Thursday, July 28, 2005

The horse in the South

Horses are a part of the landscape of Southern culture largely because Southerners brought love of and attachment to the horse from Ireland and Scotland from whence most Southern ancestors came. While the rest of the country abandoned their equine companions with the advent of the automobile, many in the South have sought a way to coexist with the horse and give that animal a new purpose. There is probably little coincidence in the facts that two of the three Triple Crown races take place south of the Mason-Dixon Line, and the majority of the native American horse breeds originated in the South, many along the crest of the Appalachians.

Nicole is a fine horsewoman, although I doubt she would admit to her own skill. This Saturday she will compete in a benefit horse show with her mount, Earlmont Coup D'etat, a decendant of Wing Commander, one of the great American Saddlebred showhorses of all time. In many parts of the country, such a show would be a minor event, an afterthought, and few would know or care about the equine competitors. In the South, however, such a show will be reasonably well-attended and have many competators. This is the place where the horse is still respected and still used, and that fact still shows how Celtic the South still is.


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