to the President's house and Jefferson would attend on all three days and apparently the halls of Congress would empty as well and everybody went to these races in the fall. There was all kinds of betting and fighting and misbehaving apparently along with it, but Jefferson was an avid attendee of these races. . . .
(Nicoll): Quarter racing really was racing of one horse against another. It was a race over normally a quarter mile stretch. It was normally done in some cleared area, normally near a courthouse or near the taverns. . . .
Professor Nancy Struna: . . . there were relatively few open areas as we would think of them. Because even if there weren't huge forests, there were scrubs, scrub pines, lots of bushes. It took people a lot of time to clear that land. . . . to clear land, people had to do it largely by hand. Particularly in the 17th century, no colonists had the time, the energy or the money to clear land specifically for something like racing. . . .
(Hotaling): There wasn't enough room to lay out a big mile-long race track, like there was on Long Island where in fact they laid out a two-mile racetrack, but in Virginia they had to chop down of all those southern pines and there just wasn't the manpower to do that. Eventually they did it, but in the early 1700s and mid 1700s, they would cut a strip, wack the trees for a strip a quarter of a mile long, big enough for two horses to go charging down those paths. They called them race paths. Usually next to a tavern. And to get a quarter of a mile, they would take about thirty seconds or less. And on the way down, since they were such short, fast races, the jockeys who were most frequently slave jockeys, would try to knock each other off the horses so they were going to win the race. And the crowds could be huge . . .
(Nichol): . . . there was evidently a very�pretty wild sport and it was evidently fought with a lot of danger and there was a lot of cheating going on.
(Nicoll): Where we get some good glimpses of this kind of sport is from some of the court cases that were brought where people are trying to reclaim prizes or claim fouls against their�playing foul that their opponent had committed on them
(Hotaling): . . . this went on all day. There were thirty second races, but went on all day with frequent trips to the tavern next door and all kinds of wrestling and boxing matches going on, on the side.
(Nichol): . . . They would bet their crops. And the sum of the sizes of the tobacco that was bet on these races was pretty enormous.
(Nichol): When you're losing half your crop on your horse and you were sure he was going to win, then you're going to go through any means you can to try to claim that money back.
(Struna): If you whipped your opponent in an effort to win the race, that was not acceptable. . . . The second part of that is that there was always wagering on the outcome. In fact throughout the colonial period, you really can't talk about sports without talking about gambling. . . . So there were a number of disputes about the outcomes of races, which affected the outcomes of the wager. It is next to impossible to tell from the court records, which is the chicken and which is the egg, but the court cases themselves were about disputed behaviors and disputed wagers.
WASHINGTON AND JEFFERSON HAVE ACCIDENTS ON HORSES!
(Hotaling): George Washington was really into horseracing and into riding and to everything about the sport. Thomas Jefferson had called him the best horseman of his era, which in that age of a great horseman was an enormous compliment
(Drenning): The Narragansett Pacer attracted the General because it was a very comfortable horse to ride. . . . on a trip from Alexandria, I believe, back to the estate, the General was thrown from one of the Pacers. . . . It's probably the first time on record that General Washington was thrown off a horse and it was very near the end of his life. It was in the late 1790s. That's quite an enviable record, I think for any horseman.
(Stanton): . . . Jefferson had a very strict daily routine, which he followed from his early years all the way to his old age, which involved reading and writing and mental work in the morning and then at least two hours of physical exercise in midday. In his early years, walking was his exercise. There's his famous quote about, 'Of all the exercises, walking is the best. A horse give but a kind of half exercise and a carriage is no better than a cradle.' But, in his older years, he was not able to walk very far, so the horse became his main, as he said, 'the horse is my sovereign doctor' and he referred to the daily revival of his midday ride in those later years.
(Stanton): Jefferson's family remembered him as . . . 'a bold and fearless rider.' Thomas Jefferson Randolph called him a 'master of his horse' and Jefferson had a very even temper with his family and the only time he was known for losing his temper or getting inpatient was with some of his horses. So his grandson remembered that he would use 'a fearful application of the whip and spur to master and control his horses.' Nevertheless, there were many accidents that the family reported that Jefferson had when out riding.
