Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Roast them marshmallows.

In the Laura Ingalls Wilder book Farmer Boy, the horse-loving boy Alonzo goes with his family to the closest town to celebrate Independence Day. His father, a prosperous farmer, raises Morgans, which Alonzo will prize above all horses for the rest of his life.

Father's shining horses were hitched to the shining, red-wheeled buggy, and they all drove away in the cool sunshine. All the country had a holiday air. Nobody was working in the fields, and along the road the people in their Sunday clothes were driving to town. Father's swift horse passed them all.

For most of our history, fast harness horses have been an American obsession, a back door to pride and racing in communities that often officially frowned on both. And each year on the Fourth of July the sport of harness racing goes to its home in Goshen, New York for a celebration of newly inducted Hall Of Fame people and horses. Horse races, particularly harness races, were a traditional part of the Independence Day celebration for years. Several uniquely American breeds of horse originated primarily as harness horses, from the extinct Narragansett Pacer which was supposedly the breed that carrie Paul Revere on his most famous journey, to the modern Standardbred.

Books (juvenile fiction)
The Phantom Filly by George Agnew Chamberlain (1945)
Born To Trot by Marguerite Henry (1951)
The Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt by Walter Farley (1951)
The Good Luck Colt by Genevieve Torrey Eames (1953)
The Black Stallion's Sulky Colt by Walter Farley (1954)
Lord Buff And The Silver Star by George Agnew Chamberlain (1955)
Bellfarm Star: The Story Of A Pacer by Col. S.P. Meek (1955)
Old Sam, Thoroughbred Trotter by Don Alonzo Taylor (1955)
The Horse Comes First by Mary Calhoun (1974)
The Gallant Gray Trotter by John T. Foster (1974) illustrated by Sam Savitt
Rebel's Choice by Patricia Harrison Easton (1989)
Summer's Chance by Patricia Harrison Easton
To Race A Dream by Deborah Savage (1994)
Small Gains by K.M. Peyton (2004)

Books (beginner reader fiction)

Stall Buddies by Penny Pollock (1984)

Books (adult mysteries)
Dead Horses by Pat Hewitt (1998)

US Trotting Association - "Goshen Prepares For Great American Weekend"
Harness Museum
Born To Trot at Simon & Schuster


Susan in Boston said...

Don't forget The Gallant Gray Trotter by John T. Foster, illustrated by Sam Savitt. It's a fictional children's bio of Lady Suffolk

Sarah said...

You're right! Added.