SMITH: Okay. This is Kim Lady Smith and today is--what is today- -February 7, 2008. And I am at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort interviewing Edgar Gibbs for the Horse Industry in Kentucky Oral History Project. So Mr. Gibbs, just start out if you could give me your full name and when and where you were born.

GIBBS: Edgar Gibbs I was born in uh, Long Island, New York December 16, 1942.

SMITH: Nineteen forty-two, now, when did you get to Kentucky?

GIBBS: When I was about a year old, uh, my parents moved to Nashville, Tennessee before that and then moved up here to Kentucky.

SMITH: Okay. Now tell me about your parents; who, what were their names?

GIBBS: My father was Oscar Gibbs, W. Oscar Gibbs. He was a horse trainer. His father was Ezra Gibbs. They were from Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. They, uh, I'm basically at one time was a third generation 1:00horse trainer and my grandfather showed some horses in hand at the state fair.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: My father showed horses around different places; county fairs and up in Wisconsin and different places in Kentucky.

SMITH: Okay, so your father's, your grandfather was from Lawrenceburg is that was you said?

GIBBS: Lawrenceburg, Anderson, yes ma'am. My father was born there also.

SMITH: Is that where he was raised?

GIBBS: Yes, raised in Lawrenceburg, yeah.

SMITH: Okay now, how did you end up in New York?

GIBBS: Was working for somebody; working for Luckenbach Steamship Lines. Edgar Luckenbach and I was named after him, so at that time. And--

SMITH: Okay and that was 1942 that you were born.

GIBBS: And roughly yes, yes ma'am and we were up there I don't know how long they were up there before that, but a couple of years I believe were up there.

SMITH: All right, but other than that he'd lived in Kentucky.

GIBBS: Well, he was in Oklahoma at one time training horses and if I remember right was a deputy sheriff at one time out there also.

SMITH: Okay.


GIBBS: And, uh, he'd been in Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky pretty much, yeah.

SMITH: Okay and now where was your mother from?

GIBBS: She was from Erlanger, Kentucky.

SMITH: And what was her name?

GIBBS: Anne Gibbs.


GIBBS: Uh, Carter, maiden name was Carter.

SMITH: Okay, okay now he was in Lawrenceburg, Erlanger, how'd they meet?

GIBBS: I don't know. (Smith laughs) I think at one time Daddy might have been training horses somewhere around Erlanger. There was a, a farm up there at one time--I can't remember the name of it--we're talking about back in the earl-, late thirties--

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: --or and I think there was a farm up there that maybe at one time he was a trainer up there.

SMITH: Now did your mother's family have any association with horses?

GIBBS: No, no.

SMITH: Okay, okay. Well, um, tell me about a little bit more about your father's work with horses so is this what he was doing when you were born?

GIBBS: When I was born as far as I know, that's all he ever did.

SMITH: Okay and what horses did he train, what--the Saddle?


GIBBS: Saddle Horses, yes ma'am, American Saddle Horses.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Saddlebreds.

SMITH: So he learned that from his father, is that?

GIBBS: I would say from his father and just trial and error.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: I don't think his father did much showing or anything except in hand as far as I know he never did ride that I know of. I never heard of it, haven't seen any pictures of it or anything like that, so.

SMITH: Now he had a farm?

GIBBS: He had a farm and I think he had at one time a breeding stallion, I can't and I don't know the name of it. Uh, it was at that time was a fairly decent breeding horse.

SMITH: Okay and that would have been what are we talking about the twenties maybe?

GIBBS: Uh, well, Daddy was born in 1899.


GIBBS: So it was roughly the twenties, yeah.

SMITH: Okay. Well that makes sense. Your sister told me when your father passed away, so. Um, so how would you describe your, your 4:00grandfather's farm when your dad grew up? Do you know--

GIBBS: I don't know when I knew my grandfather he just had an agricultural farm just about eighty acres and he was just a farmer. He didn't have any horses at that time. He was older--

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: --so I don't remember anything, know anything about when he was.

SMITH: Well, from what--from most of what I've heard from others is that they also did tobacco and cattle--

GIBBS: --when I knew him--

SMITH: --and horses--

GIBBS: --he didn't have any horses whatsoever; just an old horse, riding horse on the farm that's all. Old--we'd call him Harry and we'd go out there and ride him all the time that, that was as far as I know.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Anything about him and the horse business.

SMITH: All right, so your dad started young? What do you know about your dad's early career?

GIBBS: I don't really know exactly when he started, about any time.

SMITH: Okay but you moved here from New York after you were born?

GIBBS: Um-hm.

SMITH: And where'd you move to?

GIBBS: Uh, Shelbyville.

SMITH: Shelbyville, okay. And was he working with horses?


GIBBS: Yes ma'am. He rented a barn out there at the fairgrounds in Shelbyville. I don't know if you're familiar with it or not, but, uh, the barn's gone now. It was a number two barn as you go down that hill there was an old double aisle barn down there I think it's gone and they've replaced it with a metal one.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And at that time in the number one barn there was a man by the name of Dudley Abbott you might want a. I think the last I heard of him he was in Versailles, somewhere around Versailles.

SMITH: Okay and he was a trainer too?

GIBBS: Trainer, yes ma'am.

SMITH: A contemporary of your dad's to some extent?

GIBBS: Yes, yes.

SMITH: Okay, okay. What are your, uh, earliest memories of, of the horses?

GIBBS: I'd just remember going out to the fairgrounds out to the barn and, and there was a black guy that worked for him, called, called him Slick, uh, Charles Winburn, I think his last name was Winburn, I think 6:00his first name was Charles. Almost anybody older in the horse business would know Slick.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: I think he was the first man to put me on a horse and I was three or four; something like that. He put me in front of him and that was about the first time I ever rode a horse that I can remember. And then we had a couple ponies out there that I'd ride all over the fairgrounds with and just fool around just that.

SMITH: Now did you live on a farm or did you live in town?

GIBBS: No, lived in town.

SMITH: Okay, okay, so your father's work was just at the fairgrounds then?

GIBBS: At the fairgrounds, yes. That was mostly a boarding stable.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: People boarded horses, sent horses there and he trained them.

SMITH: Um-hm. How, now I know you were talking when you were very young, but how would you describe your dad's business and those, er, in that time period? Was he pretty busy or?

GIBBS: Yeah, had, that both sides of that barn were full. It--there was I think roughly twenty, twenty-five stalls on each side and I think it was fairly full that I remember.


SMITH: Did he have any, um, specialty in terms of training? Did he do?

GIBBS: No, just, just horses; just Saddle Horses.

SMITH: But in, in any of the divisions?


SMITH: Was he harness or?

GIBBS: No, not specialty no. Anybody, most people in Saddle Horses they--all three divisions, you know, some of 'em better than others, but usually you, if you have a customer that wants a harness horse or a three-gaited horse or a five-gaited horse you just, you know, you just do it.

SMITH: You work the horse.

GIBBS: You work the horse, yes.

SMITH: Um, well, what, his customers, where did they come from?

GIBBS: All over. The, uh, one of the main ones I remember was Fischer's, Carl Fischer Jr., his parents. Uh, which Fischer it used to be Fischer Packing Company out of Louisville were big time. And there was another one, uh, man out of, uh, name was Max Luther out 8:00of Tennessee I want, I don't, Memphis maybe I, jus-, I, not for sure. And then there was another one called--man was name was Captain Hogg, H-o-g-g. And that's about all I can remember about that.

SMITH: Did he have clients that stayed with him for a long period or was it often?

GIBBS: Fairly long as far as I can remember you know like I say I was only three or four, five or six, something like that at that time. I wasn't really noticing, you know, things like that.

SMITH: Now was your father making his entire living from training?


SMITH: Is that kind of hard?


SMITH: Okay. Well tell me a little bit about your family. I know you have one sister Anne; do you have any other siblings?

GIBBS: No, just the two of us.

SMITH: Okay which one of you is the oldest?

GIBBS: She is, eighteen months. (Smith laughs)

SMITH: Okay eighteen months, okay. And, um, did she ever, was she ever involved with the horses?



SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Not that I know of I, I, and--

SMITH: I'll have to ask her.

GIBBS: --would have known, but no, no she didn't, wasn't.

SMITH: Okay. At Shelbyville in the 1940s so where would you have gone to school?

GIBBS: Shelbyville well, I went I started out, uh, at I guess it's Northside Elementary now; then went to high school, until the fifth grade and then I went to high school in the back part of it. There was six, sev-, started there at the sixth grade and went there and graduated from there in '61.

SMITH: Sixty-one, okay.

GIBBS: That's.

SMITH: And, um, were you working with horses when you were in school?

GIBBS: Uh, not really. Uh, the last couple years Daddy was living he had a job in Milwaukee. We would go up there in the summer, go to shows, and then bring the horses back to Shelbyville in the winter. And I would go up every summer and I would work you know just do it. Uh, I wasn't really paid to do it, or you know, just, yeah, I just did it.

SMITH: Just went with your dad?

GIBBS: Just yeah, just groomed horses more or less and that's about it.


SMITH: Did you enjoy that?

GIBBS: Yeah it was fun, yeah I enjoyed it, yeah.

SMITH: Had you any--what were your, uh, goals for life, were you wanting to work with horses or did you want to do something else?

GIBBS: I, I just have never had any goals. (Smith laughs) I'm just, I just I hate to say it but no I haven't.

SMITH: That's okay. Sometimes that's the best way.