(Stanton): His last horse, Eagle, he had two accidents on. . . . Eagle was frightened by a deer that sprang up out of the underbrush and Jefferson went sailing off. This was when he was in his 70s at the time. Then when he was 80, Eagle fell when they were fording a stream here in Albemarle County and Jefferson went into the water and as he reported himself, he nearly drowned. At that time, he had just broken his arm in a fall and it was in a sling. But he was able to grab onto Eagle's bridle and be dragged to shore. So these sorts of things were happening periodically. Then Caractacus his great horse from the early period, threw him in 1781 over at Poplar Forest and he broke an arm then as well.
Narrator: Gradually, we changed the role of the horse. Horses had pulled plows, and carriages, and carried people. By the 1820s they provided horsepower for boats-and pulled barges up the canals that were being built. By the 1830s, Virginians had begun to lay railroad tracks. At first, horses pulled railway cars. But soon, the steam engine displaced the horse. Horses took freight and passengers to trains, but no longer worked the long haul. One painter showed the horse being alarmed by the neigh of the Iron Horse.
THE "GREAT RACES" MIRROR THE GROWING TENSIONS BETWEEN THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH
Narrator: Ambitious sports promoters injected horses in to the sectional rivalries that were beginning to dominate politics. By 1820, Americans were bitterly divided over the issue of slavery. Though the famous Missouri Compromise quieted the issue for a brief while, within a few years Americans from the North and from the South were thinking of themselves as from separate places. Sectional rivalries played out in many ways�Nancy Struna and Peter Winants tell us about one sectional contest.
(Struna): . . . there were a series of races, contemporaries called them the Great Races. They ran from 1822 to about 1845. These were intersectional races. They were North versus South races, so in terms of name, they actual did mirror probably more actively, they played out, the sectionalization between North and South that would ultimately end in the Civil War. . . .
Narrator: The 1822 race pitted the South's Sir Henry Junehorses 203 (Sir Henry) against the North's American Eclipse Junehorses 205 (American Eclipse). The race was going to be a punishing 12 miles: 3 heats of 4 miles each.
Peter Winants: . . . this was the greatest crowd at a sporting event in the history of this country. 60,000 people turned out; 20,000 of them were from the South. And they just jammed into that Union Racecourse. I mean, it was a big deal. And in the first heat, they went off and Henry went to the front and stayed there the whole way. . . . This just wasn't meant to be this way. It's the great American Eclipse. Well they had a guy named Billy Croft who rode American Eclipse in that first heat. But he was a little guy. He weighed not more than a hundred pounds. And being an older horse American Eclipse had to carry 126 and the South got in much lighter. And they didn't like a lot of that dead weight . . . so they said . . . we're going to change jockeys here after the first heat. And they did. They put a guy named Samuel Pretty on the horse. And he was a bigger fellow and in the second heat American Eclipse came out and beat Henry. So they're all tied up after eight miles. . . . So they had the third heat. This was all like in the same time frame. I mean, it was one afternoon of sport. So they'd have a few minutes to clean, then they'd bring them out. And then the way they started the horses in those days is they had a boom from a drum. [PAUSE] And the drum sounded and off they were in the third heat, and American Eclipse won. And so he was the man. And the southerners slunk back to Virginia and North Carolina and what have you, and absorbed the defeat
(Winants): Alvin Fisher was commissioned to have a painting of American Eclipse. Now Fisher was very well known as a landscape artist. . . . And he wasn't known for equine subjects, but he painted a very charming painting. But of course, the question came now, what jockey will you put in it? So they made a very simplistic decision there. We can't hurt either of them's feeling so they asked the jockey, who was standing at the head of the horse, if he didn't mind just standing backwards and that's the way that it is in the painting.
(Struna) The last of these great races occurred in 1845. . . . sectional politics were becoming increasingly serious and continuing to believe that, as older folks have that sectional politics could either be played out on the race course or more or less contained on the race course, they realized was a falsehood. Sectionalization was something that was far more dire now.
