Each horse breed and equestrian discipline is the center of a universe unto itself. In each world, people the general public never hears about are well-known, even revered.
Such was the case of Dr. Bob Womack, a Middle Tennessee State University education professor and historian who passed away in April 2010. He had been with the university for 52 years and was only a month away from retirement.
Womack, known by friends and strangers as “Dr. Bob,” was also a historian of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
A little more about the video
In the video at the top of this post, Womack talking about the grave of Tennessee Walking Horse foundation sire Wilson’s Allen.
If you doubt the impact of Wilson’s Allen on the breed, take a look at this “begats” chart of the early TWH sires.
The funeral Womack describes on the video sounds like the funeral service for Man O’War, from the Claiborne Farm website.
The Echo of Hoofbeats
Although Womack wrote several Tennessee-related histories, for our purposes here, he is the author of “The Echo of Hoofbeats,” said to be the definitive history of the early years of the Tennessee Walking Horse.
The copy I own is the third edition of the book, published in 1994. Including the bibliography and index, the book is 512 pages long. It includes research and personal interviews filled with anecdotes and reminiscences about the breed and its people.
Opposite the title page of”The Echo of Hoofbeats,” his history of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Womack has this epigraph:
In the course of time, events flash into reality and then disappear forever. All that remains are the echoes of such events set swirling in the minds and imagination of people. The attempt to capture these echoes is called history.
Here’s another video of Dr. Bob talking about his life:
Tributes to Dr. Bob entered on this memorial site give a small indication of how many lives he influenced over the decades.