GIBBS: I and no I never really wanted to. Uh, I just more or less just fell into it. When, uh, he died, or a year before he died, uh, Crabtree Farms down there, there was Redd, his father and mother Charlie and Helen Crabtree and I went dow-, worked down there during school; high school, uh, I was there let's see I graduated in '61 I think I started there in the summer or '59.

SMITH: Oh okay.

GIBBS: And worked summers there.

SMITH: Okay. What did you do with it for them?

GIBBS: Groomed horses.

SMITH: Okay, now they had a pretty big barn at that time, right?


GIBBS: They had just moved to Simpsonville then, uh, and they had that one barn that's there where Mike Spencer is, uh, there was what ten, twenty, twenty-five or thirty stalls in there. And they had a barn out in back that they kept school horses in that they gave lessons off of at that time and then they've added on since then. I'd say at the height of their biggest deal was, uh, they had fifty or sixty maybe horses there. I remember we'd go to the state fair and Junior League Horse Show and take fifty-five or head of horses to the shows.

SMITH: Is that unusual?

GIBBS: That's a whole lot of horses, right, that's a bunch of horses. Nobody else took that many. Everybody that had horses wanted to show at the state fair or show at the Lexington Junior League and--

SMITH: Yeah. Did you ever show horses for them?

GIBBS: I showed a couple times.

SMITH: In what division?

GIBBS: Well, at the Shelbyville when I was I guess ten or eleven, just 12:00had an old pony and I showed out there once, just walk trot three- gaited class and won the class. And, uh, then they had fancy pony turn outs. I don't, you know, familiar with that?

SMITH: No, I haven't heard that.

GIBBS: Well they have harness ponies and then they had a buggy, a fine harness smaller buggy and you had, uh, the man--boy was dressed up, top hat and tails and a girl was dressed in her formal and it they called it the fancy pony turn out and I showed in that twice at Shelbyville.

SMITH: Huh. Was that something they did just at the county fairs or?

GIBBS: No, they had them all over. At the state fair, but they've done away with it, I haven't seen one in I don't know it's been I guess thirty years or better even more, longer than that.

SMITH: So you showed in that?

GIBBS: Showed in that, yes ma'am.

SMITH: Now, um, were you showing just through your father or were you part of 4-H?

GIBBS: No, no, now those two, the pony that I walk trot in that, we just had a pony pleasure pony and I just rode him. It just was an, it was a county owned, uh, county resident thing.


SMITH: Oh, okay.

GIBBS: And in the, uh, fancy pony turn out there was somebody else I think Renfro Valley Stables at that time had ponies and he needed somebody to show and I, I just was the lucky one I guess, or unlucky whatever.

SMITH: Now did your dad have a circuit where he would take the horses to show or?

GIBBS: Pretty much the county fairs here in Kentucky.

SMITH: Did you go with him to those?

GIBBS: No, I didn't. Uh, I was younger then, uh, and the only one I can remember going to was in Alexandria and that was probably in '56 something like that, somewhere around there; took one or two horses up there and we both went and we both took care of them and that and that's about the only time I can remember going really and doing anything with him that way.

SMITH: Now you said he had gone to Milwaukee towards the end of his career?

GIBBS: He, he went to, yeah, he got a job in Milwaukee and, uh, that was probably, oh, fifty, '55, '56, '57 for two years somewhere in there, 14:00two summers, went up there for two summers.

SMITH: Was that with a particular individual or a stable?

GIBBS: Donner Packing Company.

SMITH: What was it?

GIBBS: Donner Packing Company. They had horses, had a private stable.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Had, si-, about six or seven horses; something like that.

SMITH: Okay and you all stayed in Shelbyville?

GIBBS: Uh, yes and then summer went up there, yeah. Mom's and --------- -(??) stayed in Shelbyville and I'd come back and go to school.

SMITH: Um, when you look at your dad's career how would you describe his success or abilities with the horses, I mean he?

GIBBS: He, he was a decent trainer; an old time trainer, uh, a leg man, a good leg man. Uh, that's he was a decent trainer.

SMITH: Did he enjoy the work?

GIBBS: Evidently he did because that's all he ever did that I know of.


SMITH: Okay, okay. I'd said earlier that it was hard to make a living was that?

GIBBS: It was hard to make a living, yeah.

SMITH: Okay, did your mother work at all?

GIBBS: Yes, she worked in a doctor's office; receptionist in a doctor's office.

SMITH: Okay. And, uh, all right. So let's go up to okay, when your father went to Milwaukee that was in late fifties and when did your father pass away?

GIBBS: Fifty-nine.

SMITH: Fifty-nine?

GIBBS: Fifty-nine. He had just turned sixty. His, his birthday was the end of April and he passed away in '59, May of '59.

SMITH: Oh so you were pretty young.

GIBBS: I was, uh, sixteen.

SMITH: Yeah. That's hard.

GIBBS: I was seventeen rather.

SMITH: All right. And your, but your mother stayed in Shelbyville at that point?

GIBBS: Um-hm, yeah.

SMITH: Okay and you started working for the Crabtrees then in the summers.

GIBBS: I'd started that year, that, '59 that was when I started when that year and he passed away and then I worked '59, '60, in the summer 16:00of '61 I graduated from high school six, May of '61.

SMITH: Okay, okay. Um, did you continue to work for the Crabtrees?

GIBBS: Uh, after that I did, uh, but it, uh, after the state fair that year things slowed down and they didn't need me anymore and I worked at a service station there in Shelbyville. Redd Crabtree, the son, took a job in Florida, Tampa, Florida at the Tampa Yacht Club Stables. And I went down, worked for him starting in January.

SMITH: Okay and what was his son's name again I've forgotten?

GIBBS: Redd's son or?

SMITH: --Redd's son--

GIBBS: Or Mr.--Redd Crabtree.

SMITH: Oh you went with Redd.

GIBBS: --with Redd--

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Yes, with Redd, yes ma'am. Yes he went down there and I went with him.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And he stayed down there roughly a year and a half. I went from there to outside of Cleveland, Ohio a place Blue Lakes, Blue Lakes, 17:00uh, Stables I believe it was I can't remember and worked for a private job. It was a boarding stable, but people, uh, some lady owned it, uh, Freedlander, owned it and he worked for her--them, for her training.

SMITH: So you just stayed with Redd?

GIBBS: I stayed with Redd.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And stayed with him until I think it was January of '64. And Uncle Sam said I need you.

SMITH: Ah, oh, sorry. (laughs)

GIBBS: It wasn't bad, I didn't mind it.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Just another bump in the road.

SMITH: Yeah, okay well we'll, we'll get to that too then. I'm going to take you back to when you first started working with, at the Crabtrees. Um, they had a fairly large operation even when they first moved there correct?

GIBBS: Um-hm, they had I roughly I think there was twenty-five or thirty horses there and there was two maybe five or six people who worked there; something like that as grooms.


SMITH: Okay, now, um, were most of those African-American?

GIBBS: All of them were except me. I was the token--(Smith laughs)--I was the reverse token.

SMITH: Um, was that pretty typical of, of the help at the Saddlebred farms?

GIBBS: Pretty much, yes, it was at that time, yeah.

SMITH: Predominately black?

GIBBS: Um-hm, yes ma'am.

SMITH: Okay. Um, now your sister, uh, told me a couple of stories of, uh, how that was somewhat of an unusual situation for you to be in. Uh, how would you?

GIBBS: It was, but I didn't mind it. It didn't bother me a bit. Uh, I've eaten in the kitchen of several restaurants with them. I mean, you know, we'd be out on the road somewhere and, uh, we'd have to eat and, uh, I just didn't feel like let them out and go in the kitchen and me go in the front. I'd just go in the kitchen with them. Sit in the back at a table there and.

SMITH: Did you run into that a lot by traveling around with the groom, with the help?

GIBBS: Uh, at that time the only place I ran into it was Shelbyville, 19:00would, uh, lived there but we'd work and then during the show there and then go downtown to eat at a place called City Cafe. It's long since gone, but, uh, we would go in the kitchen there and eat. Most of them were from Shelbyville anyway and we'd get, get through and go down there and eat and then go do whatever we had to do. Then over in Lawrenceburg, uh, Anderson Grill or maybe there was a hotel or something over there, uh, would go in the back of there. And I think at Harrodsburg a time or two would eat in the kitchen.

SMITH: So that they were only allowed to eat in the kitchen?

GIBBS: Um-hm.

SMITH: And so you would eat with them?

GIBBS: Right.

SMITH: Yeah I think Anne was telling me a story about how she wanted to go back there in a restaurant and see you and they said she couldn't go back there.

GIBBS: I don't remember that. She's, but I remember eating in a, over there in the kitchen. And I remember being a reverse thing later on in the sixties, uh, going to Houston, Texas. There was about, go to 20:00Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Houston I think in that order and I was again the only white one and we'd go downtown to eat and when, I'd go in black places with them. I went into one and this guy come in after that and told, "Is everything all right in here?" I knew what he was talking about, you know, so. And several truck stops and places, yeah it's.

SMITH: Huh. Did you, now some of the circuits take you down south; did, uh, was that more difficult?

GIBBS: That was, yeah. When I went to, when I worked with Redd and went to Florida, down there I don't remember being as many blacks down there. At that time African-Americans however, what, uh, that was in '62. I do remember when we left down there coming up and going to Blue Lake Stables, on a truck, big truck, we came up, uh, through somewhere down 21:00there, I don't know, uh, made a stop somewhere and there was a black guy on a truck just hitching a ride up and we went in a place and they ran him out. They got really nasty and ran him out, he had to go back, out and around the back. And I mean and I can remember once going through I believe it was Cartersville, Georgia, going back to Florida been up here at the Junior League Horse Show and it was the middle of the night and, uh, the Klan was down there, they were stopping cars. And they said, "You need to come over here we're going to lynch a," and we went on I don't know whatever happened about that now.

