Posted by ESC on April 30, 2003
We were discussing the expression "get your goat" a while back. One source (see below) doubted whether goats were ever used as companions for race horses.
http://www.word-detective.com/back-j2.html#goat "Unfortunately, the first occurrence of the phrase in print, according to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, was in 1908. Since goats are no longer (if they ever were) housed with race horses, the practice must have arisen near the beginning of the 20th century -- and been abandoned shortly thereafter -- for that theory to be true."
I beg to differ. Goats are used as companions. And here's proof (a picture's worth a thousand words) from the April 30, 2003 issue of The Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky. Sports section
I don't know how to paste in an image so here's the link. http://www.courier-journal.com/%20"Because she's a bit eccentric, Toussand requires an entourage - groom Liz LaBonty and goat/buddy Liz - when she heads to her paddock."