Gambling across borders

A blog about the productive life of risk

The Kyrgyz Horse

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Prof. Rebecca Cassidy, the principal investigator of the Gambling in Europe project, has done extensive research about horses. Some of the topics she has written about are horseracing (The Sport of Kings: Kinship, Class and Thoroughbred Breeding in Newmarket, The Cambridge Companion to Horseracing, ed.) and the culture and business of horse breeding (Horse People: Thoroughbred Culture in Lexington and Newmarket).


On her fieldtrip to Kyrgyzstan, she made a short film about another horse centred society. She writes: In 2007 I went to Kyrgyzstan as part of an interdisciplinary team investigating the domestication of horses in central Asia. As well as collecting ethnographic data, we pulled hairs out of horse’s manes and brought it back to extract their DNA. The archaeologists in the team used the results to write a paper about horse domestication. I wrote a paper about Kyrgyz horses that appeared in Anthropology Today. Horse racing in Kyrgyzstan is long distance and across very challenging terrain. I struggled to imagine how the delicate thoroughbreds I had worked with in Newmarket and Kentucky would cope with the conditions. The local ponies were tough and well suited to the challenge. The end of the film shows them returning to their individual homes after grazing all day.


Written by Andrea Pisac

October 3, 2013 at 11:18 am

Posted in News

Tagged with ,

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