Recreation, religion, education and business.  All of these aspects of life in Boone County are intertwined with the horse.  And, for many years, it was the same horse that played all of those roles.  He plowed the fields on the family farm; the children rode him to school; the family drove him to church on Sunday morning, and, when the community gathered to raise a barn, to exchange news, to celebrate events, he was part of the celebration, showcasing his speed, his stamina and his beauty.

From July through December this year, a portion of one of the galleries at the Boone County Historical Society will celebrate the rich history of the horse in Boone County.  A team, led by Lynn Frazee, a second generation, well-known Boone County horsewoman and Ann Cleek, member of the Boone County Historical Society Hall of Fame Committee, has drawn together photographs and artifacts that document many aspects of this history.  Visitors to the gallery will see those people who brought Boone County to national prominence through their involvement with horses, including Tom Bass; some of the educational institutions that provided training and instruction for both Boone Countians and those who came to Boone County because of those instructional opportunities, and the horses that have been such an integral part of our County’s life.

The exhibit will provide an excellent source of information for all eighth graders in Boone County this fall as they participate in the Commerce Bank Boone County History Scholars writing competition.  That competition will begin with the school year and the winners of the Commerce Bank scholarships will be announced on October 17, the day of the first Boone County Historical Society Stables Tour.  The tour dovetails with the gallery exhibit, as the tour features High Spirits Farm and the original home of Tom Bass’s maternal grandparents; Stephens College Equestrian Center; and three of the best private riding facilities in Boone County–Brenda Benner Stables, Fox Run Stables and Jim Dudley Training Center.

Sue Webster for Janet Thompson