People have been racing horses for thousands of years, all over the world. Yet horseracing is often presented as an English creation that was exported, unaltered, to the colonies. This Companion 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 portraits of the racetracks of Newmarket, Kentucky, the Curragh, and Hunter Valley, exposing readers to new racing frontiers in China and Dubai as well. A unique resource for fans and scholars alike, reopening essential questions regarding the legacy and importance of horseracing today.
Rebecca Cassidy is Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has written and edited a number of books on horseracing, animal domestication and gambling, including Horse People (2007) and Sport of Kings: Kinship, Class and Thoroughbred Breeding in Newmarket (2002).
List of illustrations; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Horseracing: a chronology; Introduction Rebecca Cassidy; 1. Sporting with kings Richard Nash; 2. The thoroughbred in British art Douglas Fordham; 3. The fiction of horseracing Jane Smiley; 4. From Godolphin to Godolphin: the turf re-laid Wray Vamplew; 5. Festivals Sean Magee; 6. Bodies on the line: the social and physical capital of race riding John Maynard; 7. Life in the backstretch James Helmer; 8. Irish racing's peaceable kingdoms Michael Hinds; 9. 'Sydney or the Bush': adaptation, centrality and periphery in Australian horseracing Wayne Peake; 10. Saratoga style Jonathan Silverman; 11. The Dubai connection Rachel Pagones; 12. Racing in Asia Mark Godfrey; 13. Global markets, changing technology: the future of the betting industry Mark Davies; 14. Horseracing: local traditions and global connections Chris McConville.