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0:02 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: Alright, this is Kim Lady Smith and today is--I'm going to turn this down a little bit. Today is January 21, 2009.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about being born in Muleshoot, Texas in 1932 and growing up on his grandfather’s farm near Sweetwater, Texas. He discusses his divorced parents and two younger sisters, and his first experiences with horses on his grandfather's farm. Cauthen also talks about how he got his nickname "Tex" after moving to New Orleans in his teenage years.

Keywords: Bareback riding; Divorce; Horse riding; New Orleans (La.); Nicknames; Texas

Subjects: Childhood.; Families.; Family life.; Farms.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Teenagers.

6:37 - Interest in horses / Early education and work

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Partial Transcript: So tell me how you got interested in, in working with horses.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how he became interested in working with horses because in his youth he wanted to be a cowboy. He discusses starting to work in the horse racing industry in Texas as an early teenager and accompanying racehorses to New Orleans when he was 15. Cauthen also talks about his early education, growing up poor but not deprived, working a lot, and his friends.

Keywords: Cowboys; Friends; Horse riding; New Orleans (La.); Schools; Texas

Subjects: Childhood.; Families.; Family life.; Farms.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Race horses.; Teenagers.

13:30 - Early work with horses and living on racetrack backsides

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Partial Transcript: Now tell me again who you went to Louisiana with?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about his early work with racehorses as a groom and exerciser. He discusses his experiences while living in New Orleans and working on the racing circuit in the late 1940s. Cauthen describes his first Kentucky Derby and his responsibilities, which were to take care of four horses and get them ready to race. He also talks about living on the backsides of various racetracks, which was enjoyable and convenient for him.

Keywords: Cooking; Horse exercisers; Kentucky Derby; New Orleans (La.); Racetrack backsides; Responsibilities; Restaurants

Subjects: Horse grooms.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

20:48 - Working at various racetracks / Early experiences in Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Now, um, so how long were you--is this the fairgrounds? Is this the track?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about some of the various racetracks that he worked at in his early years working as a horse groom and exerciser. He discusses how he enjoyed the traveling and experienced a tornado while staying on the backside of the Keeneland racetrack in Kentucky. Cauthen also describes some of his times at Churchill Downs racetrack and watching the Kentucky Derby from the backside most of the time.

Keywords: Churchill Downs; Horse exercisers; Keeneland; Kentucky; Kentucky Derby; Racetrack backsides; Tornados; Travel

Subjects: Horse grooms.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

27:38 - Growing involvement in horse racing industry / Military service

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Partial Transcript: So these first few years you were working primarily as a groom and an exercise--

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about his growing involvement in the horse racing industry as a young adult and doing some work as a stable foreman and horse trainer. He discusses some of the other racetracks that he worked at in these years and applying to the horseshoeing program at Michigan State University, but then being drafted into the U.S. Army in the early 1950s. Cauthen talks about his service in the military as a meteorologist and being stationed in Panama. He also relates how he did not conform well to the Army and stayed in the military only the 18 months that he was required to.

Keywords: Blacksmith programs; Conforming; Horse exercisers; Meteorologists; Michigan State University; Military draft; Panama; Stable foreman

Subjects: Horse grooms.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses--Training.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Military life.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing); United States. Army.

37:10 - Interest in the horseshoeing program at Michigan State University

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Partial Transcript: And I got a letter from Michigan State that I could come to their horseshoeing school.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about his interest in becoming a horse shoer, or farrier, and attending horseshoeing school at Michigan State University after he left the military. He discusses why he wanted to become a horse shoer and his process of getting into the horse racing union. Cauthen describes the program at Michigan State and how many of horse shoers did not receive formal training, but learned through apprenticeships.

Keywords: Apprenticeships; Blacksmithing program; Farriers; Formal training; Horse racing unions; Horse shoers; Michigan State University; Tests

Subjects: Education.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

45:59 - Work after finishing Michigan State University program / Meeting his wife

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Partial Transcript: So anyway, I went on, went to school, got out, worked around here. I had thought about going to Maryland and Florida, uh, but I knew more people in this area.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about the various racetracks that he worked at, mostly in the Kentucky region, after he completed the horseshoeing program at Michigan State University. He discusses how he worked for horse trainers, not the actual tracks, and the process of moving around before finally settling in one place with his family. Cauthen also talks about meeting and marrying his wife in the late 1950s.

