Horse Power: Gender, Work, and Wealth in Canadian Show Jumping

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines gender and show jumping in Canada and focuses on two related questions. Why, in a sport where women and girls constitute the majority of participants overall, do men constitute a majority of the competitors at the highest, Grand Prix level? What factors are influencing men’s and women’s participation and achievement in Grand Prix show jumping? To answer these questions, I examine data collected through ethnographic research in equestrian culture. First, I consider the skills and attributes seen as key to Grand Prix achievement. Because show jumping is both a sport and one part of a broader for-profit horse industry, next I analyse the social and economic factors influencing participants. The political economy of show jumping has a substantial impact on the sport, and the labour necessary for competing and excelling in the horse industry reproduces gendered inequities. Accordingly, I argue that the cultural practices and socioeconomic relations outside of the ring play the most influential role in shaping the inequitable gendered makeup of Grand Prix show jumping.

References

  1. Bezanson, K. (2006). Gender, the state, and social reproduction: Household insecurity in neo-liberal times. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.Google Scholar
  2. Cassidy, R. (2007). Horse people: Thoroughbred culture in Lexington and Newmarket. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Coulter, K. (forthcoming). Herds and hierarchies: Class, nature, and the social construction of horses in equestrian culture. Society and Animals.Google Scholar
  4. Dodd, J. (2010, March). A pregnant pause. Horse Sport, 12.Google Scholar
  5. Dworkin, S. L., & Messner, M. A. (2002). Just do…what? Sports, bodies, gender. In S. Scraton & A. Flintoff (Eds.), Gender and sport: A reader (pp. 17–29). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Equestrian Management Group. n.d. www.equiman.com
  7. Hearn, J. (1987). The gender of oppression: Men, masculinity and the critique of Marxism. Brighton: Wheatsheaf Books.Google Scholar
  8. Hooks, B. (2004). The will to change: Men, masculinity, and love. New York: Atria Books.Google Scholar
  9. Horse Sport. (2010, March). Horse sport rankings. Horse Sport, 62.Google Scholar
  10. Horse Sport. (2011, February). Horse sport rankings. Horse Sport, 75.Google Scholar
  11. Huddleston, J. (2008, March 6). Eight-time Olympian, Ian Millar, loses wife. Hunter-Jumper News. http://www.hunterjumpernews.com/?p=4351. Accessed 15 Mar 2011.
  12. Huddleston, J. (n.d.) Canadian equestrian show jumping statistics – Facts & data. http://www.equestrianjumpingcanada.com/welcome.cfm. Accessed 11 Mar 2011.
  13. Ifekwunigwe, J. O. (2009). Venus and Serena are ‘doing it’ for themselves: Theorizing sporting celebrity, class and black feminism for the hip-hop generation. In B. Carrington & I. McDonald (Eds.), Marxism, cultural studies and sport (pp. 130–153). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  14. Kaufman, M. (1993). Cracking the armour: Power, pain and the lives of men. Toronto: Penguin.Google Scholar
  15. Maharaj, A. (2011, February). Equestrianism and the judgment of history. Horse Sport, 26–28.Google Scholar
  16. Messner, M. A. (2002). Taking the field: Women, men and sports. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  17. Messner, M. A. (2007). Out of play: Critical essays on gender and sport. Albany: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
  18. Miller, J. (2011, January). Not just for the love of horses: Bodywork and the labour process in racing stables. CESR Review, 18–20.Google Scholar
  19. Ring, J. (1987). Perfection on the wing. In V. Miner & H. E. Longino (Eds.), Competition: A feminist taboo? (pp. 57–69). New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York.Google Scholar
  20. Thornton, A. D. (1993). The accomplishment of masculinities: Men and sports. In T. Haddad (Ed.), Men and masculinities: A critical anthology (pp. 121–161). Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Vagnozzi, C., & Renauldon, P. (2010). Jumping by Rodrigo Pessoa. World Equestrian Games: Kentucky, 2010, 25–27.Google Scholar
  22. Wolkowitz, C. (2006). Bodies at work. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  23. Young, I. M. (1990). Throwing like a girl and other essays in feminist philosophy and social theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Labour StudiesBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada

Personalised recommendations