Some things never change…

In today’s world, it is easy to take for granted the comforts of modern technology. Horseback riding is a hobby now, not a necessity. We no longer rely upon the animal to commute, to work, or to make a living. Cars, tractors, and farm equipment have taken over those tasks. Even caring for horses has […]

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Ladies in Painting: Women’s equestrian portraits (19th–20th Centuries)

The 19th century was the golden age of horsewomanship. Progress made on roads and carriages had turned horseback-riding into a leisure rather than a necessity. The lighter all-leather sidesaddle with two horns, invented in England around the middle of the 18th century and derived from the novelty hunting saddle, had become very fashionable with ladies. […]

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Horse Racing Resolutions, 1936

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 […]

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A Medallion With Heart

There are more things than books in the Library, and some of our most unusual items in the collection are stored in a tray in the Rare Book Room. The same tray has some of our unique, prehistoric materials as well as a small assortment of commemorative medallions and buttons. One medallion recently caught my […]

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The Patricia W. MacVeagh Photo Collection

Last month, the Library received a tremendous donation: a lifetime collection of equestrian photographs. The Patricia W. MacVeagh Photo Collection spans from 1939 to 2014. MacVeagh photographed horse shows and races from St. Louis to Virginia. Born June 16, 1929, as Patricia Kathryn Williams, MacVeagh graduated high school in 1947, attended Cornell University in Ithaca, […]

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“Alligator – Horse of Iron”

“‘The Winnah’ Alligator – Horse of Iron” was the inscription that sporting artist and illustrator Paul Brown chose to describe Alligator, the bay gelding that he noted won not one, not two, not three, but an unbelievable FOUR steeplechases after various jockeys fell and remounted.  The 1928 West Hills Plate, 1929 Maryland Cup, 1930 International […]

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Anatomy of an Artist: George Stubbs

Renaissance figure Leonardo da Vinci is famous for many things, from designing the first helicopter to painting the Mona Lisa. One of his most notable achievements was to capture human anatomy on paper, board, and canvas. From the Renaissance onward, science and art went hand in hand, especially in rendering the human form. Horses and […]

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