Professor James I. Robertson: In war, at least through the 19th century, horses were inestimable, you had to have horses. They conveyed the wagons. They pulled the guns. They have the officers who . . . in war, the officers need to be mounted so the men on the ground can see them. We didn't have walkie-talkies, cellphones, and what not to direct war in those days
(Robertson): In war in the 19th century, you shot the horses first. If cavalry were attacking infantry, you kill the horses. This gets the mounted man down on the ground on your level and it makes the fight more even. Similarly if you were attacking an enemy position, you kill the artillery horses first. They are your first target because if you overrun the enemy line, the defenders cannot pull the guns to safety and you capture the cannons with relative ease. This sounds brutal, it sounds terrible, but no one ever said war was ever pretty.
(Robertson): . . . so many of these men left for war and took the mounts with them. There were a few draft horses left behind to perform farm chores. Then you read some heart rending accounts by women left behind who will have the children pulling the plow while the women, the mother is trying to guide the plow through a field. Planting and cultivating crops was just a very, very difficult job for the wartime South.
(Robertson): . . . Mort Kuntsler has done a very famous painting entitled the Winds of War in which he describes Jackson's men marching across the mountains in a combination of snow and sleet and ice and how the men and well as the mount suffered. A gunner from Lexington, Virginia wrote one morning, 'many of us will never forget the sad plight of our horses. They had fallen during the night march so often and had been shoved by the carriages so that blood had frozen over their wounds. One poor horse had both knees cut and icicles of blood extended all the way to the ground,' which will give you an idea of the suffering. . . . A number of the 21st Massachusetts was positioned on the edge of the battlefield and he wrote, 'the saddest sight was that of a wounded horse fastened to an artillery wagon. It had somehow been shot in its hindquarters. From time to time, it would raise itself up on its forward feet, look toward us in a most imploring way, appealing for help with a groan like a human being, most heart rending and then the horse would fall back in exhaustion, slow dying by pain, starvation and thirst.' I'm sure this happened over and over again because a chaplain up at the Pennsylvania Unit once wrote, 'poor animals, how they do suffer from exposure wont and from brutal drivers. I have no doubt that more horses than men died in the army.' This man was absolutely correct. 700,000 soldiers died in the Civil War, but conservatively speaking, . . . over 1.5 million horses would die in service, not so much from wounds as from sickness, starvation and abuse.
Other images of the horse during the Cvil War are available at:
The Library of Congress
The National Archives
19TH CENTURY POLITICAL CARTOONS FEATURE THE HORSE
Dr. Michael J. Broome: . . . political cartoons first appeared in large numbers in the 1830s. And because the industry was just getting started at that time, the startup firms within the industry were anxious to find any image that would attract an audience and horses were among the most familiar to most Americans that anyone could find.
(Broome): So very early on in the production of cartoons, artists began to incorporate horses into the narratives that they were telling. . . . There are approximately fourteen or fifteen hundred cartoons from the middle portion of the nineteenth century that are still in existence today. And several hundred of them involve horses in one way or another.
(Broome): Horses had a dual purpose in political cartoons in that they provided a metaphor often for either political issues or for political candidates, but they also provided something for other candidates or other issues to ride on. So, some�sometimes horses had heads of candidates and other times the candidates were the riders.
(Broome): The best ones are the ones when one of the riders is being thrown off the horse. The cartoonist figured out early on that if they made multiple copies of the cartoon with different candidates being thrown off the horse in different copies, then they could sell to all sides of the political battles.
(Broome): Horses sometimes appeared not to carry candidates, but to actually represent the candidates themselves. Candidate's faces sometimes appeared pasted over the heads of the horses.
(Broome): From time to time, horses would be used as metaphors for issues or horses would be ridden by issues like slavery or the tariff. Issues would be the horse's riders or sometimes the horse would represent the issue and the rider would be the candidate.
(Broome): From time to time, toward the end of the period in which the horses were in consistent use in cartoons, horses would be shown on train tracks with the train of the winning candidate approaching the horse of the losing candidate. . . . The horse ultimately wound up being passed by� or literally run over by the emerging transportation for us, which was the railroad.
BLACK JOCKEYS:THE FIRST SUPERSTARS OF AMERICAN SPORT
Edward Hotaling: . . . there was a jockey named Simon who came in on a slave ship into Charleston, South Carolina. At a very early age, he appeared on the Charleston racetracks, winning everything in sight. And he next turns up in Tennessee, in Nashville, which is also the headquarters of General Andrew Jackson, hero of the Battle of New Orleans and a great hero and a great, great stable owner, horseracer. . . . Simon became very sort of glib and a smart alecky.