SMITH: Oh my, so they were having a lynching and they invited you?

GIBBS: Yeah, they were stopping cars on the road, yeah. We were in a big ,in a truck. It was before the interstates were completed, you know, all the way around.

SMITH: Um-hm, and you didn't have any of the black workers with you at that point?

GIBBS: No, no, no.

SMITH: It's a good thing.


GIBBS: Yeah, yeah.

SMITH: Hmm, how'd that make you feel?

GIBBS: I, I you know it's, it's, I was what nineteen? I don't know it, it's hard to say. Uh, not very good but you know, it's, what can you do about things like that? You know, it's people, there's a lot of crazy people out there in the world. A lot of crazy people do a lot of crazy things. I'm not saying I'm the sanest person--(Smith laughs)-- but, uh, it's.

SMITH: We're all a little crazy. The, um, the guys you worked with, uh, with the Crabtrees, were they pretty good horsemen?

GIBBS: The caretakers, the grooms?

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: Yes, yes, uh, one of them L.T. Armstrong he had worked for my father before.

SMITH: I've heard of him.

GIBBS: Uh, he's still living in Shelbyville. He's, he was a big man. He can hardly walk now; his, his knees gave out on him. But I've known him for a long time. Uh, he was there. Uh--


SMITH: Now was he a groom or?

GIBBS: Groom, yeah. At that time pretty much all grooms.

SMITH: Okay and he's black?

GIBBS: Black, yes. Uh, trying to, and there were several from Shelbyville, or from Louisville, that worked out there, that worked, they were at Rock Creek before they came out there and these two came out with them and I didn't know them until I got out there. Then there was another one L.T.'s half brother James Bates I knew him for quite a while before there and.

SMITH: Okay, now had they come up working with horses? I mean were they from sort of a tradition of working with horses?

GIBBS: Yeah, L.T. worked for my father. He had a brother Jesse Bates and James Bates. Jesse worked for my father for earlier, long time; he even went to Milwaukee with us. L.T. went up there for one year and they had both worked for my father. James hadn't; he'd worked on the track, Thoroughbreds and different, and Saddle Horses also.


SMITH: Okay, um, so did Mr. Arm--

GIBBS: They, they were good people. They were really good people. They were there every day and I, I had no problem doing anything with them, going anywhere with them, going in their home eating or anything, I just had no problem with it.

SMITH: Now was, um, so did Mr. Armstrong go from working with your dad to the Crabtrees? Is that what you remember?

GIBBS: He worked there in Shelbyville, there is another person, Gilbert Phillips in Shelbyville for several years. He worked with him for a while then Gilbert Phillips went to Thoroughbreds. Gilbert Phillips was Saddle Horse trainer and he worked for him I don't know how long, then went to Crabtrees.

SMITH: So he liked the Saddlebreds?

GIBBS: Yeah, I, I guess. Uh, I don't know, you know, uh, Thoroughbred's a little bit different. You go to a meet, thirty days or something and you are staying at the barn. Saddle Horses you go to show you are there maybe a week or ten days at one place. You sleep.


SMITH: Less, less time away from home.

GIBBS: Right. But now I have been on the road when we go to Texas for three weeks at a time and not come back. And you're sleeping in the barn or in the truck. You clean out your truck and sleep in there and sleep in a stall.

SMITH: Huh. How would you describe the work as a groom? Let's say when you started the early sixties, what, what was it like? What was a day like in the work, the life of a groom?

GIBBS: At the, at home, you go in feed and water, then you clean out stalls; throw the manure out in the hallway and then you pull a wagon. Down there, now some people do it different. We've had a truck that somebody brought there and leave there and they'd pick up manure and take it and haul it off. And you'd throw the manure on there and then you'd get your horses ready to start, clean your horses up, getting them ready to work and then you'd just go down through the line of 'em and get them ready and work them. And then at the end of the day you go back through, water. Some people go back and pick their stalls out again clean them, throw the piles out, water, feed, and you go home.


SMITH: Hmm. About how many horses would you be responsible for?

GIBBS: Five or six. Uh, six was a whole bunch, really. Five you could manage, but a lot of places you had six horses. It just depended on the horse, the type of work you were doing with them, what they were, whether, what took so long. Sometimes you know you get a hot horse and it takes a while to cool him out. Put him up, but, uh, some horses they work harder than others depending. Fine harness horse you didn't have to work as hard. A three-gaited horse you didn't have to work as hard. Now if they were young horses and you were training them, breaking them, they'd get hot every day.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: Just trying to get them ready to go to show.

SMITH: Hmm. Hmm. Did you also have a responsibility for, for the medical care; basic medical care?

GIBBS: Not, not really. Uh, you could take a temperature, uh, if you had to give them a shot or something like that you'd call the Crabtrees or the, them. They would do it. Now, sometimes you, you could give 27:00medicine or something. If you got cuts or something like that or, uh, sores or something you would, then you could do the medication on that, first aid on that. Uh, sometimes you'd get a saddle sore or a sore tail from the tail set and you'd have to doctor it every day and, and you'd be responsible for that, but anything shots or anything like that somebody else would do.

SMITH: Um-hm. So about how long of a day would that be?

GIBBS: Started at 6:30 and ended at 4:30, hour for lunch.

SMITH: Okay. That's an early morning.

GIBBS: Um-hm. Now, at times when it got real hot, now that's at home. Some places we started, four or five o'clock in the morning before the heat and get done. Now on the road you'd start about five or six o'clock in the morning, work your horses that are not showing that night. And then you get those done usually by noon or something, before noon somewhere in there, and then you had your equipment you tack, saddles and bridles you had to clean have ready to show. And if 28:00you had a horse going that night you had to wash his tail and get him clean, and then whether you're on you'd braid it--if it was a gaited horse or a harness horse you'd have to braid him. And then you, shows would usually start about seven o'clock and 10:30, eleven o'clock it would be over and you'd maybe if you had the last class you're still cooling the horse out twelve o'clock, one o'clock.


GIBBS: It's you know I didn't pay any attention to it. I never, it's just something you did.

SMITH: You did, okay.

GIBBS: It's just, it was just there and you did it and went on. And you'd get mad if you didn't get on a truck to go to a horse show. You know, if they left you at home you'd get mad--(both laugh)--you wanted to go, but it was fun. To me I don't know that I've ever had a job to be honest with you that I, I don't look at things as hard, you know.

SMITH: Yeah. You enjoyed it?

GIBBS: I enjoyed, yeah I enjoy what I do now too, uh.

SMITH: Now do you remember any particular horses from that your earlier part of your work with horses?

GIBBS: For my father or Crabtrees?


SMITH: Oh for your father or?

GIBBS: There was a couple decent ones; one of them was called Crime Doctor, was, uh, a fine harness horse.

SMITH: Okay, who was he owned by, do you remember?

GIBBS: Uh, I think Max Luther.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: It was early when I was, I was small.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Uh, another three-gaited horse was Channel Light and I think Fischers owned him. Uh, that's, that's about all I can remember that far back. I'm sure there's some others and.

SMITH: What about when you were working with Redd, were there any particular horses that you had, took a liking to?

GIBBS: Well, had, uh, had several good ones. Uh, golly. (laughs)

SMITH: Oh, it's okay. They, they've had a lot of winners coming out of the Crabtree stables.

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, but when we were in Florida Denmark's Coquette walk trot horse owned by, uh, Holtsingers and they own a farm up, or did up 30:00here, uh, outside of Versailles, uh--what's the name of that farm--they went to Thoroughbreds.

SMITH: Oh really?

GIBBS: Yeah, later on.

SMITH: What were their names?

GIBBS: Holtsingers, H-o-l-t-s-i-n-g-e-r.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: They had another, Sweet Amber which was really a good lady's gaited horse and Denmark's Coquette was a lady's am-, uh, walk trot horse.

SMITH: Okay, now were you still with him, with Redd when he, uh, won any of the five-gaited championships?

GIBBS: Yes I was.

SMITH: Which were, which one?


SMITH: (laughs) Oh, I'm sorry.

GIBBS: No, the, the stud, uh, the first one.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Johnny, uh, hmm, prob-, the sire was, Johnny Gillen what was, uh, lady from Missouri owned him. Uh--


SMITH: Okay, I should know this too because I just interviewed him on this, but I'm not sure.

GIBBS: Uh, Will Shriver.


GIBBS: Will Shriver.

SMITH: Absolutely. What did you think of him?

GIBBS: Will was a good horse, he's a small horse, heart, had all kinds of heart. He was a good horse.

SMITH: Yeah, is that what makes the difference, the heart?

GIBBS: A lot yeah, yeah. You, horses are like people; there's dumb ones, there's stupid ones, there's good ones, there's athletic ones, there's mean ones, there's lazy ones, it's, it's all gamuts and you just have to be able to get to figure out to get the best out of the horse and Redd was good, Redd was good at that. He was good at amateur horses for, uh, other people to show. And Will Shriver and he won that, what, I think twice. Cora's Time won also I think was another one, one I wasn't there at that time.

SMITH: Um-hm, right.

GIBBS: I think that was the only two times he won it; might have been 32:00another one.

SMITH: I think there was a third, I can't remember the name, but I think he's, he's one of the few that's won three times.

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, uh, a horse from South Africa, Zovoobij, or something like that or I believe the horse was owned from some people from South Africa.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: I might be wrong on that, but that that was after I was, was gone.

