Fierce Rivalries & Enduring Friendships will be published on May 12, 2016
Fierce Rivalries & Enduring Friendships charts the rise of of Middle Tennessee’s rite of spring from its humble roots in pasture racing to its present-day place as a world-class steeplechasing event.
Interviews with key figures throughout the race’s history come to life alongside photos and memorabilia gathered from family photo albums and newspaper archives.
Harrowing tales of spills and thrills can be found throughout the pages, as well as narratives on local steeplechasing icons who dedicated themselves to ensuring the future of this premier annual event.
Long before Kathleen McWhirter began honing her craft as a writer and historian, the Mississippi-native could be found plodding around her grandparent’s farm on Bob, her first pony.* Growing up in a family of equestrians spanning across generations, McWhirter’s skills as a horsewoman were grown through riding camps and competitions throughout the South.Attending Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, McWhirter developed an abiding love for both history and her adopted hometown. After undertaking an M.A. in Modern History, McWhirter graduated from the University of York in York, England with the highest possible honors. While abroad, the author and historian studied under leading scholars, travelled extensively for research, and was actively involved in local history initiatives.
She returned to Nashville after three years overseas and dedicated herself to sharing the history of the city she first fell in love with in 2006. McWhirter worked closely with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Music Industry Coalition on efforts related to preserving Music Row; she was also chosen as the lead historian and writer for a project highlighting the city’s history during periods of military conflict.
*The author would like it to be known that Bob only managed to unseat the young rider once, though unfortunately it was caught on camera.