Horsemanship, Jr. - Horse Capital of the World
The previous lesson of Horsemanship Jr. was sent to Steemit in April of 2018. As you will remember, at that point we had studied Communication between horse and rider and the Preliminary Skills necessary before riding.
I would like to continue this textbook, Horsemanship Jr., but first, let me digress in order to examine the phrase “Horse Capital of the World.” This is pertinent to our study of horsemanship as we cannot ignore such a powerful statement regarding horses all over the world.
I am sure you are wondering: “How can there be a horse capital of the world? After all, there are large horse farms in many states in the United States and also in many countries abroad. What makes one area the capital over all the others?”
And you are right. I said the same thing when I was driving and I came upon a very large sign which read, “HORSE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD.” I was driving in Marion County, Florida, when I saw this very powerful sign, and it made me think. Like you, I thought “What does that mean?” I wondered if it pertained to a horse farm, Marion County, Florida or the United States. So, I did some research and this is what I found:
Marion County earned the title “Horse Capital of the World” in 1999 when this label was read into the Congressional Record, (CR), and the US Department of Agriculture, (USDA) approved that CR Label. The USDA approved that label for Marion County, Florida, because the Agriculture Census showed that Marion County led all US counties in total number of horses and ponies in residence. And since 1999 the USDA’s Census of Agriculture continues to show that Marion County leads all US counties in total number of horses and ponies in residence. BUT THIS DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ANY OTHER COUNTRIES. SO, I THOUGHT, “PERHAPS THE STATEMENT IS TOO BROAD, AND IT SHOULD READ HORSE CAPITAL OF THE UNITED STATES.”
I want you to understand that when this statement was read into the Congressional Record, the person making this statement took too much liberty which means making a statement beyond the factual limits. The facts are that only United States counties were included in the horse and pony census. It is clear to the Congressional members (members of congress), and to the members of the US Department of Agriculture, that only US counties were included in the census. But there are very large signs throughout Marion County Florida that tout in large letters “Horse Capital of the World.” And this statement would be correct and factual if it were to read: “Horse Capital of the United States.” I am sure many residents of Marion County believe the words as written on these very large signs within the county and that is unfortunate. You will find throughout your life, that people often take too much liberty with statements and what you hear and what you read may not be factual. A second opinion or more research will often prove to be a good idea.
I wanted to call your attention to this situation, because some of you might be traveling in Florida – for instance to enjoy Disney, Universal or Leevengoland in Orland and Winter Haven, Florida. Those wonderful parks are all located in Orange County, but who knows – your family may travel north and you may find yourselves in Marion County. And then you would possibly see a sign reading, “Horse Capital of the World.”
I have now cautioned you that the sign is not factual, but instead, those making this sign have hoped it would promote and publicize the fact that Marion County has a very significant horse population. And, certainly it is very true that the Thoroughbred Industry has been very successful in Marion County, Florida. This success has attracted breed owners and Marion County is home to over 900 horse farms and nearly 29,000 residents employed in the county’s Thoroughbred Industry. Marion County is proud to claim 39 Florida bred National champions. The breeders’ auction is held across from the county airport and even many more horses are flown in for this huge event. The lineage of each horse is carefully followed and available for the interested bidders. Many of the horses that are bought and sold during the breeders’ auction in Marion County will later be entered in the below three most watched races for three-year old thoroughbreds:
- The Kentucky Derby is run at the Churchill Downs racetrack, located in Louisville, Kentucky. This track was officially opened in 1875. The Kentucky Derby is held on the first Saturday in May, and has a purse of $2 million dollars.
- The Preakness Stakes is run at the Pimlico Race Course, located in Baltimore, Maryland. The Preakness Stakes is held on the third Saturday in May, and has a purse of $1.1 million dollars.
- The Belmont Stakes is run at Belmont Park located in Elmont, New York. The Belmont Stakes is held on the first or second Saturday in June, and has a purse of 1.5 million dollars.
In 2018 Justify won all three of these races and became the 13th horse in history to win the Triple Crown . A Marion County bred horse by the name of Affirmed won the 11th Triple Crown in 1978.
Enjoy these thoroughbred races in 2019.
See you next time as we continue our lessons in Horsemanship, Jr.