Raewyn Graham

BA (First class honours in anthropology) University of Canterbury, New Zealand
MA (Distinction in anthropology) University of Canterbury, New Zealand

PhD Candidate

Madsen Building (F09), Room 429
Phone: +61 2 9351 7179


PhD Title: ‘Eque-cultural Identity’: A case study of the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival and the Georgetown Festival of the Horse

Thesis Abstract

This thesis examines two horse festivals, one held in Scone (New South Wales, Australia) and the other in Georgetown (Kentucky, the United States of America). The two major aims of the thesis are (1) to advance the existing knowledge of the role non-humans play in the creation and maintenance of place-identity; and (2) to enhance an understanding of how festivals contribute to this particular identity in nonmetropolitan locations and to identify and explain how relationships between humans and non-humans are negotiated in these festival spaces. The term ‘eque-cultural identity’ is employed throughout the thesis in reference to these issues. The main aims of the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival and the Georgetown Festival of the Horse were to hold festivals that were fun, celebrated community and the towns’ important relationships with horses. The festivals were explored as ‘socio-material’ assemblages with horses recognised as co-constitutive actors within these spaces. This study argues that the relationship between humans and thoroughbred horses, in particular, has played a significant role in the creation of an ‘equescape’, a regional identity for the Bluegrass region of Kentucky and the Upper Hunter region of NSW, and a local identity for Scone and Georgetown. In turn, the festivals have assisted in maintaining these ‘eque-cultural identities’ through the marketing and annual performance of these events. This public display of human-horse interaction in shared social spaces highlights the significant relationship that persists between place, identity and human-animal relations.

Supervisor: Associate Professor Phil McManus
Associate supervisor: Professor John Connell


  • McManus, P., Albrecht, G. And Graham, R. (2013) The Global Horseracing Industry: Social, Economic, Environmental and Ethical Perspectives. Routledge, Abingdon, UK.
  • McManus, P. Albrecht, G. and Graham, R. (2011) “Constructing Thoroughbred Breeding Landscapes: Manufactured Idylls in the Upper Hunter Region of Australia” in Stanley D. Brunn (Ed.) Engineering Earth: The Impacts of Megaengineering Projects. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media. pp1323-1339.
  • McManus, P. and Graham, R. (2012 on I-First) Horse racing and gambling: comparing attitudes and preferences of racetrack patrons and residents of Sydney, Australia, Leisure Studies, DOI:10.1080/02614367.2012.748088
    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02614367.2012.748088