SMITH: So how long did you work with Redd?

GIBBS: I left Redd in about '81 or '82.

SMITH: That's a long time.

GIBBS: Or Crabtrees anyway. He was, uh, he went to Pennsylvania while I was in the Army and when I got out of the Army in '68 I went to work at Crabtree Farms down there. Uh, went to work for Joe Gilson was the man then he was where Redd's barn is. He was doing the broodmares and the young horses and that and I worked there. And then Redd came back probably two years maybe after that down at the other end and I was down there working then and Redd, the Joe Gilson left up there and Redd 33:00went back up there and I went up there with him. And I, I don't know what year that was, but I stayed I think '80 well 1980, '81 something like that.

SMITH: Okay, a long time then you worked with--

GIBBS: Yeah, I'd say roughly fifteen years with.

SMITH: All right. Tell me about Helen and Charlie Crabtree. Now they are legends in, in the Saddlebred world.

GIBBS: They, they are. They were the probably the first ones to really do what they did and how they did it with the equitation riders and all that and, and, uh, she was good. She could get, get things out of people and he was a good horse trainer also. He had a lot of fine harness horses. He had three or four of them that were world's champion.

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: For the Sinclairs out of Texas or Oklahoma rather. And, uh, uh, Stuarts out of Tulsa, Oklahoma; he was Under Secretary of the Navy at one time, Harold Stuart. Uh, daughter of Ran-, Randi Stuart, she's 34:00Randi Wightman now. She's somewhere I think around here also. She has horses I believe at Premier Stables down there in Simpsonville, I believe.

SMITH: Okay. Now did you ever work for them or were you basically just working for Redd's part of the business?

GIBBS: I worked for the Crabtrees for I guess six months or something as assistant trainer.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Or maybe somewhere in that neighborhood before he came home and then while he was there. And then when he went up to the other barn where he is now, I went up there with him.

SMITH: Now were they different in terms of how they?

GIBBS: Oh, completely different--(Smith laughs)--yes, yes ma'am.

SMITH: Well, explain that.

GIBBS: They're just different people. Just different people just went about it different ways. Redd was a different trainer than his mother or father was. Uh, some people can train different horses different ways. Uh, Redd had a different philosophy about training horses. Uh, 35:00and it just seemed to work for him. What worked for them, worked for them. Uh--

SMITH: Did you, uh, did you have any particular philosophy that you admired the most?

GIBBS: Either one or?

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: I think Redd in the long run did better with more horses.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Of course now they won a lot of classes, but when way back when they were doing it there was it wasn't like it is now. There was, it was a little bit different.

SMITH: In what way?

GIBBS: Uh, there weren't that many people doing the equitation pa-, the way that she was doing it. And, uh, when you go to show before Redd even left, they had three different stations that they had. Mr. Crabtree usually stayed at the barn, getting the horses, being sure that the horses were there ready to go at the time; the riders were up and ready to go. And then he would send them out and the groom would go with him up to the ring more or less and then Mr.--Redd and Ms. 36:00Crabtree were up there, would take it from there. They would help them warm up and then they would help them in the ring. And that was basically about the way it went.

SMITH: Um-hm. That's how the labor was divided.

GIBBS: Right, um-hm, but now you know it, not all the time but that was kind of basically, especially when you had a lot of horses going.

SMITH: Yeah, I mean I understand that they take it in you said this as well as many as fifty or more horses. That's a lot of horses.

GIBBS: That's a bunch of horses, yeah.

SMITH: So what kind of help?

GIBBS: Most of them were equitation horses.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Uh, and most of it were, were girls riding. And you'd have them, uh, ten or maybe not ten, but seven, eight horses in the same class. And you'd have, you know, and you'd have to get them be sure they were out and in time to get up to the ring and warm up a little bit and, and then they would take care of them in the ring and coach them from the rail and.

SMITH: How much help was required to take care of?


GIBBS: On the road you would take maybe three horses, each person would take care of three horses.

SMITH: So that's a lot of people you needed?

GIBBS: That's a lot of people.

SMITH: Was it hard to find that kind of help?

GIBBS: We always seemed to have a lot of help and most of them were African Americans.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: A time or two we'd have some white people in there, but they didn't last very long.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: At Lexington I can remember the shed rows down there. The first one was Dodge Stables always. Next three or four were Crabtree Stables and they'd get the closest stable, barn because they had the most horses and the way that was the way it was at the state fair too. You'd get the closest ones to the arena because you had you know, had the most horses and you it just worked and I don't know I'm sure they talked to somebody, but anyway.

SMITH: Yeah. Um, did you have a favorite show that you liked to go to?

GIBBS: No, no, not really, I just.

SMITH: But, you did a lot of the Lexington Junior League and the Louisville Show right?


GIBBS: Right, yeah, then when I, after I quit rubbing I would, I'd be home all the time at the shows; they would be gone, I would be at home. Sometimes had both ends of the barn, uh, their the Crabtrees down there and Redd's end just to be sure everything got done and somebody was there to take care of what was there and anything like that. And then at Lexington and Louisville I would have to go at night up there to help and then go back down during the day and--

SMITH: --take care of the farm--

GIBBS: --take care of the farm.

SMITH: Hmm, sounds like a lot of work.

GIBBS: I, as I, I, I say, you know, it is just something you did. I, I didn't, to me it wasn't work. It was just there and you know six or seven days a week usually six and sometimes seven and most the time seven, but not, not at home it wasn't, uh, all day on seven, you know. Sunday you would go in and check and you'd go back home unless something came up you were, you didn't have to go back; unless you had a sick horse or something like that or you were breeding horses at 39:00breeding time and then you'd have to work out your mares to breed to, when you were going to breed them and that end.

SMITH: Now were you involved in, in the breeding?

GIBBS: I'd last, uh, I guess five years or so something like that I did the breeding. Took care of the broodmares and the breeding; two of those years I was also with Redd doing assistant over there and I'd go over and do the teasing and the breeding in the morning and then go back over and work horses and then had to breed something in the afternoon I'd come back over. And across the road we had at that time where Redd's barn was across the road where all that junk is now, that was a Hayfield Farm, the old Hayfield Farm and they had bought that and put the broodmares over there and we had four, had four studs over there that took care of and did the breeding on that. Three or four something like that.

SMITH: These were owned by the Crabtrees or these were?

GIBBS: No, these were, uh--

SMITH: --up, uh, okay.

GIBBS: --were, uh, client horses. Some of the broodmares were owned by 40:00Crabtrees, but the studs were, were not.

SMITH: Okay, okay. I still get a little confused on all that, but I'm getting it.

GIBBS: Most Saddle Horses, it, it's, client horses unless somebody's just got a lot of money saved; Mary Gaylord I assume all those horses down there are hers. That they train down there, I assume I don't know, but, uh, it might be a boarding stable too, but most any stable anymore unless it's just somebody just with a humongous amount of money, it, it's a boarding stable. You just can't afford it, you know, it's, it's the overhead and the upkeep, and it just.

SMITH: Um-hm, um-hm. Well and like you said the Crabtrees had a very large business to try and manage.

GIBBS: Right, right. And also there were a couple of other, at times, other trainers other assistants there. Miss Crabtree had a usually had an assistant that would help her with the equitation. Uh, and there 41:00was another assistant helped Mr. Crabtree.

SMITH: So were you, you said you were Redd's assistant?


SMITH: Assistant trainer or?

GIBBS: Assistant trainer.

SMITH: Okay. Did you enjoy that part?

GIBBS: Yeah, I, I enjoyed all of it, you know, it.

SMITH: Now is there any particular type of, of training you like to do; any particular aspect of it?

GIBBS: I like to fool with young horses.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: The, the start them out and, and break them. Or well, people call it breaking it's just a misnomer; you train them. Uh, western people, they break them. You know you see in the movies and all that's breaking. Uh, you don't break horses. I don't anyway you train them and you start out slowly and just build them up, add things to it after you know and just add a little more and little more and just go through it that way.

SMITH: Did, um, you ever show horses yourself?

GIBBS: No, other than what I've told you. I showed once at Louisville, uh, just kind of got thrown in it. Something came up and Redd couldn't 42:00do it and I had to show a fine harness horse; one of theirs in a young class, two or three-year-old class and didn't do any good, but that-- (Smith laughs)

SMITH: Um, since it's an oral history interview, I get to ask personal questions, so tell me, uh, about your family. Now did you get married?

GIBBS: I'm married, been married, it'll be thirty-nine years. I have been married thirty-nine years, I have two children a boy and a girl. Girl's thirty, son is thirty-five.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Have two grandkids, granddaughters; my son's.

SMITH: Um-hm. Oh that's nice, sounds good. So, uh, and you live in Shelbyville?

GIBBS: I live in Simpsonville.

SMITH: Simpsonville, okay. Okay, so you were raising your family on this, this business for a while.

GIBBS: Um-hm, when I first started out I lived on the farm, so that helped you know didn't have any expenses. And then I finally bought a house. And I bought a tack shop there in Simpsonville, somebody else 43:00that worked at Crabtrees had started it. He took a job someplace else and I bought it from him and worked there three or four years and I just couldn't make it and went to work and at the meantime I'd quit Redd. I, you know, went to that full-time and just couldn't make it and then I went to work for a company that went farm to farm with vans just sold retail, just we did Thoroughbreds around Lexington, Simpsonville, Versailles, just went on, just pull in a farm and you know sell stuff; really enjoyed that; went on a lot of nice farms, a lot of nice.

SMITH: What were you selling again?