Keywords: Farms; Farriers; Horse shoers; Horse trainers; Kentucky; Michigan State University; Travel

Subjects: Family life.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Marriage.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

50:53 - Horseshoeing career at racetracks and farms

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Partial Transcript: So what was your career like at that point as a horse shoer?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about his enjoyable and busy career as a horse shoer (farrier). He discusses working for horse trainers at different racetracks, many in Kentucky, and later starting to also work on farms. Cauthen talks about the differences between track and farm horseshoeing, toe grabs, and making, adapting, or buying horseshoes.

Keywords: Farms; Farriers; Horse shoers; Horse trainers; Horseshoe toe grabs; Horseshoes; Kentucky; Travel

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

61:01 - Job terminology / Racetrack backsides and favorite tracks

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Partial Transcript: I'm going to ask you a question because I still get confused on this.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about the differences between horse shores (farriers), master mechanics, and blacksmiths. He discusses racetrack backsides and some of the changes that have occurred over time. Cauthen also talks about his favorite racetracks, particularly Keeneland and Saratoga.

Keywords: Blacksmiths; Farriers; Horse shoers; Ironwork; Keeneland; Master mechanics; Racetrack backsides; Saratoga

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

67:27 - Racetrack surfaces / Experiences and relationships as a racetrack horse shoer

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Partial Transcript: That brings up another question: the, uh, the, the track surfaces. Were they significantly different from track to track?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how racetrack surfaces were different from one another and how that somewhat influenced his work as a horse shoer (farrier). He discusses some of his experiences working as a horse shoer at racetracks and relationships that he developed that helped him in his career. Cauthen tells some stories about learning from other horse shoers.

Keywords: Farriers; Help; Horse shoers; Learning; Relationships; Track surfaces

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

75:01 - Changes in racetrack horseshoeing field

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Partial Transcript: You said that after awhile, when you first started there were a lot of track farriers, but that sort of went away and there were fewer and your work was--and you were working more.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about the changes in the racetrack horseshoeing field over time that led to a greater demand for horse shoers (farriers). He also discusses one of his employers that he worked with for a long time in New Orleans.

Keywords: Demand; Employers; Farriers; Horse shoers; New Orleans (La.); Relationships

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

77:53 - Settling in Walton, Kentucky / Balancing family life and racetrack horseshoeing work

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Partial Transcript: So let's take you into the sixties. Let's go back to the sixties time period. So at that point, Steve was born in 1960?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about the process of settling on a farm in Walton, Kentucky, in the 1960s after his first son was born. He discusses owning and raising Thoroughbred horses on his farm, his children's upbringing, and his wife's work as a horse trainer. Cauthen talks about how moving to one place changed his career as a racetrack horse shoer (farrier). He also describes the tracks that he worked at and balancing travel for work with his family life.

Keywords: Farriers; Horse owners; Horse raising; Horse shoers; Horse training; Sons; Thoroughbred horse; Travel; Walton (Ky.)

Subjects: Families.; Family life.; Farm.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

84:43 - Horseshoeing in the 1960s

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Partial Transcript: The, um--now at that time in the sixties, um, were you seeing--is that when you were seeing fewer track farriers or was it changing again?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how he always had more work than he could do as a racetrack horse shoer (farrier) in the 1960s. He discusses the types of clients that he had, taking care of a couple hundred horses at each racetrack, and the physical demands of horseshoeing. Cauthen also talks about his few apprentices, mostly working by himself, beginning to work less at racetracks over time, and the overall success of his career.

Keywords: Apprentices; Clients; Farriers; Horse shoers; Physical demands

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

95:19 - Sons in the horse industry

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Partial Transcript: So you raised, uh, three boys on the farm and all three of them, uh, have stayed in the industry to some extent.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about his three sons, all of whom became involved in the horse industry. He discusses how he did not expect that and only wanted them to do something with their lives that they enjoyed. Cauthen talks about his sons' opportunities in the industry and how his oldest son, Steve, was allowed to pursue a career as a jockey. He also discusses Steve's early racing and how his size impacted his career riding horses.

