Day At The Track

American Standardbred stars in new book

08:40 AM 11 Sep 2018 NZST
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Lincoln, CA --( Despite its reputation, the American Standardbred is not just a horse for harness racing but is one of the best all-around ridden sports horse breeds. That’s the concept behind a new book by Kathleen Kirsan, released by Dog Ear Publishing, designed to be a reference for large and small breeders of sports horses as well as horse owners.

In “Standardbred Sports Horses,” Kirsan explores the true origin of equine sport both worldwide and in American breeds, following the breeds’ ancestors to modern examples. The book delves into the real roots of sport power, including scientific information about traits such as speed, large hearts and genetic diversity. Sections on the American Trotter and the Standard Era precede the final section on the Standardbred in Olympic-style sport.

Her focus is “to illustrate how the Standardbred is a great ridden sport horse and an important genetic source for the production of top sport horses – those that are ridden,” she writes in the book’s preface. This may be a hard pill to swallow because of the breed’s success as a harness racehorse thanks to its ability to trot or pace in harness.

Kirsan also is passionate about genetics and how it affects sport horse performance, becoming a leader in pedigree, and she criticizes the monopoly the European Union has attempted in sport horse breeding. In the book she provides some simple solutions to the crisis American breeders of sports horses find in competing in the international arena of sport horse.

With its more than 200 photos and illustrations and more than 200 full-page pedigrees, a full bibliography and three indexes, “Standardbred Sports Horses” is a valuable reference for anyone with a passion for horses and those who work with them.

This is the third book on sport horses for author Kathleen Kirsan, who has been writing about sport horse breeding since 2003. Her others are “Legacy of Lexington” and “North American Sports Horse Breeders.” Her website,, is well-respected. Breeders and breed associations frequently call on Kirsan for her knowledge of bloodlines, equine history and the Tesio Methods. Although she grew up in the Boston area, she now lives in California.

For additional information, please visit The book is available at Ingram,, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

From Wire Services

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