Julia Soplop & Robert Spannring on the history of the horse in the U.S.

May 25, 2022 | Events

Whether used as transportation, a source of energy, a weapon of war or a cultural icon, the horse has played a key role in the evolution of America according to Julia Soplop, author of Equus Rising: How the Horse Shaped U.S. History. On Thursday, June 2, Soplop, along with the book’s illustrator Robert Spannring, will give a multi-media presentation at Livingston’s Elk River Books, 122 S. 2nd St.

Beginning 55 million years ago with the evolution of the horse across the Great Plains, this story charts its extinction in North America, its reintroduction by the Spanish, and its profoundly consequential acquisition by the Native peoples of the Plains. Weaving together science, literature, and policy, the book tracks the horse’s contributions across American history.

Equus Rising explains how the horse played crucial and ever-changing roles in the development of the U.S.,” Soplop says. “But it also serves as an example of how we can view the past from innumerable lenses, and each one enriches our understanding of how this country came to be.”

Shelley Paulson, author of Horses: Portraits & Stories, adds, “Equus Rising is a compelling, concisely written, beautifully illustrated, important read for any horse or history enthusiast.”

Soplop’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine Online, Design Mom, Skiing, and the Summit Daily News. She is also the author of Documenting Your World Through Photography. She has a B.A. in French from Duke University and an M.A. in Medical Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“Buffalo Hunt on Appaloosa”
by Robert Spannring

Park County artist Spannring, whose pen and ink drawings accompany the text, has been a professional painter and illustrator for fifty years. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park, and created interpretive dinosaur illustrations for the Museum of the Rockies. He has done illustration work for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Defenders of Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, and the Montana Audubon Council, among others. His work has appeared in numerous museums and galleries in the West and in private collections across the U.S.

The free event begins at 7 p.m., with a book signing and reception to follow.