This month’s First Friday at the Bordley History Center breaks tradition with a special double feature. Not only are horses, rather than people, the focus, there are two speakers.
David Turner, who recently taught the WC-ALL class “Horseplay,” will team with Ed Fry, master of the hounds for the Eastern Shore, for an evening taking the listener from the horse’s role in Eastern Shore frontier days to the dynamic sport of fox-hunting as enjoyed today. (And spoiler alert: Ed is bringing the hounds!)
For local history lovers, Turner will describe the types of horses that first came to the Eastern Shore, why those types were selected, where they came from, and the people who imported them. He will address the questions that remain about our early horses. Did bands of wild horses run free? Why didn’t Chesapeake Bay Indians adapt to horse-use like the plantation-based Indians of the early South, or master the horse at the warring Plains Indians had in the 17th century? Who came first to the mid-Atlantic – slaves or horses–and when?
Fry, well known in Kent County’s equestrian community to fox hunt three to four days each week, will describe perhaps the most dynamic and exciting sport enjoyed in our region. Unlike other hunting sports, the venue changes moment-to-moment, and one-ton excitable animals add to the drama of the chase. Still fox hunting today maintains three century-old traditions. The physical risk to humans atop their mounts lends a flavor to foxchasing unique to this sport.
A wine and cheese reception is included. This is a free event, but seating is limited to 50, so please arrive early. Program starts promptly at 5 p.m. at the Bordley History Center, 301 High Street, and is hosted by the Historical Society of Kent County.