Thursday, May 24, 2012

Five top books on the equestrian life

Mary King, one of Britain's most successful equestrians, is the winner of two world championship gold medals and an Olympic silver medal. She has three horses qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.

With Daisy Banks of The Browser, King discussed five top books on the equestrian life, including:
Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell

I presume Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was a childhood favourite.

Yes, my mother read this to me as a bedtime story. As a horsey young girl, it was a wonderful book to have read to you. It was written in 1877, in the first person – which was ground-breaking at the time. Basically it is the memoir of a horse called Black Beauty, who starts off as a happy young colt on a farm then gets sold to pull cabs in London and isn’t treated very well, but finally ends up in a happy retirement.

The book went on to become one of the bestselling books of all time, selling 50 million copies worldwide. What effect did it have on you when you read it?

You fall in love with him at the start of the book, then there is a pulling of heartstrings when he is so badly treated, and then happiness when it turns out alright at the end.

Anna Sewell wrote the novel in order to “induce kindness, sympathy and an understanding treatment of horses”. Because of the way she portrayed the plight of working horses, many people were concerned about their welfare and much was done to improve their situation.

Yes, and that was a very good thing.
Read about another novel King tagged at The Browser.

Black Beauty is among Megan Wasson's eight great books about horses and Lauren St. John's top ten animal adventures.

--Marshal Zeringue