GIBBS: Equipment, horse tack stuff, uh, what you would buy at a tack store. Medicines and stuff like that. Uh, whatever you need on a farm to take care of horses; fly sprays, grooming stuff, uh, forks, rakes.

SMITH: So when did you start doing that, about what?

GIBBS: Probably in, uh, about '81 or '82.


SMITH: Okay, now why did you quit working for Redd?

GIBBS: It was just time to move on. Things had been changing, were changing and it was just, just time to move.

SMITH: Okay, you know, at, by that time I'd say the early eighties you said, um, were you still having, uh, African-American help or was that changing?

GIBBS: No, it, it got at that time a lot of women it seemed like on our end now down at the other end, no it was still African-American. But up at our end it was, it was a lot of not a lot, but two or three women.

SMITH: Now Redd indicated in our interview that, um, he had a hard time getting help at certain periods that it was very difficult to get good help.

GIBBS: It, it was difficult yes to get good help and I would say they probably paid better than other people, but, but you look at what you had to do you were six days anyway. No health insurance, no retirement, now they did at one time put in a retirement deal and I think only one person stayed there, L.T., long enough to collect it.


SMITH: Oh really?

GIBBS: Yeah and you know it, it just and it sometimes like I said seven days and if you go to a show you're gone. If you're, have a family or something like, and then, it paid, they probably paid better than other people, but still it wasn't a whole lot of money.

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: And factories started coming into Shelbyville then and you could get a job at a factory five days a week, health insurance, and retirement and it's just like other things evolve, it just, that's just the way, just the way it went.

SMITH: Um-hm, now, um, this company you were working for that went to the farms what was the name of it?

GIBBS: Howard Distributing Company. It was just, man by the name of Jack Howard just started doing it and then his step, no his yeah his stepson, stepson went with him and then I had known him quite a while and several years and I just talked to him and told him I needed a job and you know if he would be interested in letting me work for him and he was about that time going to retire or quit and I just took 46:00over what he had done and just started doing it. And it was fun. I, I enjoyed it, going farm to farm you know and I wasn't in a building inside anywhere you know. And I enjoy getting out driving, uh, it didn't bother me a bit.

SMITH: Who were some of the farms?

GIBBS: Uh, Thoroughbred farms, uh, shoo, man I--(Smith laughs)--Ashford Stud.

SMITH: Oh yeah.

GIBBS: Right there on and then, uh--tried to get in Spendthrift, but that's about the time they were having a big problem over there and if it hadn't been for that I probably could have gotten in, uh.

SMITH: Yeah because we are talking the eighties right when things were?

GIBBS: Yeah, early eighties, yeah.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Uh, Overbrook Farm, uh, Indian Creek up around Paris which was a nice farm up there. Uh--

SMITH: So was it a lot of Thoroughbred farms you worked with?

GIBBS: Mostly Thoroughbred up here, yes. And then Simpsonville did a route in Simpsonville too.


SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: But we'd go twice a week usually depending on the size of the farm and, and, uh, Arab farm over there, uh, used to be Stone Church. Uh--

SMITH: Gains-, okay there's Gainesborough?

GIBBS: No, it's on the other side of Lexington. Uh--


GIBBS: Oh, anyway it was a big, big area farm.

SMITH: Shadwell is that it?


SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: I can't--

SMITH: It's okay.

GIBBS: But anyway.

SMITH: Yeah there's several, Juddmonte, I, I'm learning.

GIBBS: I think it was Juddmonte I believe it was Juddmonte, yeah.

SMITH: Juddmonte, okay.

GIBBS: It, it started out as Stone Church Farm because there was a stone church right there in the corner, right next to it and I think that's when I was going it was Stone Church.

SMITH: Okay and so they liked that, uh, having you come directly to the farm was?

GIBBS: Yeah, it, it, and we were cheaper, we sell stuff, sold stuff cheaper and they didn't have to leave to go get it, but some places liked to go get it, some places, uh, knew, had been doing business 48:00with people for a long time and you couldn't, you know, they just wanted to go on and do it. And it's just; but we picked up a lot of it especially when, uh, young managers came in. They'd want to show, you know, they could save money and do the job and that made it easier and, and it was fun.

SMITH: So how long did you work with them?

GIBBS: Probably three years and then I went to work for another tack store in Versailles called Horse Equipment.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Mike Renfro started it. He was, uh, the son-in-law of Paul Ladd who runs Pinkston, who owns Pinkston Turf Supply in Lexington.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Worked for him for I think a year and he had a customer that opened another store in Lexington called Horse Equipment of Lexington. Uh, I worked there for a year and I was inside all the time and I just and then, uh, Jack Howard's stepson talked to me about coming 49:00back for them and at that time he had merged with somebody else, a chemical corporation, and I went back with him and did that for another oh probably a year and a half, two years and then went back with Mike Renfro making halters, wholesaling halters. And I, I had when I had my store I had all leather equipment and still have it too, still have it. Don't have to feed it, it's right there whenever I want it. (Smith laughs) And just making leather, doing leather work I make.

SMITH: You do that yourself?

GIBBS: Yes. I'm making halters and, uh, for him, wholesaling to him and had a few retail accounts very few and I did that for several years. And went back to, what did I do after that, oh, uh, where I've been now I've been fifteen years.



GIBBS: And they had an ad in the paper for, uh, a counter person at a veterinary supply.

SMITH: Oh okay.

GIBBS: And I went to work for them and then about two years after that we started, started coming up here every Thursday calling on stores.

SMITH: And now what's the company?

GIBBS: Kentuckiana Veterinary Supply Company. And I come up here every Thursday and call on stores over the wholesale route.

SMITH: Now you're working with, uh, large animal type supplies or all?

GIBBS: Mostly, mostly horses. It's, uh, I'd say 85-90 percent horse stuff. Used to have cattle, hogs, chicken, but anymore chickens are, uh, factory owned and you always have a lid on staff. Hogs have gotten that way, what six, seven years ago the bottom went out of hogs. These big factories, companies ran the bottom out of it, put everybody out now they're back in it doing it contracting for people to raise hogs and they have their own farms. People raise hogs on contract and they 51:00got their vets on staff and they do that, get their stuff through vets like that and, and, uh, cattle is getting about the same way.

SMITH: So what kind of supplies do they get from you?

GIBBS: Wormers, uh, for cattle or horses?

SMITH: Either.

GIBBS: Mostly cattle is wormers, de-wormers and some, uh, antibiotics, ear tags, insecticide tags, ear tags on cattle. Uh, horses it's just poultice, mud poultice they put horses around put it up their legs at night. A lot of Thoroughbreds do. Uh, grooming supplies, joint stuff, anything that's over the counter.

SMITH: Okay. So you work directly with the farms?

GIBBS: Um-hm. Now I don't, no I call on stores now.

SMITH: Oh okay, okay, okay.

GIBBS: But when I worked with Jack Howard we called on farms.

SMITH: All right, okay, I get it.

GIBBS: I bought stuff from, at the time I worked for them, bought stuff from where I work now.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: At ----------(??) wholesaling.


SMITH: So you enjoy this?

GIBBS: Oh yeah, yeah I, I've never had a job you know that I call a job that's hard. I, I--

SMITH: Do you have to sit in an office?

GIBBS: Pardon me?

SMITH: Do you have to sit in an office?

GIBBS: No, no I'm out on the road two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

SMITH: Do you ever miss working with the horses?

GIBBS: Not really, not really, uh, no.

SMITH: Do you go to the shows?



GIBBS: No. I have not I maybe one show in fifteen years, there in Shelbyville once, no.

SMITH: How come?

GIBBS: Just don't go.

SMITH: I see.

GIBBS: Don't have any desire to go, don't want to go, don't know anybody pretty more or less any more. Uh, just don't go.

SMITH: Now, um, you said you, uh, were drafted in '60?

GIBBS: Sixty-four, oh I wasn't drafted, I got my notice in December and I joined in January.

SMITH: Okay what did you join?

GIBBS: Pardon me?

SMITH: What did you join, what branch?


GIBBS: The Army.

SMITH: What was your service like--describe?

GIBBS: It's just, you know, just another bump in the road. I, I had no problem with it. I went to Vietnam for a year. I was, we went out on, uh, oh we'd go out at night and set up ambushes, three or four times. When I was--now I was a clerk I wasn't in the infantry or anything like that. I was in the Army about three, two years before I went to Vietnam, I was a clerk.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: I got over there first thing they did, send you out on ambush patrol. You know, been out of basic training two years and didn't know what. Went on three, about three ambush patrols and then they set up training for you when you would go out on ambush patrol, after we had already done that. And--

SMITH: What year were you there?

GIBBS: I was there in '66 and '67, June, June to June basically.

SMITH: Okay that's when things were starting to build up.

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, it, it was I can't remember was the Tet Offensive was 54:00before or after that, I, I don't remember. But it, I was with the First Infantry Division which was just, we were north of Saigon in a small town called Dian, Zian, D-i-a-n, but there D's are sometimes a Z. And it was a base camp and, uh, we went out on patrol a couple times and worked seven days a week and it was just, just like a job was in there twelve hours a day and.

SMITH: And you were there what, a year?

GIBBS: A year, a year. Flew over, didn't have to get on a boat, flew over on a plane, flew back on a plane and that's. There was a big difference by the time I went in the Army and the time I got out of the Army on people, personnel, and that it was. When I came back there was a lot of drug use.

SMITH: In the?

GIBBS: In the Army.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: In the Army, yeah.

SMITH: I've talked to at least one other Vietnam veteran who, um, you 55:00know experienced that change as well and.

