Monday, December 11, 2006

Hilary Cloos: Ivy League Farrier

It has been ten years since Hoofcare & Lameness subscriber Hilary Cloos graduated from Harvard University with a degree in physics. Just as many of her classmates went on to graduate studies in physics at places like New York's Cornell University, Hilary also headed to Cornell...but she chose to apply her physics to horses by studying with Michael Wildenstein to become a farrier.

The Harvard Crimson, daily campus newspaper for the sprawling city-of-ivy down the road, published a tribute article to Hilary today. She is one of their unique graduates, that's for sure!

Although...US Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island went to Montana State to study horseshoeing with Scott Simpson after he graduated from Brown University, also an ivy league school. Maybe there is a secret society of recovering ivy leaguers who are now servants of the hoof!

Here's the link to the Crimson's excellent article about Hilary Cloos, an upstanding citizen of the farrier nation:

Here are five things you probably don't know about Harvard University: 

1) Harvard closed its vet school in 1901 and paid the remaining students to go to Penn; 

2) Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology contains one of the largest collection of fossil bones of pre-Equus horse species, including a dazzling array of coffin bones and one of New Mexico's famous examples of what is called the Hagerman Horse

3) the university has a thriving mammal and bird locomotion laboratory in nearby Bedford at the university's Concord Field Station, where studies on horses are sometimes done and all the force plates are ready to do more; 

4) Dr. Castle McLaughlin, a cultural anthropologist and professor at Harvard's Peabody Museum, is founder of the Nokota Horse Conservancy, and compiled a 300-page study of the unique herd of wild horses in North Dakota, who are believed to be descended from the ponies of Sitting Bull.

5) Harvard University Press published a book I use a lot in research, Horse Power: A History of the Horse and Donkey in Human Societies by Juliet Clutton-Brock and most recently, the beautiful book Horses : History, Myth, Art by Catherine Johns.

And something that matters to me: Harvard has been scanning some of its old and rare horseshoeing texts and adding them to the online archive of accessible references. Thank you!

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