By Jody Brumage
As we process the collections in our archive at the Byrd Center, we often come across photographs that pique our interest. Some of the most compelling are photographs which capture meetings between the members whose papers we preserve and celebrities. Looking into related documents in the collection, we uncover stories behind legislative efforts or projects which led to these intriguing meetings. One such image is a photograph of Congressman Harley O. Staggers with actor Lorne Greene, famous for his role as Ben Cartwright in the long-running television western Bonanza. Taken in 1976, the photograph shows Greene presenting Congressman Staggers with an award on behalf of the American Horse Protection Association following the passage of amendments to the Horse Protection Act.
Though the campaign against soring continues over 40 years later, the American Horse Protection Association (founded in 1966 to protect horses in various sporting organizations) recognized the 1976 amendments as progress to enhancing federal regulation of the showing industry. Congressman Staggers received his award from Lorne Greene on December 8, 1976.