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The Cambridge Companion to Horseracing
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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.


'A thoroughbred publication from an unusual but welcome stable.'

Source: Racing Post

'A comprehensive companion …'

Source: The Irish Field

'… a serious book … recommended for libraries, fans and experts alike.'

Source: Reference Reviews

'… [this] volume is a great starting place for those interested in the subject, and the reader will come away wanting to learn more … highly recommended'

Source: Choice

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A Guide to Further Reading

Barich, B.Laughing in the Hills. St Paul, MN: Hungry Minds Press, 1980.
Barnard, J.Talking Horses. London: Fourth Estate, 1987.
Beyer, A.Beyer on Speed: New Strategies for Racetrack Betting. New York: Mariner, 2007.
Binns, M. and T. Morris, Thoroughbred Breeding: Pedigree Theories and the Science of Genetics. London: J.A. Allen, 2010.
Breen, T.Horses & Gentlemen: The Cultural Significance of Gambling Among the Gentry of Virginia’, William and Mary Quarterly, 34 (1977), 239–57.
Caine, G.The Home Run Horse. Chicago: The Daily Racing Form, 2004.
Case, C.Down the Backstretch: Racing and the American Dream. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1991.
Chinn, C.Better Betting with a Decent Feller. Hemel Hempstead: Aurum, 1991.
Clapson, M.A Bit of a Flutter. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1992.
Conley, K.Stud: Adventures in Breeding. New York: Bloomsbury, 2008.
De Moubray, J.The Thoroughbred Business. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1986.
Edwards, P., K. Enenkel and E. Graham (eds.) The Horse as Cultural Icon. The Real and Symbolic Horse in the Early Modern World. Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2011.
Fox, K.The Racing Tribe. London: Metro, 1999.
Francis, D.Banker. London: Pan, 1982.
Hagedorn Auerbach, A.Wild Ride: The Rise and Tragic Fall of Calumet Farm Inc, America’s Premier Racing Dynasty. New York: Holt Paperbacks, 1995.
Harrison, F.Early American Turf Stock, 1730–1830, Vol. II. Richmond, VA: The Dominion Press, 1935.
Hervey, J., W. Vosburgh and R. Kelly. Racing in America (6 volumes: 1665–1979). New York: The Jockey Club, 1922–1980.
Hill, C.Horse Power: The Politics of the Turf. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1988.
Hill, E. and P. Cunningham, ‘History and Integrity of Thoroughbred Dam Lines Revealed in Equine mt Variation’, Animal Genetics, 33 (2002), 287–94.
Hillenbrand, L.Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse. New York: Random House, 2003.
Hotaling, E.The Great Black Jockeys: The Lives and Times of the Men Who Dominated America’s First National Sport. New York: Prima, 1999.
Hotaling, E.They’re Off! Horse Racing at Saratoga. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2005.
Huggins, M.Flat Racing and British Society 1790–1914. London: Frank Cass, 2000.
Huggins, M.Horseracing and the British, 1919–1939. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003.
Lambton, G.Men and Horses I Have Known. London: Thornton Butterworth, 1924.
Landry, D.Noble Brutes: How Eastern Horses Transformed English Culture. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008.
Leach, J.Sods I Have Cut on the Turf. London: Victor Gollanzc, 1961.
Leicester, C.Bloodstock Breeding, 2nd ed., revised by H. Wright. 1957; London: J.A. Allen, 1983.
Lemon, A.The History of Australian Thoroughbred Racing. South Yarra, Victoria: Hardie Grant Books, 2008.
Maynard, J.Aboriginal Stars of the Turf. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, 2007.
McClelland, T.Horseplayers: Life at the Track. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2007.
McConville, C. (ed.) A Global Racecourse: Work, Culture and Horse Sports. Melbourne: ASSH, 2008.
McIlvaney, H.McIlvaney on Horseracing. London: Mainstream, 1995.
Mooney, B., G. Ennor and G. Kelly, Complete Encyclopaedia of Horseracing. London: Carlton Books, 2006.
Mortimer, R.The Jockey Club. London: Cassell, 1958.
Munting, R.Hedges and Hurdles. London: J.A. Allen, 1987.
Nack, W.Secretariat: The Making of a Champion. New York: Da Capo Press, 2002.
O’Hara, J.A Mug’s Game: A History of Gaming and Betting in Australia. Kensington, N.S.W.: New South Wales University Press, 1988.
Olsen, S., S. Grant, A. Choyke and L. Bartosiewicz (eds.) Horses and Humans: The Evolution of the Human-Equine Relationship. Oxford: BAR, International Series 1560, 2006.
Pagones, R.Dubai Millennium: A Vision Realised, A Dream Lost. Compton: Highdown, 2007.
Peake, W.Sydney’s Pony Racecourses: An Alternative Racing History. Sydney, N.S.W.: Walla Walla Press, 2006.
Potts, A.Against the Crowd. London: Aesculus Press, 1995.
Prior, C.The History of the Racing Calendar and Stud Book. London: The Sporting Life, 1926.
Raber, K. and T. Tucker (eds.) The Culture of the Horse: Status, Discipline, and Identity in the Early Modern World. Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004.
Reiss, S.The Sport of Kings and the Kings of Crime: Horse Racing, Politics and Organised Crime in New York 1865–1913. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2011.
Robinson, P. and N. Robinson, Horsetrader: Robert Sangster and the Rise and Fall of the Sport of Kings. London: Harper Collins, 1993.
Rosecrance, J.The Invisible Horsemen: The Social World of the Backstretch’, Qualitative Sociology, 8 (1985), 248–65.
Rosecrance, J.The Degenerates of Lake Tahoe: A Study of Persistence in the Social World of Racehorse Gambling. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 1987.
Runyan, D.The Racing World of Damon Runyan. New York: Constable, 1999.
Simon, M.Racing through the Century: The Story of Thoroughbred Racing in America. Irvine, CA: Bow Tie Press, 2002.
Smiley, J.Horse Heaven. New York: Ballantine Books, 2001.
Smiley, J.A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money and Luck. New York: Anchor, 2005.
Sydney, C.The Art of Legging. London: Maxline International, 1976.
Thibault, G. 2001. Un siècle de galop, 1900–2000. Paris: Filipacchi, 2001.
Thornton, T.Not by a Long Shot: A Season at a Hard Luck Horse Track. New York: Public Affairs Books, 2007.
Vamplew, W.The Turf. London: Allen Lane, 1976.
Vamplew, W. and J. Kay, Encyclopaedia of British Horseracing. Abingdon: Routledge, 2005.
Warner, M. and R. Blake, Stubbs & the Horse. New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2004.
Watson, S.J.Between the Flags: A History of Irish Steeplechasing. Dublin: Allen Figgis, 1969.
Welcome, J.Irish Horse-Racing: An Illustrated History. London: Macmillan, 1982.
Wilkinson, D.Early Horse Racing in Yorkshire and the Origins of the Thoroughbred. York: Old Peg Publications, 2003.
Wright, H.Bull: The Biography. London: Portway Press, 1995.


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