Virginia's horse tradition goes back 400 years, to when horses accompanied some of the first settlers in Jamestown. Since then, the state's special relationship with the horse has never wanted. Virginia has been home to some of the most table breeds in the world - nurturing the Thoroughbred and actually birthing the Quarter Horse - as well as to some of the most famous individual horses, including the great Triple Crown champion Secretariat and Misty of Chincoteague, one of the most beloved horses in all of children's literature. The most significant figures in the Commonwealth's history have almost invariably enjoyed a special bond with horses, from George Washington - whom Thomas Jefferson called 'the best horseman of his age' - to Robert E. Lee, who rode into battle on his well-kwn gray, Traveller. This tradition has continued into the present day, when horse farms are still a proud feature of the Virginia countryside and famed equestrians such as David and Karen O'Conr have represented their state and their country in the Olympics. This is the first book to cover the complete history of the horse in the Old Dominion. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, including numerous historical depictions of the horse by painters, photographers, and even commercial artists. The equine tradition in Virginia is unique and enduring; this book is the celebration it deserves.
Julie A. Campbell is Associate Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Washington and Lee University.