If you wanted to hunt foxes, play polo, or just train horses around New York in the late 1800s, Long Island was the place to go. On the latest episode of The Long Island History Project, we explore this equestrian heritage with our guest Katie Robbins. Our subject is Katie’s ancestor Clarence H. Robbins, consumate cross country rider, horse trainer, and master of the hounds. He ran with Belmonts and Vanderbilts while avoiding the limelight himself although later generations would come to know his son, noted fantasy author Tod Robbins. [Read more…] about Equestrian Heritage on Long Island
Goshen Historic Track Seeks Help to Preserve Tradition
The Goshen Historic Track has announced they are seeking community support to preserve a tradition that began 181 years ago.
On August 23, 2017, a fire completely destroyed the quaint blacksmith shop, the historic BOCES Barn and the shedrow barn connecting them. Fortunately, all horses were rescued and there was no loss of life. However, the Track is now facing the upcoming racing season. “The Cradle of the Trotter,” as the Goshen Historic Track is called, is a Registered Historic Landmark and the oldest active harness racing track in the world. It must rebuild quickly or lose a matching grant of $100,000. [Read more…] about Goshen Historic Track Seeks Help to Preserve Tradition
National Museum of Horse Racing (Historians Podcast)
This week on The Historians podcast, communications officer Brien Bouyea discusses the National Museum of (Horse) Racing and Hall of Fame on Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, NY. A famous voice from the museum’s phone answering machine introduces this episode. [Read more…] about National Museum of Horse Racing (Historians Podcast)
Horse Racing Museum Seeks Photo Exhibit Submissions
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has announced they will unveil a juried photography exhibition in 2019 called Photo Finish, and are now accepting submissions of photography work by both amateur and professional photographers in relation to thoroughbred racing in America. [Read more…] about Horse Racing Museum Seeks Photo Exhibit Submissions
Farewell To The Horse: A Cultural History
Ulrich Raulff’s new book Farewell To The Horse: A Cultural History (Liveright, 2018) takes a deeply academic look at the ancient and complex relationship between horses and humans.
Once man’s most indispensable companions, horses were for millennia essential in helping to build cities, farms, and industries. But during the 20th century, in an increasingly mechanized society, they began to disappear from human history. [Read more…] about Farewell To The Horse: A Cultural History
Racing Museum’s ‘Foal Patrol’ Tracks Birthing Mares
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga has launched Foal Patrol, a fan-based interactive web program that tracks the lives and daily routines of several in-foal mares during their pregnancy through the birthing process.
The project includes an interactive website and several contests for racing fans and horse lovers. The site can also be reached through the Museum’s website. [Read more…] about Racing Museum’s ‘Foal Patrol’ Tracks Birthing Mares
Saratoga: Special Man o’ War 100th Anniversary Tour
On Sunday, November 5th, at noon, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs will hold a Man o’ War Spotlight Tour.
In celebration of the thoroughbred racehorses 100th birthday, this guided tour will take visitors through the history of the sport and feature objects related to the original “Big Red” and his connections, including an in-depth look at the “Man o’ War at 100” exhibition. [Read more…] about Saratoga: Special Man o’ War 100th Anniversary Tour
Captain Lewis: Horace Brown’s Great Brown Horse
Horace Brown, perhaps the greatest horse trainer from the northern Adirondacks and foothills, attained fame and many trotting victories in America, Europe, and Russia. Of all his successes, none was more acclaimed than the marvelous season of 1882. Collectively, it was among the unlikeliest stories in sports, an early equivalent of the US hockey team’s stunning Olympic victory in 1980, when a group of fresh, largely untested amateurs came together and conquered the world’s best.
The 1882 story became legend and was often repeated, but the first couple of names involved aren’t absolutely certain. Bear with me briefly through the details, for the story will get better. By most accounts, the horse in question was bred by Jeff Brown of Dresden, on the western shore of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes region of New York. In the vicinity of Dresden, he sold it to Richard Brown (and now the names are certain,) who sold it to Lawrence Bogert, who sold it to Stewart L. Purdy of the town of Benton. [Read more…] about Captain Lewis: Horace Brown’s Great Brown Horse
Horace Brown: Master Horseman of Northern NY
One of my favorite people to visit when I was a child was my maternal grandfather, who owned a 100-acre farm in remote northwestern Clinton County. Ninety acres of the property were wooded (I loved exploring nature); he had cows, horses, and a dog (I loved animals); and he was an avid fisherman (I lived on the riverbank in Champlain and loved fishing). From my perspective, everything about my Grandpa Jim (Lagree) was cool (this was back in the ’60s, so “cool” is appropriate).
On the wall near his usual sitting area in the living room was a framed photo of a horse and sulky with the caption, “Dan Patch.” Since it was my grandfather’s picture, I knew it had to be something cool, and I was right. As he explained to me, Dan Patch was the greatest trotter ever. Trotting, as I learned, was once the most popular sport across Northern New York.
Within a general loop from Albany north to Glens Falls and Plattsburgh; west to Malone, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, and Watertown; south to Boonville; southeast back to Albany; and many stops in between, dozens of communities in the Adirondacks and foothills had trotting tracks of varying quality. Participants ranged from farmers to professional horsemen, all of them eager to put their horses’ abilities up against others for bragging rights, money prizes, and, of course, side bets. [Read more…] about Horace Brown: Master Horseman of Northern NY
Triple Crown Events at the National Museum of Racing
The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame has announced a series of Triple Crown events for the 2017 season.
On Saturday, April 29, 2017 the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame will host Countdown to the Triple Crown. Hosted by local author and racing historian Michael Veitch, racing experts Tom Amello and Jeff Carle will be on hand to offer analysis and predictions for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby and answer questions from the audience about the Triple Crown series. Guests will receive a complimentary issue of the Triple Crown preview edition of The Blood-Horse, featuring past performances, while supplies last. The program will begin at 1 pm and is open to the public and free to attend. [Read more…] about Triple Crown Events at the National Museum of Racing