Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Grey Horse

Many years ago I was able to visit England once a year, thanks to the fact that my sister, in the Air Force, was stationed at Bicester for about a decade. (Then the Air Force inconsiderately transferred her to Japan. Not that I have a problem with Japan, but they don't have a London or a West End!).

Anyway, in late 1980s, I saw steeple chasing for the first and actually, only time, on TV. I enjoyed it. It's always more fun to see horses jumping over obstacles then just running as fast as they can down a track.

I'm pretty sure I saw Desert Orchid's final race on the telly...because he fell, lost his rider, then got to his feet and finished the race, jumping each fence until he came to the end, which I thought was pretty cool.

I picked up the book, The Grey Horse, The True Story of Desert Orchid, by Richard Burridge, in 1992. And 16 years later, I decided to finally read it!

It's extremely interesting, for all that there's lots of British usage that I only vaguely grasp, talking about the types of jumps and stuff...

I looked on YouTube and was disappointed to see that there aren't any videos of him in his various races - only a few collections of stills, which while nice to look at don't really convey the power and beauty that he must have had jumping over all those fences.

Anyway, now that I've read it, I'm ready to give it away. I see that Amazon is selling a copy for $66.... I'm willing to give up my copy - a paperback, Signet, published in 1992, for much less. (Perhaps the $66 version is a hardback, but the Amazon page doesn't say.)

Anyway, if you'd like to have it, drop me a line.

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