Horse Industry in Kentucky Oral History Project

The Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History’s Horse Industry in Kentucky Oral History Project records the firsthand experiences and stories of people who work with horses in Kentucky. Our purpose has been to build a collection that represents the diversity of the equine community and fosters a better understanding of and appreciation for the historical, cultural, and economic significance of the horse to Kentucky. Project staff conducted interviews preserving the history of racing and non-racing breeds in the commonwealth, as well as the numerous and sometime unique occupations supporting the equine industry.

We formed an advisory board that included the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Equestrian Federation John Long and the First Lady of Kentucky Jane Beshear serving as an honorary chair.  This board’s role was to assist with developing important partnerships as well as assisting in the process of identifying project interviewees. Initial project partners included:

•KEEP (Kentucky Equine Education Project)

•Kentucky Thoroughbred Association

•Kentucky Downs

•Keeneland Foundation

•Kentucky Derby Museum

•Kentucky Horse Park

As of the end of 2010 we have conducted more than 100 interviews statewide, 50 of which have been placed on the Kentuckiana Digital Library.   Phase two of the project focuses on providing web access to the next 50 interviews and raising additional funding to conduct additional interviews that focus specifically on the thoroughbred industry and its importance to Kentucky. If you are interested in horses and equine history, check out these interviews online.