Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jonathan Figgs, May 18, 2019

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:03 - Early influences

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Partial Transcript: I'm here with Mr. Figgs and I'm going to ask him to introduce himself, say where he's from...

Segment Synopsis: Figgs talks about where he and his family are from and shares about his grandfathers who were horsemen: Charles Albert Jordan and Luther White Figgs.

Keywords: Castleton Farms; Charles Albert Jordan; Fayette County (Ky.); Grandfathers; Industry connection; Luther White Figgs; Mays Lick (Ky.; Maysville (Ky.); New Zion (Ky.); Scott County (Ky.)

Subjects: Horse industry; Lexington (Ky.); Mares; Reproduction

GPS: New Zion, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.1792422, -84.4885509
GPS: Mays Lick, Kentucky (now part of Maysville)
Map Coordinates: 38.6167410, -83.8140890
GPS: Castleton Lyons in Lexington, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.127778, -84.473678
00:02:52 - Sharing experience and knowledge

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Partial Transcript: What, what exactly did you do that involved the horses or what do you still do that involved the horses?

Segment Synopsis: Figgs discusses his involvement in the horse industry telling how he learned and why he shares his knowledge about horses.

Keywords: Bachelor of arts degree; Castleton; Farm crew; Interest in history; Knowledge; Nine years old; Pedigrees

Subjects: BloodHorse special interest publication; Equine industry; Experience; Facebook (Electronic resource); Knowledge; Sharing; The Thoroughbred Record special interest publication

GPS: Castleton Lyons in Lexington, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.127778, -84.473678
00:07:33 - Favorite farms

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Partial Transcript: Think about the most memorable occasion that you've had relating to horses or in the industry.

Segment Synopsis: Figgs talks about which farms were his favorites to work on and why.

Keywords: 1987; Alysheba (Race horse); Anita Madden; Family; Owners; Paris (Ky.); Preston Madden; Respect; Rewarding

Subjects: Claiborne Farm; Hamburg Place Farm; Kentucky Derby

GPS: Hamburg Place Farm in Lexington, Kentucky

Map Coordinates: 38.041623, -84.433275
GPS: Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky
Map Coordinates: 38.193478, -84.248748
00:09:26 - Mentors and memories

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Partial Transcript: Did you have any mentors in the field?

Segment Synopsis: Figgs shares how his grandfather and the other older men in the barns at Castleton Farm taught him to handle horses. He also relates memories about his grandfather Jordan's farm.

Keywords: 300 acres; Cautious; Grandfathers; Listened; Mason County (Ky.); Remembered; Sold to Amish

Subjects: Crops; Dairy; Hogs; Learning; Mules; Tobacco; Training

00:16:00 - Lessons learned from horses

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Partial Transcript: What lessons has your work life taught you as far as the horses are concerned?

Segment Synopsis: Figgs discusses what he has learned from working with horses and tells of how he sustained an injury as the result of another person's carelessness.

Keywords: Being cautious; Being tested; Horse bite

Subjects: Attentive observer; Courteousness; Injury; Kindness

00:19:37 - Challenges and legacy

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Partial Transcript: What challenges have you had in working with the horses?

Segment Synopsis: Figgs speaks about challenges he has faced and the legacy he hopes to leave.

Keywords: Did what he wanted to do; Dreams; Fair; Positivity; Treatment

Subjects: Legacy; Opportunity; Pride; Race; Retirement; Segregation