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6PM Golden Beer Talks: The Most Successful Federal Program You’ve Never Heard of

black & white image of a man in a cowboy hat & Carhartt jacket on a brown horse. Crowd along the curb in the background.
Frank Blaha on his American Mustang, Riley, at the National Western Stock Show Parade

Topic: The Army Horse Breeding Program
Speaker: Frank Blaha, President – Jefferson County Horse Council
Introduction: Margaret Blaha, Head Trainer – Harmony Equine Center
Location: The Buffalo Rose (map)
Featured Brewery: Golden City Brewery

Golden Beer Talks has not had a talk that has addressed horses in any way for several years. It’s time change that: the April Talk will cover the highly successful Army Horse Breeding Program of 1920 – 1948.

Only a small percentage of our population owns horses, but the appeal of horses is nearly universal. A recent survey found that 30.5% of Colorado households include a horse enthusiast. The popularity of horses and horse events is currently on the increase due to shows like “Yellowstone” and its progeny, but horse events go well beyond rodeo competitions.

The best current estimate is that the US has 6.65 million horses (somewhat over 200,000 horses in Colorado), and the horse industry accounts for $177 billion dollars and 7.2 million direct and indirect jobs. About 2 million people also serve as volunteers in horse programs. Given the large size of the “horse economy” a historical program that contributed to the vibrancy and diversity of that economy by giving us more serviceable horses and better equine athletes has current relevance, which brings us back to the Army Horse Breeding Program.

This program was run by the Army, but it was not limited to army bases or federal facilities; it had substantial civilian involvement across the country. Without that civilian involvement the program could not have been the success that it was. The broad outlines of this program will be explained, but more emphasis will be placed on the civilian aspects of the program, and particularly those parts that took place in Colorado or locally, down to the level of Golden and horses that you can see today. This will be a small window into a fascinating bit of history involving civic pride, common cause, many exciting horse events, and a highly successful federal program. This is largely forgotten history, but this program has had a significant impact on the horses that we see today in our pastures and at our shows.

An evening hosted by Golden Beer Talks centers around a brief, informative and entertaining presentation by an expert on an irresistibly enticing topic. Each event features beer for sale from one of our local breweries, along with a variety of delicious food and drink offerings from the Buffalo Rose kitchen and bar.

It's Golden's own grassroots version of TED talks for the benefit of our own local community--and just for the fun of it. Golden Beer Talks is a nonprofit venture focused on three favorite local things--Golden and Beer and Talking!

Doors open at 6PM and the talk starts at about 6:35PM.

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