(Hotaling): He played the banjo. He attacked politicians right and left. He sang in this great twang. And he just kept beating Jackson's horse . . . embarrassing him to death over and over again. . . . One day Jackson met Simon at the National Racecourse and he said to him. And this is Jackson over . . . about 6' 1" and Simon a little jockey. And he looked down at him and said to him, 'Listen Simon, the next time you're riding against one of my jockeys, don't you go getting all lathered up and slashing around and spit at my jockey.' And Simon looked up at him and said, 'listen General, you ain't never had a horse fast enough to catch my spit.' And he never, as a matter of fact, absolutely never did. Simon beat him time and again.
(Hotaling): . . . one of the great black jockeys was Charles Stewart and he rode for a man named William Ransom Johnson whose racing operation was based in Petersburg, Virginia. And Johnson won everything in sight. In fact, they called him Napoleon Johnson because the real Napoleon was winning in Europe in the early 1800s the way Johnson was winning on the turf in Virginia and up and down the East Coast. And he won in 1807 and 1808, he won 61 out of 63 of the races he entered. And he was enormously rich. He was sort of to horseracing what the New York Yankees later became to baseball.
(Hotaling): Charles Stewart became his best jockey and won and won and won. And eventually made so much money off of Johnson that he had to hire his own agent to handle his money while he was still a slave.
Hotaling): . . . horseracing in this country existed for 200 years before the Kentucky Derby, but to a lot of us today, the sport began with the Kentucky Derby and it is the most brilliant and longest lasting tradition of American racing. Few people know the role that African Americans played in the Kentucky Derby in its earliest days. In the very first one, there were fifteen contenders. This was in 1875. And thirteen out of the fifteen were black riders, only two white riders. . . . the black riders went on to win sixteen of the first 28 Derbys.
(Hotaling): Isaac Murphy is widely considered the greatest black jockey and he had an enormous talent. He was very modern. He knew how to deal with the press. . . . He was a startling figure. Very good looking, was sort of a Hollywood looking character who had an incredible winning percentage of 44%, which is not even close to being equal today. But he also rode less and he was a money rider. He rode for the best horses.
(Hotaling): . . . the black jockeys were moving north and moving into New York and getting very strong, winning some very big races. And that challenge . . . that African American challenge to white predominance in northern racing was the beginning of the end of the black jockeys in the sport.
THE HORSE ARRIVES AT THE OLYMPICS BY A STRANGE ROUTE!
Maj. General Jonathan R. Burton, Ret.: "Well the Army was charged with furnishing the Olympic team, but the whole system of the cavalry lead to . . . benefited by this requirement. Because we had fourteen regiments of cavalry so we had thousands of horses, we had thousands of riders and we had a backup system of breeding our own horses in the quartermaster and the remount system. And so we had all the facilities. We needed the training to train the riders to Olympic levels so we had basic training that taught a rider to ride the way the Europeans ride and we copied the cavalry schools of Germany and France and England and used their training techniques to develop the riders. Then our sporting events that were continuously available on our posts, lent itself towards the Olympic effort. For instance, when I was at Wiley, we played polo twice a week, we horse showed on Saturday, we fox hunted on Sunday. We had periodic steeplechase and race meetings, flat race meetings. And so everything was geared around the horse and continuous competition.
(Burton): . . . they put together about twelve officers whose only duty was to represent the country in the Olympic games and then international competitions. . . . that's all we did.
(Burton): . . . the team in '32 games in Los Angeles won the gold medal. Well we won the gold medal again in '48, but we did it in a little different manner. When we went to Europe with the team to train, there were thousands of captured horses that the Germans had. . . . many of them captured from other countries, France, Hungary, Russia. So they had some good dressage horses. In fact, the best dressage horses. So we found these horses and we mounted our team on the German dressage horses and we won the gold medal, but we used German horses. So it was a very successful endeavor. . . . we went to continue to go to the horse shows and I was jumping in the French zone. And I was getting ready to go in the ring and a Frenchman came over, excited as Frenchman all are. 'You have my horse.' And it was his horse. Of course the Germans had taken it from him and we'd taken it from the Germans and we had it on the team and we put an Army brand on it, a Preston brand. And he wanted this horse right then. And I told him, 'Well, Uncle Sam owns this horse so I can't exactly give it to you.'