Keywords: Jockeys; Lawyers; Opportunities; Size; Sons

Subjects: Children; Family life.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

103:25 - Contacts and code of conduct among farriers / Steve Cauthen's successes as a jockey

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Partial Transcript: S, some of these contacts, um, helped you help Steve get started?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how his contacts as a racetrack horse shoer (farrier) helped his son Steve get started as a jockey and describes the code of conduct among farriers. He discusses Steve quickly becoming a successful jockey, including winning a race at Churchill Downs when he was 15, the hard work that it took, and the agents that helped him. Cauthen also talks about some of the places that Steve raced and how he won the Triple Crown.

Keywords: Agents; Churchill Downs; Code of conduct; Contacts; Farriers; Horse shoers; Jockeys; Practice; Sons; Triple Crown

Subjects: Children; Family life.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

112:53 - Opinion of Steve Cauthen's jockey career / Son's effects on farrier career

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Partial Transcript: As a father, how would you describe what you were feeling as he became--particularly after the Triple Crown win?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how he felt about his son Steve's successful career as a jockey, describing a mixture of pride and concern. He discusses Steve's accomplishments racing horses in England and his other sons riding, but not professionally. Cauthen also discusses how Steve's career did not affect his own career as a horse shoer (farrier) because by that time he had basically stopped working at racetracks and only worked on farms, which was easier and more lucrative.

Keywords: Concerns; England; Farms; Farriers; Horse shoers; Jockeys; Pride; Sons; Triple Crown

Subjects: Children; Family life.; Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

120:22 - Retirement / Missing horseshoeing

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Partial Transcript: So when did you retire completely so to speak?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about retiring from being a horse shoer (farrier) because he was diagnosed with cancer. He discusses how he wishes he could still do some horseshoeing. Cauthen describes what he misses about the work, such as the challenge of trying to improve a horse and building relationships with people. He also mentions that he keeps in touch with some of the other farriers that he knew.

Keywords: Cancer; Challenges; Farriers; Horse shoers; Relationships; Retirement

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

123:56 - Changes in horseshoeing business / Hoof and foot problems

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Partial Transcript: Now, let me, um, ask you, as you look back over all your years of--uh, in the horseshoeing business, what do you think have been the most significant changes--

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen explains that the most significant change that he saw in the horseshoeing business was the ability to rebuild shoes and feet with epoxies. He talks about some of his experiences putting on different types of horseshoes, hoof problems and dealing with them, and his recent issues with his own feet.

Keywords: Epoxies; Farriers; Feet; Hooves; Horse shoers; Problems; Rebuild

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

132:46 - Feet of Thoroughbreds / Education for farriers / Respected horse shoers

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Partial Transcript: Now Jackie Thompson made a comment in his interview--now this was done like in 1992, with Jackie.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how, to a certain degree, breeding has reduced the size of Thoroughbred race horses' feet. He discusses how there are more resources now to educate farriers (horse shoers) compared to only hands-on experience before. Cauthen also talks about various other farriers that he respected and worked with over the course of his career.

Keywords: Education; Farriers; Feet; Horse breeding; Horse shoers; Relationships; Respect; Thoroughbred horses

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)

139:41 - Working with veterinarians / Interview suggestions

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Partial Transcript: There was another question that, um, it seems like there is a l--the relationship with veterinarians.

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how it is necessary for horse shoers (farriers) to have good working relationships with the veterinarians. He discusses how the need has not changed over time and describes some of his experiences working with veterinarians at racetracks during his career. Cauthen also offers suggestions on people involved in the horse racing industry who could be interviewed for the Horses in Kentucky Oral History Project.

Keywords: Farriers; Horse shoers; Relationships; Suggestions

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing); Veterinarians.

148:14 - Horse racing industry today / Proudest accomplishment

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Partial Transcript: If you--when you look at the industry today, from the perspective of a farrier, what do you think--what are the--what's positive about it and what are you concerns?

Segment Synopsis: Cauthen talks about how the horse racing industry today is declining because there are so many other forms of entertainment and the cost of doing business is a lot higher than it previously was. He discusses how he does not like the government regulations on the industry, including minimum wages for farriers (horse shoers). Cauthen talks about how the racing industry increasingly relies on casino gambling and slot machines, and he offers his thoughts on the future of the industry. He also mentions that his proudest accomplishment was raising three good sons.

Keywords: Accomplishments; Casinos; Costs; Decline; Entertainment; Farriers; Future; Gambling; Horse shoers; Minimum wages; Regulations; Slot machines; Sons

Subjects: Horse industry.; Horse racing.; Horses.; Horseshoeing.; Race horses.; Racetracks (Horse racing)