Gambling across borders

A blog about the productive life of risk

Posts Tagged ‘horseracing

The Kyrgyz Horse

leave a comment »

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 ,

Cambridge Companion to Horseracing

leave a comment »

CUP Horseracing

Rebecca Cassidy, the principle investigator of our ‘Gambling in Europe’ project has recently edited The Cambridge Companion to Horseracing. This ambitious book investigates the intersection of racing and literature, art, history, and finance, casting the sport as the product of cross-class, cosmopolitan, and international influences.

Chapters on racing history and the origins of the thoroughbred demonstrate how the gift of a fast horse could forge alliances between nations, and the extent to which international power dynamics can be traced back to racetracks and breeding sheds. Leading scholars and journalists draw on original research and firsthand experience to create vivid portraits of the racetracks of Newmarket, Kentucky, the Curragh, and Hunter Valley, exposing readers to new racing frontiers in China and Dubai as well. As a unique resource for fans and scholars alike, the Companion reopens essential questions regarding the legacy and importance of horseracing today.

Rebecca’s engaging introduction brings together perspectives and understandings about horseracing and how it relates to other social activities, such as crime, gambling but also sentiments between people themselves and between people and horses. She guides us on this journey not only through academic work, but also acknowledging the literary work of Ernest Hemingway, Anthony Trollope and George Moore as well as the recent HBO TV series Luck. You can preview the book’s introduction and a special chronology of horseracing on the CUP website. The Cambridge Horseracing Companion has already been widely reviewed: in Irish Field, Racing Post and on the blog of Cambridge University Press. Racing Ahead has also featured an evocative extract from the book – Derby Day: ‘Temporary Saturnalia of Social Equality’.

Luck is a complex, unflinching portrayal of violence and corruption at the track. Dialogue- and character-driven, it invites reflection and understanding rather than judgement. Milch, a lifelong race fan and winner of two Breeders Cups, describes his series as ‘a love letter’, albeit an unsentimental one: ‘To me, the track is what the river was to Mark Twain. Where you see the most life and interesting people, go there. That’s what I’ve done.’ In March 2012, halfway through filming the second episode of the second season, production of Luck was permanently suspended by HBO, when a third horse had to be euthanized as a result of an accident on the set… read more of the Introduction

Written by Andrea Pisac

June 28, 2013 at 10:56 am