THE AMERICAN HORSE by Barney Nagler

THE AMERICAN HORSE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Barney Nagler proceeds at a rather uncollected gait to give the facts on the American horse in its many manifestations. First introduced after the initial eohippus had long disappeared by Cortes in 1519, it was already well ensconced by 1665 when Colonel Richard Nicolls built New Market race track on Long Island. Mr. Nagler is strong on breeds and bloodlines and the histories of great foundation sires such as Denmark, Messenger, Justin Morgan, Adios, Steel Dust. He is less expansive about the ""money machines"" -- the runners, but they received their greater share of glory in The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America (Robertson, p. 935, 1964). Then there are horses in history: George Washington's Nelson, Paul Revere's Brown Betty, Philip Sheridan's Rienzi. The horse had its greatest moments with westward expansion and before the automobile: by 1920 there were twenty-five million horses on American farms, by 1959, only 3,089,000. As to racing, in 1964 the thoroughbred purses added up to over one-hundred million, betting for harness racing to over one billion dollars. Thus the horse, while deemed obsolete, still has a place in American life. A feedbag full of information, but the model history is still to come.

Publisher: Macmillan