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The Least Equestrian Man In Europe Ponders The Grand National

April 9, 2016



I am the least equestrian man in Europe.  Even though I live in the middle of horse-breeding country and work for a university that offers a degree in “Equine Studies”.  The poet who has most absorbed me professionally, William Cowper, felt similarly and remarked that he would rather carry a horse than be carried by one.

(Oddly enough, the doggedly and significantly pedestrian Cowper set up his strange and chaste house with Mary Unwin as a result of her her husband Morley being killed after falling from a horse.  And his most famous comic poem, “The Diverting History of John Gilpin” is about a man unable to control a runaway horse)

But The Grand National at Aintree is a little different, because it reminds me of my father, whom I miss, and my father’s father, whom I missed altogether.

There is a legend in our family that all the Conrads…

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