We’ve just received the second of two large gifts of books on horses, equestrianism, and field sports from a good friend of our library, Mrs. Janet Harkins of Aiken, SC. Her late husband, William D. “Billy” Haggard III, was an accomplished equestrian and a book collector, and this gift constitutes the bulk of his sporting book collection, comprising British and American works from the 19th and 20th centuries. Mr. Haggard was also a master player of court tennis, or “real tennis”, and his tennis book collection, one of the finest in the country, came to our library in 2004. More information on it, including an online exhibit of highlights from the collection, can be found here.
We will highlight additional books from the Haggard Sporting Books Collection in future posts, but for today I want to focus on the International Equestrian Annual, or L’Annee Hippique (or Das internationale Pferdesportjahr). This multilingual yearbook of the FEI, the Federation Equestre Internationale, is a record of the World Equestrian Games, national competitions, and interviews with major figures in the sport, in all its forms, is hardly representated in American libraries. There are less than 10 runs of it in America. Many of our copies from the 1940s and 50s are still in their original shipping boxes, and are in “as new” condition.