Still looking for a gift for someone on your list? Check out these books and DVDs penned/filmed by Marylanders! (first published in the December 2020 Equiery)
Come to the X
By Julia Wendell
We have a saying here at The Equiery of “once a Marylander, always a Marylander!” Therefore, even though author Julia Wendell has left Upperco, Maryland, for sandy Aiken, South Carolina, we still claim her as a Maryland author! Many Marylanders will know Wendell for her eventing career through the (then) four-star level with Redmond and later Cavendish, but Wendell’s talents extend beyond riding horses.
Come to the X is the second nonfiction prose work by Wendell who has also penned seven books of poetry. This newest memoir, published by Galileo Press, is a sequel to Wendell’s first book Finding My Distance: A Year in the Life of a Three-day Event Rider.
Once again, Wendell brings readers inside the eventing world as she continues her riding career. However, it is Wendell’s gift for words that draws readers into her book. For example, Wendell describes a simple New Year’s day as “I’m at my desk, with the pellet stove churning away, the morning sky lightening to gray, the pastures covered with their pallor of frost, tree branches paused in mid air.”
Readers are treated to elegant writing as she tells the continuation of her eventing story, now down in Aiken. This time, she even mixes in some poetry along the way.
Little Bruno & The Horse Virus
By Bruno Favre
Most of our Equiery readers know Bruno Favre as an equine dentist. But did you know he also had a career in racing? Favre’s first self-published book, Little Bruno & The Horse Virus: The incredible journey of a horse addict chronicles his love affair with horses, which started in France and now continues here in Maryland.
His passion for horses runs deep. As he states in his dedication, “This book is dedicated to all those who, like me, have been stung by the horse virus and have chosen to dedicate our time and energy to the service of horses. For us, nothing else matters quite as much.” Many readers can relate to this statement and after diving into this book, will see just how deep Farve’s commitment to horses is.
Although technically this book came out in 2019, it arrived on our shelves too late for our December 2019 edition and so we present it here. Favre donates 50% of the profits from book sales to the Retired Racehorse Project.
Travels of Quinn
By Sasscer Hill
The latest novel from former Marylander, author Sasscer Hill, is Travels of Quinn, a stand-alone mystery thriller published by Wild Spirit Press, which revolves around Quinn, a young woman abandoned by her mother and raised into a life of crime by her father. Quinn feels conflicted about her crimes and after being arrested and jailed, she finds herself paying restitution by working on a horse farm. There she finds love through horses but also becomes the prime suspect when the farm’s owner is brutally murdered.
Need to know what happens next? Then read the book!
Over the years, Hill’s mystery novels have won awards such as the Dr. Tony Ryan Best in Racing Literature Award (for Flamingo Road) and the Carrie McCray Award (for The Dark Side of Town). Hill herself is no stranger to horses having been involved with horse racing for most of her life as an amateur jockey and racehorse breeder.
Directed & produced by Douglas Maddox
Once again, director and producer Douglas Maddox brought his DBM Films crew here to Maryland to film Hope’s Legacy, the sequel to the award winning Christmas Ranch. In this film, audiences will dive back into the life of Lizzie (played by Taylor Lyons), who has inherited the Christmas Ranch and now focuses on the farm, her horses and competing in three-day eventing… all while planning a wedding to returning character James (played by Allen Williamson, Lyons’ real-life husband).
Joining the cast for this film is Golden Globe winner and three-time Oscar nominee Dyan Cannon, who plays an old friend of Lizzie’s grandmother who begins to train Lizzie for eventing. With a few twists and turns along the way including a troubled past and a former high school sweetheart popping up, Hope’s Legacy sends the message that sometimes hope is all you need to get through the challenges ahead.
Plot aside, what will be most fun for Equiery readers while watching this movie is trying to spot which fellow Marylanders show up as extras, stunt doubles and more. You will also see familiar farms and competition venues right here in Maryland used as the backdrop for the film. Hope’s Legacy is available for limited pre-orders this month with a full release happening early in 2021.
Prava’s Steeplechase Adventure!
by Michael Mitchell with illustrations by the T.C. Williams Youth Sport Camps International
T.C. (Reggie) Williams led Fast Car around the paddock at Saratoga in August 2019, talking and singing to the nervous young race horse until jockey Michael “Mikey” Mitchell mounted and took over from there. Reggie listened as Mikey spoke to his mount in a calming, reassuring way, telling Fast Car a story about how together, they would win the race they were getting ready to run. After the race, Reggie approached Mikey about turning his story for Fast Car into a children’s book, and so began Prava’s Steeplechase Adventure!
Written by Mitchell, a native of Great Britain, whose home base in the U.S. is Butler, MD, during the steeplechase season, this book is a wonderful story told from the horse’s perspective, taking the reader along from the fictional horse Prava’s home at the farm and onto the race meet, from his stabling area to the paddock, to his race, and back home again.
The illustrations throughout the book are the work of the children who attend Reggie’s T.C. Williams Youth Sport Camps International, a program he founded and is incredibly passionate about. Each illustrator is named in the book’s editorial credits. Proceeds from book sales benefit the T.C. Williams Youth Sports Camps International and also the Injured Jockeys Fund.