View Full Version : Your favorite Eventer biography?

Jan. 11, 2010, 09:49 AM
Hey all,
I'm starting back to school to reach some academic goals and am looking for some good bios to keep me motivated for my riding goals. I've read the O'Connor's, Pippa's, Mark Todd's, and really want to get my hands on William Fox-Pitt's if I can ever find it again (had it on order at a bookstore for a year and it never came in!). I'm having a hard time finding what else is out there. What have you guys read? I'd take any good horseman's bio as well, I just need some good motivational reading! :D

Thanks in advance!

Jan. 11, 2010, 09:54 AM
For a story of a fantastic horse and the man who loved him, read Beautiful Jim Key and you'll find out that many great firsts in American history were accomplished by a horse!

Jan. 11, 2010, 09:58 AM
I loved Lucinda Green's book as a teen, about her and Be Fair- read that again and again and again........but I cant remember the title? Fair and Square? Four Square? I still have it somewhere....

Jan. 11, 2010, 10:13 AM
Lucinda Green's are my favourite.

Biography of Be Fair is titled "Up, Up and Away"

"Four Square" is the story of her first four Badminton winners

There is one about Village Gossip written by Joanna Capjohn (his groom) with help from Lucinda - simply titled "Village Gossip"

Also, "Regal Realm, World Champion"

They are probably all out of print - try used book sites to find them. If you only get one, get the one about Be Fair - I found it inspiring as he was very naughty at the beginning!

Jan. 12, 2010, 04:18 PM
My favorites are Ginny Leng's bio (Ginny) and William Fox-Pitt's. Ginny's books are out of print but easy to find on any out of print website (Barnes & Noble, etc). In addition to her bio, she also wrote Priceless, Champion of Eventing and Ginny and Her Horses, both about the great horses in her life, as well as a non-fiction book Training the Event Horse.

Jan. 12, 2010, 05:27 PM
Loved the William Fox-Pitt biography. Interesting editing ;) It was better than People magazine :)

Jan. 12, 2010, 06:47 PM
Ginny also has one called "A Free Rein (http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1909917992&searchurl=an%3Dsykes%26sts%3Dt%26tn%3Da%2Bfree%2Br ein%26x%3D69%26y%3D11)" which I would NOT recommend. Some artsy-fartsy author (Stuart Sykes) decided to follow her around for a year and take fashion photos while "chronicling" her eventing life. Ugh.

Ian Stark's books are great - he is self-deprecating and funny. Try Flying Scot, Stark Reality, Murphy Himself, Glenburnie & Murphy.

Jan. 12, 2010, 07:24 PM
Most eventer biogs are written by the same few ghostwriters and are remarkably similar in tone.

If you like to read good books by good horsemen, two of the best are Dick Francis's memoir The Sport of Queens and John Francome's Born Lucky.

John Francome came from a working-class non-horsey family and won a gold medal in showjumping at the Junior Europeans. Then he took to steeplechasing and was champion jockey for 7 years. His story is interesting and well-told.

Dick Francis was champion jockey once and rode for the Queen for several years, culminating in one of the most bizarre moments in racing history (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXNVtxIxtP8). The Sport of Queens covers Francis's riding career, the fall-out from the Devon Loch incident and his transition to becoming a writer. This is a great book.

Jan. 12, 2010, 07:36 PM
Yah, I'm old.
I love Mark Todd's autobiography, "So Far, So Good" (it was a different time: told to wear a helmet to protect his head, he found a child's fireman's helmet and the photo of him in it is priceless).

And I love Sheila Wilcox's "The Event Horse" which is low on personal info but full of interesting stuff about her horses and training philosophy..

Jan. 12, 2010, 09:10 PM
Gillian Rolton's autobiography is the one called "Free Rein". It is NOT a pictorial essay (like Ginny Leng's), but is actually a good read (I find many biographies to be less than literary masterpieces - and almost unreadable). There is lots if information about conditioning, the mistakes she made, the politics of "team" situations, dealing with bittersweet success, and about her relationships with her horses.

Jan. 12, 2010, 09:17 PM
Jimmy Wofford's "Take a Good Look Around"

Although technically not an autobiography, the book contains stories of both his horses and his experiences with wildlife and hunting.

I found myself skipping through the hunting adventures as that is not really my niche, but it was a good and entertaining read.

Jan. 12, 2010, 09:20 PM
Mary Thomspon's Eventing Year is another good one.

But don't limit yourself to eventers. Ian Millar wrote a quite good one, off the top of my head, and there's Podhajsky's My Horses My Teachers, and Klimke's Ahlerich.

Jan. 13, 2010, 11:27 AM
Anything by Podhajsky is fantastic - wonderful writer with a good memoir style. Both his "My Horses, My Teachers" and the one about the war years - I think it's called "My Dancing White Stallions" or something ike that.

"In Service to the Horse" is a really, really wonderful read that profiles the O'Connors, Ann Kursinsky, and a stallion groom in Kentucky.

Jan. 13, 2010, 12:49 PM
"In Service to the Horse" is a really, really wonderful read that profiles the O'Connors, Ann Kursinsky, and a stallion groom in Kentucky.

I agree with this. :) I've just started reading it again. Love it!