GIBBS: It was, uh, and I, there was still drafts then, you know, uh, but it was a big change, a big change from the time I went in to the time I got out on black and white I mean it wasn't just any, but it was a big change.

SMITH: So, uh, in just another bump in the road?

GIBBS: Just another bump in the road, yes ma'am. Got out in January of '68, went home and got a job at Crabtrees, met my wife, future wife about two weeks after I got out. And got married in following November, been there ever since.

SMITH: No problems from Vietnam?

GIBBS: Oh sure, no, no I had no problems from Vietnam. I, time or two 56:00I get a little rash or something, but that's been a long time ago, uh, but no, I have no--

SMITH: Do you exposed to some of those chemicals?

GIBBS: I think maybe. It, uh, everybody that was over there pretty much at times you would be around it whether you were there when they were spraying it or not, but you know at that time there was none of this, uh, mask stuff and rubber gloves and all this stuff. Nobody paid any attention to that you did what you had to do and I wasn't around it that I know of, but maybe sprayed in areas and then go in there afterwards, a while, you know, a while afterwards something like that, but it, it's just something you did.

SMITH: Do you ever keep up with any of, of, uh, your colleagues from the Army, did you?

GIBBS: No, not really. Uh, talked to one probably ten years ago that I was in Vietnam with, uh, just once no, but that was about it.

SMITH: So you came back started working with Redd, met your wife.

GIBBS: No, no he was.


SMITH: Oh that's right he was still gone you were working for the--

GIBBS: With the Crabtrees when Joe Gilson was up there at that barn.

SMITH: Okay, so you worked with Helen and Charlie?

GIBBS: After, they had a problem down there about a year, everybody walked out one day; the help walked out. I don't know what started it or something it was on a Saturday or a Sunday and I just went down there that afternoon after we got through, and see, you know, see if there was anything I could do to help them and, uh, they'd already finished up that day and then there were shows coming up and, uh, were going to Houston or Tulsa down there and I ended up going down there, I don't know how, exactly how it ended up, but went down to those shows, went down there two years in a row. And, uh--

SMITH: So their help just walked out one day, did it come back? Did they? (laughs)

GIBBS: Yeah most of them came back. Somebody started, somebody down there, there was a guy down there that was agitating and said, "You know we wanted more money" and this and that. And so he talked everybody into walking out and leaving and then he was one of the 58:00first ones to call wanting his job back and then the rest of them kind of came back. It wasn't I don't think three or four days like that, something like that.

SMITH: Okay, okay, hmm. Now were there, um, a lot of, at this time Shelby County is starting to grow with the Saddlebred and there more farms were coming in, was there a lot of opportunities for people to work at other farms?

GIBBS: At that time there was only five, really five major or big time good Saddle Horse places there. There was, uh, Crabtree Farms, Hayfield Farm which was across the street which Fritz Jordan was 59:00trainer at that time, uh, Don Harris Stables he, he was, back further on down toward Louisville up on the hill, Wagner's Farm, Copper Coin Farm he was in there at that time. Jack Nevitt was back behind well where across the street next to Hayfield there's a lane that goes way back in there. And Jack Nevitt was in there at that time. He's out in Arizona now I think, uh, if I'm not mistaken. And I think, uh, Charlie Smith was there at that time. Those were the five I think, about the five main ones there. There were some smaller ones, but nothing that, uh, was of any consequence, you know, or any big deal.

SMITH: Which was the biggest?

GIBBS: Crabtrees, they were, yeah.

SMITH: Okay. Now, um, you knew several of the, of their contemporaries I imagine. Um, the names that I come across all the time are, uh, the Bradshaws and Jim B. Robertson.

GIBBS: Jim B. Robertson, yeah.

SMITH: The Teaters.

GIBBS: Earl Teater, Lloyd Teater, I think there was another Teater at one time, but he was kind of on the edge, alcoholic, uh, you know one 60:00of the something on it I believe.

SMITH: Um-hm. Do you remember some of these people?

GIBBS: Vague, vaguely, yeah, yeah. I, I just know a face and that and the Bradshaws, they were good trainers, good trainers, really good trainers. Uh, old, old type trainers, you know old-fashioned trainers; take their time, work on legs. Anymore, even in Thoroughbred business anymore it's, you got to turn the money over. You do it as quick as you can, get them out, get them showing, get them racing to get the money back. Used to be in racing there was no winter racing. Now there is racing 365 days a year and it's, it's hard on horses. That's why I think there's not a lot of older horses racing or showing. Now show horses a lot of them anymore turn them out in the winter if it's an older horse you turn them out, blister them, help their ankles a little bit and let them down during the winter and let them relax and 61:00turn them out in the paddock during the day and then start them again in the spring.

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: Get them back up and start training them again and you know not train them, but get them back in shape and condition and.

SMITH: But it's changed from?

GIBBS: It's changed, yes ma'am, it's changed.

SMITH: Were there any particular, besides the Crabtrees, was there any particular trainer or farm that you, um, that you particularly admired?

GIBBS: Tom Moore had a, was a good trainer, Tom and Donna Moore they were good together, they split up. I don't know whether Tom's still living or not, I'm not positive about that.

SMITH: I'm thinking he's passed away.

GIBBS: I think he might have.

SMITH: Donna's on my list to interview.

GIBBS: She lives in Versailles just or used to anyway, just past Versailles on the right where the castle is on that road that goes back.

SMITH: Yeah. Yeah.

GIBBS: Back in, she used to now I don't know if she still does or not, but that's where she had her farm back in there. Uh, they were about the best. Earl Teater was good. Uh, he didn't do a whole lot of the 62:00shows we did or really a whole lot of shows period that I know of. He was you know his Dodge Stables was Francis Dodge was Dodge cars.

SMITH: Right.

GIBBS: So, uh, money didn't mean anything, you know, make any difference there.

SMITH: Now they had Wing Commander, right?

GIBBS: Wing Commander, yes ma'am.

SMITH: Now would you have ever seen that horse or was that horse I can't remember the time period now?

GIBBS: I think--

SMITH: You would have been young.

GIBBS: I think I vaguely, uh, toward the end last time or two I think.

SMITH: I see. Did you ever see a Saddle Horse that just really stood out in your mind?

GIBBS: Uh, maybe Will Shriver because I was with him. Uh, uh, Supreme Airs, a fine harness horse, Mrs. Sinclair. I rubbed her took care of her for a year or two. She had another one she bought called Captivation, Glenview's Captivation it was a, it was a nice pretty 63:00horse, nice small horse. And about the prettiest one I had was, uh, no Captivation, Glenview's Radiance was a smaller horse. Captivation was about the prettiest mare I'd, I've ever seen, she was a pretty fine, uh, bay mare fine harness horse and she was just pretty.

SMITH: Who owned her?

GIBBS: Sinclair, Mrs. Sinclair, she owned all three of those.

SMITH: Oh okay, okay.

GIBBS: She had another one, gaited horse that her daughter rode, uh, five-gaited horse, uh.

SMITH: It's okay.

GIBBS: Hmm. I think of him every once in a while. He was, he was a good old horse, he was a funny horse. You'd, if you went in to give him a shot, you had to hold him and then back out of the stall because he was going to come get you.

SMITH: Oh really.

GIBBS: He was going to try to get you. Oh yeah, I can't think. Retired him and took him to Tulsa, Oklahoma.

SMITH: Huh. Did you have some mean horses that you had to work with?


GIBBS: Yes and no. Uh, I had, uh, two studs that come to mind and one of them was, uh, Valley's Desdemona Denmark. And he, he was kind of a coward horse.

SMITH: A coward?

GIBBS: Coward horse, uh, but he bit Redd Crabtree once. He's the one that bit his.

SMITH: His arm? Okay.

GIBBS: Under here. And I had to go catch him after that. When they bit, it was in the evening he was showing him to somebody; somebody out of Canada who at one time owned Yorktown. Yorktown was owned by somebody from Canada and this man had come back through. Yorktown, you familiar with?

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: Okay and he was showing him to this man and, uh, you had to watch him because he would watch you and if you weren't watching him, he would get you.

SMITH: Bite you?

GIBBS: Bite you. Or and he, Redd, I think was putting a blanket on him. And he just reached around and grabbed him on the arm and took a big 65:00wad of that arm out of there and, uh, I'd say he was, he was, I guess that was mean, but. And then had his father too, Oman's Desdemona Denmark was another stud.

SMITH: What was that name again?

GIBBS: Oman's, Oman's Desdemona Denmark, O-m-a-n. He was back, uh, probably in the early sixties. The Valley's Desdemona Denmark was his son. He was later owned by the people out in California. I don't know, can't remember their name, but, uh, you couldn't get after Oman's Desdemona Denmark. You, long line him or lunge him and if you had a whip and were, you know, he jumped on me twice and luckily both the same day. And that, that taught me right quick you don't fool with him, but he one time right here, and uh--

SMITH: Bit at you or?

GIBBS: Yeah, he, I had glasses on, he broke my glasses, but luckily you know, he was just being defensive more or less. I don't, I wouldn't 66:00call it mean. And then they had another horse called Ronald Reagan, another stud, fine harness stud, he was. That was probably the only horse I was ever scared of.

SMITH: Really?

GIBBS: Yes ma'am.

SMITH: Now what did he want to do?

GIBBS: He would, uh, he was just mean.

SMITH: Kick, bite?

GIBBS: Any, yes. When, uh, he, he had grabbed somebody's arm too. Now this guy was teasing him, was aggravating him through his stall and he broke his arm. He grabbed him and broke his arm and I had to go catch him too afterwards. Uh--

SMITH: What do you mean by go catch? The horse would be loose and you would have to?

