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Dr. Richard Harington


A vertebrate paleontologist and Curator Emeritus at the Canadian Museum of Nature, who has investigated the ancient Yukon horse.



1 -    What is the single greatest change you have witnessed in the equestrian world during your life time?

 More concern for the welfare of the wild horses of western North America.


2 -    Do you ride?

I have ridden.


3 -    Do you own a horse?



4 -    Who is your favorite horse in history?

Northern Dancer


5 -    Who do you think was the most influential equestrian human in history and why?

 Marg Southern


6 -    What was your greatest equestrian influence from books or cinema when you were young?

Western movies.


7 -    What equestrian book would you recommend today and why?

A book on the evolution of horses by Bruce J. MacFadden.


8 -    How did you initially become interested in your specific equestrian specialty?

Among the Yukon ice age vertebrate fossils I collected, horse remains were among the most numerous.


9 -    What prompted you to enter that field?



10 -    Did someone encourage your decision or inspire you?



11 -  When did you begin your research, investigation, work?

In 1966.


12 -    What do you think is your most important discovery, achievement or insight regarding your equestrian work?

Description of skeletal morphology of the extinct Yukon horse (Equus lambei) and a well-preserved carcass about 26,000 years old from the Klondike, Yukon.


13 -    What modern technology, techniques and media have you found most helpful?

Radiocarbon dating, DNA analysis and isotopic analysis of fossil bone.


14 -    What part of your work do you find most fulfilling?

Collecting of fossils.


15 -    What’s been your biggest disappointment in your work?

Discrepancies in radiocarbon dates – especially in bones collected a couple of decades ago.


16 -    How do you explain the gulf between academic equestrian investigation and the average horse owner?



17 -    What equestrian subjects are in need of more research and investigation?



18 -    Which part of the equestrian world would you like to see reformed and why?



19 -    How do you traditionally deliver your findings or message and how would you ideally like to do so?

In scientific and popular publications. Rarely in film documentaries.


20 -    What intellectual, technical or ethical advances would you like to see in the horse world?

Continued consideration for the welfare of wild horses.


21 -    Do you foresee any difficulties for the horse world in the immediate future?



22 -    What is the greatest challenge facing the horse world in the long term?



23 -     What books, magazines, websites, etc. can people read and review to learn more about your work?

Beringian Research Notes published by the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre, Whitehorse. Publications listed in Annotated Bibliography of Quaternary Vertebrates of Northern North America with Radiocarbon Dates published by University of Toronto Press, 2003.


24 -    Any final thoughts?


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