The first selection for this year’s Sporting Bibliophile’s Book Club is Horse by Geraldine Brooks. I can’t tell you how many times each of us on staff heard, “Have you read Horse?!” Therefore, it was a no-brainer for the 2023 line-up. At the heart of the book is the fictionalized account of Lexington, that, for […]
Read More Who was Thomas J. Scott?
Born in 1926 at the United States Army Remount Depot in Front Royal, Virginia (less than an hour from the National Sporting Library & Museum), Jenny Camp was named after the cavalry’s horse shows open to enlisted soldiers, women, and children, known as “Jenny Camp” shows. Despite being the daughter of one of the Army’s […]
Read More Jenny Camp, Olympian
In July 1871, upper-class Londoners were introduced to a new sport: domestic cat showing. Wire cages lined the interior of the Crystal Palace, a cast iron and glass structure built in Hyde Park for the Grand International Exhibition of 1851. Cats of all shapes and sizes reclined “on crimson cushions, making no sound save now […]
Read More To Let the Cat out of the Bag: Cat Showing as Sport and Social Reform
Sadly I do not get to spend my days reading all of our amazing books, periodicals, and archives. Knowledge of the collection is built over time and through a variety of avenues. Sometimes I discover things while working on presentations, or an interesting tibit turns up while searching for some other piece of information and […]
Read More Dianas of the Traps
Although the legendary horses of flat racing are generally more well known to the population at large, there are horses within the steeplechasing community that enjoy the same level of fame as any flat racer. One such hero was a bay gelding called Saluter, who would rise from inauspicious beginnings to win the Virginia Gold […]
Read More Saluter: King of the Virginia Gold Cup
For more than 250 years the name Tattersalls has been synonymous with the buying and selling of bloodstock. Over 13,000 horses are auctioned off annually in 32 sales held at Newmarket, Ascot, and Cheltenham in Britain, and at Fairyhouse in Ireland. Total sales have topped 300 million guineas in each of the last two years. The […]
Read More Sold!
A recent reference question sent me on a hunt to find out if any fillies had ever won the Kentucky Derby. It turns out that three ladies have won the fabled race at Churchill Downs. The first was a chestnut mare with a white blaze named Regret who won the 1915 contest. Regret was bred […]
Read More Ladies of the Kentucky Derby
As I’ve been working on cataloging the Library’s periodical holdings, I’ve come to realize that these journals provided an outlet for artists and engravers, both of which were frequently employed to provide illustrations for publication. One such journal that is absolutely crammed with lovely engravings is the French weekly newspaper, La Chasse Illustree, (The Illustrated […]
Read More Engravings of the Chase
Now is the time when people set their resolutions for the new year. The Library’s main resolutions for 2019 are: (1) Complete setup of the Library’s new Digital Repository (2) Catalog the periodicals collection Speaking of the periodicals project, we were going through some old copies of Thoroughbred Record to catalog them, and picked up […]
Read More Horse Racing Resolutions, 1936
Occasionally the drama of horse racing spills over from the racetrack. In 1977 it splashed onto a mare called Fanfreluche, who was stolen from Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky, and was missing without a trace for several months. This tale of intrigue was covered by many news outlets but for all things Thoroughbred, The Blood-Horse […]
Read More Fanfreluche Stolen!