Featured Writers

the works of Dick Francis

Jumping horses also have their place in literature. Special interviews in The Jumping Game feature the internationally acclaimed mystery writer Dick Francis, writer/novelist Rita Mae Brown and Pulitzer prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin.

Dick Francis, a champion British steeplechase jockey before retiring to write more than 40 books and novels set in the racing world, remembers well the satisfaction of coming in first: "It's lovely to be riding a good horse into a fence and knowing about 20 or 30 yards out that he's meeting it right, and you swing him along, keep that stride going, and he takes off a long way back and lands a long way the other side of the fence. Your colleges who might be up along side of you or close behind...if you can get a length off them on every fence...that means you've got about 12 lengths for them to make up at the end. It's a great thrill."

Rita Mae Brown is perhaps best known for her "Mrs. Murphy" series of mystery novels, where cats and dogs and horses do the investigating. Brown is also a fox hunt enthusiast and Hunt Master: "At the end of a day's fox hunting, everybody's blood is so up, I can see absolutely why that was the start of steeplechasing. I guess in a way it's probably as close to a cavalry charge as you'll get, without the bullets flying at you."

Pulitzer prize-winning poet Maxine Kumin says she has written, "...so many poems about horses, it's kind of obscene," and says that, "They're such an integral part of our lives now, I would not know how to behave if I didn't have the discipline of taking care of horses to frame my day, to start it and to end it and always to worry in between. A day without horses... would be a lost day for me."

Addendum to writers section:

Peter Winants and with Joe Clancy Jr. have written the definitive history of steeplechasing. This book, Steeplechasing: The Complete History of the Sport in North America is featured in The Jumping Game.

And Sean Clancy has also sequed from the saddle into print with a behind-the-scenes book, Saratoga Days.

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