The Sport of Kings
The Sport of Kings is an ethnography of the British racing industry based upon two years of participant observation in Newmarket, the international headquarters of flat racing. Racing in Britain provides a lens through which ideas of class, status, tradition and hierarchy can be examined in an environment which is both superficially familiar and richly exotic. This book explores concepts about 'nature' specific to thoroughbred racehorse breeding, and pursues the idea that in making statements about animals, we reveal something of ourselves. It explains the action that takes place on racecourses, in training yards, on studs and at bloodstock auctions. It analyses the consumption of racing through betting on the racecourse and in betting shops, and it proffers an insightful description of a unique class system: that of the humans and animals involved in the production of British flat racing.