GIBBS: Well, he was in the stall and the one that bit Redd had a lead shank on and all this and they just, and I had to go, you know, take the halter off or take the lead shank off and turn him loose. And the other one I didn't have to catch him then. No, but I had to take the guy to the hospital. And, uh, you have to breed him with a muzzle on and you have to have one person on each side of him and blindfold him.


SMITH: Really?

GIBBS: Really and we'd turn them out in a paddock and, I just, I can't, and he'd come up and he'd just bow his head and snort and I just wonder what I would have done if he ever. I, well I was scared of him and it was about the only horse I was ever scared of.

SMITH: Hmm. Had you ever been hurt?


SMITH: Really?

GIBBS: Not really, I've been kicked and no I haven't been hurt you know really bad, foot stepped on, but no.

SMITH: Were others?

GIBBS: Other than those two, no, that I know of around there, no.

SMITH: Just broken arms?

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, he was reaching through the wall, the--had, uh, rods in the wall, and I guess the horse grabbed him and just jerked him and broke it. He was in the hospital about a week after that I think.

SMITH: Oh. Yeah I know, Redd told me about his arm that was a--

GIBBS: Yeah he, he was, yeah.


GIBBS: It was really bad. It just took a plug out, that horse just 68:00grabbed him and took a plug out, just underneath there, he was I mean.

SMITH: Yeah I think he said he said he kind of could just shake him, the horse had a hold of him and he could just shake him.

GIBBS: Horses are strong enough, you ever seen them fighting, wild horses, they grab others by the back of the neck right up on the withers. Sometimes they'll you know they can pick them up. They're, they're strong and they can't turn loose. They don't know to turn loose. It's what I've been told. I've seen a colt pick up a feed sack and start shaking it and get scared and just run in a circle backwards because he wouldn't turn it loose. You know, now that one that bit Redd, uh, I went in I was going to test him once and was stupid, I was stupid--(Smith laughs)--I think you know, but I was watching him and I put the blanket on him and he turned around and looked at me and I, and then he turned around and looked again and then he dove around and I was--

SMITH: You were ready.

GIBBS: And I was stupid, but I shouldn't have done it, but I just wanted to see and.

SMITH: And he did it.

GIBBS: He did it. Yes'm.



GIBBS: But Ronald Reagan when we, when they moved him they moved him, took him to another farm, put him in one of those small vans that they take broodmares to breed in, and, uh, we were leading him up the ramp and somebody was behind him and he kicked out both hind feet just went right over the top of that guy's head.

SMITH: Oh gee.

GIBBS: And he tore that van up before he got to where he was going. I saw the guy, the guy that was driving it a little later on, a couple of years later, and talked to him about it and he said he tore that van up.

SMITH: What do you do with a horse like that?

GIBBS: They showed him in fine harness. And, uh--

SMITH: So they showed him, huh?

GIBBS: They showed him, yeah. Uh, he was fairly decent fine harness horse. I think he might of won the stud class in Louisville. Might not have been anything else in there worth, you know-- (Smith laughs)- -but, uh, they bred him several years after that. Uh, but I, you know, you, is it worth it? I don't know.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: I don't know, but, uh, he, he was rough when you had to breed him. And it's, but he was really the only one I was ever afraid of.


SMITH: Now you weren't doing the artificial insemination that much when you were involved?

GIBBS: We did some. Uh, we never did him that I remember. Uh, we did, uh, Valley's Desdemona Denmark, Chief of Greystone which was a horse Redd had, and then they moved him down there for a year and then they took him back up to Pennsylvania, the people that, other people that owned him after Redd left Pennsylvania. We did those, uh, artificially. Anymore they're flying semen; they freeze it and fly it, but now there we just collected it and if we had three or four mares we would just and if they use them then like that. Now Thoroughbreds they don't allow that.

SMITH: I know, I know.

GIBBS: They don't allow it at all.

SMITH: So it has to be a--

GIBBS: Standardbreds you can, they breed twenty, thirty mares off of one--(laughs)--cover or something like that. Morgan horses they do it and they, I know they fly it.

SMITH: So it's just Thoroughbreds that don't?

GIBBS: As far as I know that's, yeah just Thoroughbreds don't do it.


GIBBS: I guess it keeps the stud fee up high.


SMITH: No, I think someone told me once that they thought it was, uh, to keep the numbers down, but the numbers seem pretty high.

GIBBS: They do, they sure do.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: I, I think it's to keep the stud fee up, particularly when--

SMITH: That would make sense.

GIBBS: --when you have you know, a lot of, some of 'em don't have a guaranteed live foal.

SMITH: That's right, that's right.

GIBBS: You know you just breed and take your chances and if a foal gets up and nurses, that's your live foal and something happens after that you're, you got, you're done.

SMITH: Yeah, a day later or something.

GIBBS: Yeah.

SMITH: Now did you work with a lot of vets when you were working with the Crabtrees? Did they have?

GIBBS: A couple. Uh, there was, uh, Dr. Philip Cochran, Dr. Philip Cochran.

SMITH: Yeah, okay heard the name.

GIBBS: And, uh, Scott Bennett.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: He runs Equine Services there in Simpsonville.

SMITH: Scott Bennett?


SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: He graduated from school and came to work for Dr. Cochran an intern or something like that for a year or so, something like that, 72:00that's.

SMITH: What about, uh, blacksmiths, did you have--

GIBBS: Yeah, uh--

SMITH: --any blacksmiths?

GIBBS: --several, uh, Bobby Isham from over at Lawrenceburg or Harrodsburg.

SMITH: How do you spell that?

GIBBS: I-s-h-a-m.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: He started shoeing there when I first went there, got out of the Army, and, uh, he more or less learned there, I'd say.

SMITH: Really?

GIBBS: Yeah.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And he's fairly decent blacksmith. He's, he's pretty good blacksmith.

SMITH: Does he work just Saddlebred or any?

GIBBS: I think just Saddlebred.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And the Ernst brothers.

SMITH: I heard of them.

GIBBS: Yeah, their father, Ed Ernst, I remember him when I was a kid.

SMITH: Okay. Now he's gone right?

GIBBS: He's gone, yeah.

SMITH: So Forrest is the oldest?

GIBBS: Forrest and Jack are the two brothers. I think they're both retired and then Phil is Forrest's son and I think he's still shoeing. I don't know anymore whether there is anymore Ernsts in it or not.

SMITH: Okay, okay.

GIBBS: And then Don Canfield, uh, came to Crabtrees. They hired him 73:00pretty much just to do their, theirs. And he pretty much kept him busy, yeah. He was four or five years I guess, six years something like that somewhere around there. He finally settled in Shelby County and, uh, started teaching at, uh, blacksmiths' school out there at Mount Eden. There's a, there's a blacksmith school out there and then he, and I, his wife died and I believe he married and moved away and he might have died also, I don't know.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And then there was another, uh, from up in Ohio, Stanley Clair, was a good blacksmith, uh.

SMITH: Um-hm. Seems that the blacksmiths were particularly important with the, with the Saddlebred--

GIBBS: Yeah they are.

SMITH: --because they can, the shoe is so important.

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, there's one, John Hill, shoeing horses now for Redd. He's a good blacksmith.

SMITH: Okay. I want to say there is a name, Bud Willimon?


GIBBS: Bud Willimon, yeah, Bud Willimon is a good one. He's been around a long time.

SMITH: Is he in?

GIBBS: He'd be a good man to talk to about people. He's, he's been around a long time.

SMITH: Is he in Shelbyville as well?

GIBBS: He's in Simpsonville; lives outside of Simpsonville.

SMITH: And he was a blacksmith?

GIBBS: He was a black-, he still is. He's seventy some years old and he's still doing it. Says he can't retire, but he's got a house that's been in Southern Living so he.

SMITH: Oh all right.

GIBBS: So he also runs a horse trans- or vans Southern Transport, uh, Southern Ventures; got about sixteen or seventeen horse vans there, hauls horses.

SMITH: All right, well, when you--well a couple of questions. When, um, your father, do you remember any particular achievement your dad was proudest of? Do you know? Did he ever have a particular story? I know he died when you were fairly young so.

GIBBS: Not, not really, no.

SMITH: That you know?

GIBBS: I wasn't, I was a smart alec kid. I wasn't, it's, paying that 75:00much attention to things then in the horse business.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And as a, I just kind of fell in you know there was just the way I went.

SMITH: Okay. Well like you say you were what sixteen when your father passed away I remember sixteen--(laughs)--so it's. Um, as you look though you've worked a lot from the sixties to 1981 and I know you say you're not, you don't go to shows or anything, but, uh, um, what are some of your observations about how the business has changed and perhaps who some of the, uh, most important players have been based on your own experience.

GIBBS: I'd say about the most important players toward my, the tail end of when I was in there was with Tom and Donna Moore, the Crabtrees, Redd and, uh, Don Harris. Don Harris won several graded stakes down there at the state fair. He had, uh--

SMITH: Yeah, he's still showing.

GIBBS: Yeah, yeah. Uh, those would be the main ones that were and the 76:00Bradshaws. Toward the end they didn't, you know, didn't do have a whole lot of good horses. They had one or two good ones, but they were good trainers; grandson, uh Mitch Clark.

SMITH: Um-hm, yeah he's on my list to interview.

GIBBS: Yeah, he's the grandson of one--

SMITH: --Garland--

GIBBS: I know there's an uncle.

SMITH: I think it's Garland.

