NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of The Eighty-Dollar Champion, the remarkable story of the heroic rescue of priceless horses in the closing days of World War II WINNER OF THE PEN AWARD FOR RESEARCH NONFICTION In the chaotic last days of the war, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find—his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine—an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the U.S. Army’s last great cavalrymen, Colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision—with General George Patton’s blessing—to mount a covert rescue operation. Racing against time, Reed’s small but determined force of soldiers, aided by several turncoat Germans, steals across enemy lines in a last-ditch effort to save the horses. Pulling together this multistranded story, Elizabeth Letts introduces us to an unforgettable cast of characters: Alois Podhajsky, director of the famed Spanish Riding School of Vienna, a former Olympic medalist who is forced to flee the bomb-ravaged Austrian capital with his entire stable in tow; Gustav Rau, Hitler’s imperious chief of horse breeding, a proponent of eugenics who dreams of genetically engineering the perfect warhorse for Germany; and Tom Stewart, a senator’s son who makes a daring moonlight ride on a white stallion to secure the farm’s surrender. A compelling account for animal lovers and World War II buffs alike, The Perfect Horse tells for the first time the full story of these events. Elizabeth Letts’s exhilarating tale of behind-enemy-lines adventure, courage, and sacrifice brings to life one of the most inspiring chapters in the annals of human valor. Praise for The Perfect Horse “Winningly readable . . . Letts captures both the personalities and the stakes of this daring mission with such a sharp ear for drama that the whole second half of the book reads like a WWII thriller dreamed up by Alan Furst or Len Deighton. . . . The right director could make a Hollywood classic out of this fairy tale.”—The Christian Science Monitor “Letts, a lifelong equestrienne, eloquently brings together the many facets of this unlikely, poignant story underscoring the love and respect of man for horses.”—Kirkus Reviews
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A good personality is the single most desirable quality in a horse, yet it is much harder to assess than conformation or gait. Describing the four basic equine personality types — social, fearful, aloof, and challenging — and their various combinations, Yvonne Barteau shows you how to recognize distinct behavior patterns that can indicate any horse’s personality. Stressing the importance of compatibility between rider and horse, Barteau helps you achieve equestrian success through finding a horse whose personality best matches your individual riding style.
Tens of thousands of riders pursue the sport of dressage in North America, and the majority do so on a budget and with the horse they already have—or quite simply, the one they can afford. This means riders are facing the challenge of mastering one of the world's most esteemed equestrian events on horses that may not be bred specifically for the task, or even if they have been, may not be top prospects for any number of reasons. International dressage judge, clinician, and riding coach Janet Foy has ridden many different horses—different sizes, colors, and breeds—to the highest levels of dressage competition, and now she has compiled her best tips for training and showing in one highly enjoyable book. Her expertise, good stories and good humor are destined to bring out the best in dressage riders and their "not-so-perfect" horses everywhere.
Practical Horse Law sets out to be an accessible and readable guide to the law for horse owners and riders in situations where they might need to consider their legal position and the need for legal advice. It also suggests steps which can be taken to prevent becoming involved in litigation in the first place. Horseriding is a risk sport, horses are valuable animals, and owners and riders need to be aware of all the legal pitfalls. It includes choosing a riding school, riding safely, whether in a school or on roads and tracks, buying, selling and loaning horses and equipment, accidents and veterinary negligence, how to make a claim and what to claim for, keeping horses at home or at livery, animal welfare and more.
As a mounted officer, author Jim Barrett has trained hundreds of police horses to ignore all the scary things that make our own riding experiences less-than-pleasurable. His Manual for the Mounted Officer is respected nationwide as the indispensable "how-to" guide for mounted units. And now he's written the "how-to" manual for every horse owner. Steady Your Spooky Horse: How-to Methods from the Mounted Police guides you through the task of training your horse to be "bombproof." You'll learn why your mount responds to circumstances the way he does and the steps you can take to make him fearless. You'll also learn the importance of consistency in your riding signals, how to select a horse suitable for the job, and keys to formation riding. The real-life, proven training techniques in Steady Your Spooky Horse: How-to Methods from the Mounted Police can make every experience with your horse the safe partnership it should be.
A gripping look at the great duel between Affirmed, the last horse to win the Triple Crown—comprised of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes—and his archrival, Alydar. From the moment they first galloped head-to-head in Saratoga Springs, the two chestnut colts showed they were the stuff of racing legend. Alydar, all muscle with a fearsome closing kick, was already the popular favorite to win the Kentucky Derby. Affirmed, deceptively laid-back streamlined elegance, was powered forward by his steely determination not to settle for second place. In the Sport of Kings, the Triple Crown is the most valued prize, requiring a horse to win not just one race, but three: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. And 1978 would not be just for the record books, but also one of the greatest dramas ever played out in the racing world. There were names to conjure with, worthy of the Sport of Kings. The bloodline of Native Dancer. The teen wonderboy jockey Steve Cauthen. The once unbeatable Calumet Farm—the Damn Yankees of the racing world—now in eclipse and hoping for a comeback. The newcomer Harbor View Farm—owned by brash financier Louis Wolfson, who wouldn’t let even a conviction and a prison sentence for securities violations stand in the way of his dreams of glory. And the racetracks themselves: Belmont, Saratoga, Pimlico. And, of course, Churchill Downs. It has been thirty-five years since Affirmed and Alydar fought for the Triple Crown, thirty-five years when no other horse has won it. Duel for the Crown brings this epic battle to life. Not just two magnificent Thoroughbreds but the colorful human personalities surrounding them, caught up in an ever-intensifying battle of will and wits that lasted until the photo finish of the final Triple Crown race . . . and Alydar and Affirmed leaped into the history books.