MEN AND WOMEN COMPETE TOGETHER IN THREE-DAY EVENTING
Narrator: Karen and David O'Connor live near Middleburg, Virginia. They have represented the United States in recent Olympics and won bronze, silver, and gold medals.
(David O'Connor): I do a sport called three-day eventing. . . . you would equate it a little bit to a decathlon in that you have to be an expert at a number of different things. . . .
(David O'Connor): Men and women compete totally equal. There is no difference between them. There is no handicap. There is no anything. I do not feel like there is any difference between . . . any advantage between a man and a woman in this sport.
(Karen O'Connor): You have the Cavalry horse that went to battle but they didn't have battles all the time so, between the battles the horses had to be trained for--for the battles that they were going to participate in. The three day event was an exercise--a military exercise to--to hone the skills of both the riders and their horses.
(David O'Connor): The first is dressage, which is like parade movements or almost like the figures in ice skating, the compulsory figures in ice-skating. Everybody does the same movement. It is done purely on the communication level.
(Karen O'Connor): Endurance day was the ability for the horse to go to battle. That was the horse being able to go very fast to get to the battle and then very quiet and waiting for his moment and then our cross-country. Which is really the meat of our sport is the horse being able to go over hill and dale jump into water and jump over ditches, up and down banks and most natural terrain. That doesn't--that's there permanently--permanent structures that the horse can either go around or go over or whatever--however he is going to get to the point B. Having done that in the military they were interested to see if the horse after having a nights rest could then go out and do something more.
(David O'Connor): Then the third day, the horses have got to come back and jump a show jumping. That show jumping which erales a knock-down is not as big as what a true show jumper would jump. Our dressage is not as tough as what a true dressage rider would jump. We are like that decathlete. You know that shotputter is not going to throw a shotput as far as one guy that specializes in that sport. So ours is the all-around athlete.
THE HORSE HAS AN IMPORTANT PLACE IN VIRGINIA
National Sporting Library
International Museum of the Horse
(St. Clair): [Approximately 200,000 people in Virginia are horse owners. . . . Our studies showed that the Virginia horse population is about 225,000 horses.
(St. Clair): Individuals who are interested in the horse industry work on farms as grooms, stall cleaners, exercise riders. The industry has veterinarians giving care at these barns. Farriers working at these barns. Feed people. The feed stores have feed deliveries to these barns. Numerous people support the industry. The agricultural sector is a huge industry, generating quite a bit of economic impact to the state. . . . The agricultural segment of the horse industry generates about 231 million dollars annually for Virginia.
(St. Clair): The average horse owner in Virginia spends approximately 2800 dollars per year per horse and this equates to about 680 million dollars annually to the economy of Virginia.
(St. Clair): They have about 650,000 participants and attendees at the equine events in Virginia and this generates approximately 52 million dollars toward the economic impact of the State.
(Bowen): The tradition of horse breeding and horse rearing in Virginia goes back into colonial times. Washington and his friends had horse racing in Virginia. There was great interest in horses . . .
(Nicoll): I think the horse was everything. It was both a work animal. It was both the pleasure animal. It was something that people aspired to own. And it was part of the fabric of life. And it was not just in Virginia. I think it was in other places. But Virginia seems to have held a high regard for the animal. And it's always been a part of this colony and then state.
(St. Clair): Virginia is a wonderful state to live in, but if you are a horse lover, it makes it even better because of its rich heritage in horses. Horses have been in northern Virginia for many, many years. It has countrysides that attracts the horse owners. Beautiful countrysides.
(Karen O'Connor): It--it--it is for me hallowed ground it's--it's--I've absolutely been all over the world and I've never been to a place that I would prefer to be in than I am right here. The rolling fields and the ability for the horses to get the nutrition they need, to be able to be raised on the beautiful Virginia hills and the grass that we have here. It's terrific for the horses. They become very strong individuals, very athletic individuals. . . .
(Burton): . . . it's a horse paradise. It's rain. It's nice. You have grass. You have the trees. It's pleasant. It's rolling and all kinds of activities of all sorts going on here. It's just the most logical place to be for a horse.