Vägen till vinnarcirkeln. Travhästen och dess människor mellan sport och spel

Detta är en avhandling från Gidlunds förlag

Sammanfattning: The way we understand and treat our horses, like the purpose for which they are bred, is culturally conditioned. The transition between differing social formations involves not only new life circumstances for people and animals, but also changed social modes of relating between them. Certain of the animals? previous functions and types of use come to an end at the same time new ones arise in their place. In this dissertation, the focus is on harness racing, where the meaning and function of the horse over the years have been subject to renegotiation. The purpose is to examine how the trotting horse is made, in relation to the conceptions, expectations and requirements of the sport. The making of the trotting horse is both social and physical; that is, it is manifested in the understanding of the animal as well as in its physicality. This process coincided with the organisation of the sport. Then as now, control was exercised over when, how and which individuals were allowed to reproduce. The work of breeding has fashioned trotting horses that are faster as well as built more for man's specific purposes than their predecessors. Physically and mentally they have been adapted to the racing form and the high speeds. Horses that enter race courses today differ in physiognomy and gait pattern not only from trotting horses of older times, but also, for example, from riding- and race horses. When the purpose of keeping horses changed, new groups of people became associated with the enterprise, such as gamblers, professional trainers and drivers, all of whom in their own ways affect the way the trotting horse is understood and made.

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