GIBBS: Could, could very well be, yeah.


GIBBS: Jack Nevitt was a decent horse trainer, he was a good one. He had a, who did he, he won a stake at Louisville. Oh there was about three horses there out of, by Desdemona Denmark won the stake at Louisville; mare stake, uh, or the big stake or something. Ah, I can't think of it, but there's a picture in the horse, in the museum out there, of three of them together.

SMITH: Okay, okay.


GIBBS: All three, uh, they might not have been sisters, but maybe My My, uh, uh, and whatever Jack Nevitt's won on. Maybe, Cora's Time might be a picture on there too I, I don't know, I can't remember.

SMITH: Okay now it's at the Saddlebred Museum?

GIBBS: At the museum, yeah.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Yeah, but it's--

SMITH: Okay. I'll check that out.

GIBBS: Yeah, uh, and it's something you know, uh, something about them all three.

SMITH: All three.

GIBBS: With the ring at Louisville in the background.

SMITH: Okay, okay. And I've heard of all of those. Huh, a lot of horses, a lot of good, uh--

GIBBS: Yes'm.

SMITH: Of names. Huh. So what do you think the Saddlebred business is like today? I know you're not that involved, but you're on?

GIBBS: No I, I Bud Willimon made a quote to me, I see him every once in a while, uh, a couple of months ago said, it's, it's, it's bad because, uh, good horses really high priced. There's no cheap horses that you 78:00can people can buy and show and it, it's just that's what he said. Now, I don't know.

SMITH: Um-hm, now you're working at an end of the business that supports the industry. Um, is that pretty good business? Is it--do you?

GIBBS: It's been good yes, it's been good.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Everything's slow now though. I, it, it's as slow as I've seen it, the horse business really.

SMITH: Weren't there some downturns in the eighties?

GIBBS: Yeah I didn't notice it as much then, but this last three or four months business has been slow, awful slow and I've, some of the stores I call on up there say they're awful slow too.

SMITH: Is that unusual for this time of year or just unusual?

GIBBS: This is a slow time of year, yes, but, uh, slower than usual. 79:00I think it's gas prices, uh, the presidential election, the economy, people are out of jobs, got tax time coming up, I just think all that's.

SMITH: So you already see this impacting the horse industry?

GIBBS: I, I, our business yes.


GIBBS: It is awful slow. Uh, Lexington has held up pretty good, but the last I guess month, six weeks, I can see a difference in what I take up there every Thursday, the amount of stuff I take up there and deliver. Of course now we are getting ready for foaling season and breeding season too so that's really a strong season up here.

SMITH: So it should pick up?

GIBBS: It should pick up yes ma'am.

SMITH: Now how long is this company Kentuckiana Veterinary Supplies been in business?

GIBBS: We just went to sixty years.

SMITH: Sixty?

GIBBS: Sixty.

SMITH: Whoa, okay.

GIBBS: But it hadn't always been that name, but it's always family owned though this third generation in it.

SMITH: What's the family's name?

GIBBS: Gotting, G-o-t-t-i-n-g. That's, it didn't start out at that. 80:00It started out as, uh, Smith's Veterinary Supply and then his step or daughter, stepdaughter something like inherited he and her, her step, her son-in-law lived in Detroit, I don't know how they got together, but and he came down there to run it. And with somehow or another he's, he's had it pretty much ever since then and then his son now runs it.

SMITH: Um-hm, hmm. So it's been a pretty, I guess profitable enough business.

GIBBS: Right, yes'm. I'd say, we're, we're still there.

SMITH: Um-hm. And you, do you still make halters?


SMITH: Do you still do that now?

GIBBS: No I haven't made it. It, I used to. It's been maybe three or four years, but it used to be I'd have to make myself go out there at night to do it and on Saturdays I would find any excuse I could not to 81:00do it and I just and I was just making them for one person and it was more than I could keep up with. The tack store down there at Churchill Downs and, and I just had to quit. I just.

SMITH: It's too much work.

GIBBS: Yeah and it wasn't doing him right either. You know, he needed halters and I couldn't, couldn't do what I needed to do for him, but now like I say I still got my equipment when I, if I ever want to go back.

SMITH: And do that?

GIBBS: That's right, if, whenever I retire.

SMITH: Yeah, so when are you retiring?

GIBBS: I have no idea.

SMITH: In a few more years?

GIBBS: I have no idea. I'm drawing social security this month for the first time.

SMITH: Oh well congratulations on that. (laughs)

GIBBS: I had to get it before the government kept it I figured, but, uh, I don't know my wife told me I had to work until she retired so she's, she'll be sixty next, in March next month. So and she's not going to retire. So--

SMITH: So you got to keep working?

GIBBS: Got to keep working.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: And I don't, I got to keep going, doing a job, put it that way. It's not work to me, I, I don't, you know, it's just.


SMITH: So you glad you had the chance to work with horses?

GIBBS: Yeah, yeah, I like animals, I like animals. I can, I, somebody people say I got a touch. I can do a lot of things other people can't with the hogs with and you know and animals. I just, you just got to figure out their mind, what they're thinking and how to go about it.

SMITH: So you were a good trainer you think?

GIBBS: I don't, not a trainer, no, I, I can young horses.

SMITH: Okay.

GIBBS: Probably, but no, not a trainer, that, that's. I didn't have, you have to have a desire and I didn't have a desire. I don't have any desire to do that.

SMITH: Yeah, do you ever, do you ever see Redd?

GIBBS: Every once in a while. I need to go see him, I need to go by and see him. He's just two miles down the road.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: But I need to go see him.

SMITH: I, I enjoyed, uh, a couple afternoons at his house. We did a couple interviews. His wife was very, very nice.

GIBBS: Nancy, yes, yeah.

SMITH: Yeah, so.

GIBBS: I've, uh, twenty, I guess sixties when they were married, I, 83:00yeah, I've known them ever since and worked for him probably the biggest part of the time. Uh, I kept their kids, eaten at their table, and this and that. And when he was up in Pennsylvania I was in Harmony in Pennsylvania and about sixty miles away and I'd go down there once in a while and yeah, we'd, Redd's a good person.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah, yeah I, I enjoyed interviewing him. I learned a lot from him; , certainly been doing it for most of his life. Well is there anything else you would like to share with me that I'm not asking. You know your story. I don't so if I'm--

GIBBS: No, I don't guess, uh, other than this one thing that I think is wrong is the slaughter bill.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: You, there has got to be something you can do with these horses. I, I, I, it's not right you know don't mean to go out and kill them and that, but you've got to be able to do something with cheap horses or 84:00you are going to end up with like dogs and cats at the humane society.

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: I, I you know if people--

SMITH: I know I hear I hear, a lot, a lot.

GIBBS: If people, if people want to eat horses that's their business. I don't, I might have eaten horse meat somewhere or another I don't know if I did or dog meat over in Vietnam, I don't know it if I did. But you can't just you know these people are going to breed horses, there's a glut on the market now, you can't get rid of them.

SMITH: Um-hm.

GIBBS: And it's like dogs. Uh, I know a lot of it was inhumane treatment in the trucks and that, but is it, I've heard that they've turned them loose down on reclaimed mine down in Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky. Is that any more humane with a horse that's got a bad leg or just turn him out there? I know he's got something to eat and drink.

SMITH: Right. Yeah, I've, uh, a lot of people I've talked to who work with horses on a more intimate basis than others perhaps that, that feel the way you do, that, um, they don't want to see a horse starve.


GIBBS: No and, and I think you're going to see more and more of that, with, on the news that the humane society is having to come in and take care of these horses and beg for food and hay and to feed them and that. They don't have the money to take care of them. There's a joke going around if you take a horse to auction you better lock your trailer because when you come out there'll be two more horses in there that somebody's given you. (laughs)

SMITH: Yeah.

GIBBS: So, but there's got to be something done to them, for them, you know. What, what's, I don't know what's right, but I don't think banning slaughter is right for the horses.

SMITH: Banning slaughter without a solution to the problem that creates.

GIBBS: Um-hm, right. If it were perfect world it would be nice, but it's not a perfect world.

SMITH: Um-hm, um-hm, yeah it's a complicated question that, uh--

GIBBS: It is, it is.

SMITH: --I'm getting interesting answers to when I talk to people about.

GIBBS: I think you'll find that, and I hate to sound, do-gooders on one 86:00side and the people in the industry on the other side and I don't, uh. Maybe the do-gooders ought to be in the industry for a while and see what, what it's like.

SMITH: Um-hm. Yeah, I think I was reading in the paper the other day about the number of horses because of the draught last summer that you know the people don't have the money to get the hay and--

GIBBS: Hay is eight dollars a bale.

SMITH: Right.

GIBBS: And there is no hay. You have to bring it in from out west.

SMITH: Right.

GIBBS: You can't feed horses corn stalks. Now cattle you can roll corn stalks up and feed them, but you can't, horses won't eat it, won't do them any good.

SMITH: Have you seen some problems this year? Have you heard of problems in Shelby County from this?

GIBBS: No, not really just every once in a while on the news and then watch Animal Planet just, you know, see some of that and it, it's.

SMITH: Well yeah, it's, uh, it's, it's definitely an issue that can get people going emotionally and there are not easy answers.


GIBBS: No, never are, never are.

SMITH: Okay, well I want to thank you for doing this and I'll be getting you a copy of the tape and, uh, if you think of some stories or things that you would like to share that we, I didn't touch on or bring up today, be happy to talk to you again, but thank you. I'll go ahead and stop this.

GIBBS: Okay.

[End of interview.]

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