Horse racing is a globally spread sport with millions of fans. But, what makes horse racing interesting for the people?
The thrills of the race? The excitement of betting? Or possibly the stories from the sport that has such a long history?
Well, there isn’t one choice. All of these things make horse racing the ultimate entertainment tool not just for equine lovers but for all people. Since we are talking about a sport with some incredible stories, one way to experience them again and go to the time machine that will take us back to exciting moments is through books.
It is hardly surprising that there are tons of books about horse racing. Authors have been studying the sport and highlighting some incredible stories that must live on.
Whether is about horse racing bets, incredible champions like Secretariat, or inspiring underdog stories, these are some of the best books every horse racing enthusiast should read.
Among the most remarkable horse racing books ever published is Laura Hillenbrand’s “Seabiscuit.” This book narrates the tale of a legendary racehorse and three men who, by winning numerous races, shaped an era in horse racing history.
While reading, audiences not only gain insights into horse racing but also immerse themselves in the captivating story of this extraordinary horse. The book features well-developed characters and descriptive writing that transports the reader into the live experience of watching a horse race.
One of the compelling reasons horse racing captivates millions globally is the stories that evoke special emotions among fans. A beautiful story unfolds in ‘Dream Horse,’ released in 2019. The book recounts the journey of a horse named Dream Alliance, purchased for a mere £1000 after sustaining a barbed wire injury, eventually becoming a breeding success.
Owned by the Rewbell Syndicate, comprised of 30 members paying £10 a month, Dream Alliance entered training at the age of three under the guidance of trainer Philip Hobbs.
In 2008, tragedy struck as Dream Alliance suffered a sliced tendon in the lead-up to the Grand National. Despite undergoing surgery, he made a triumphant return to the track. Just over a year later, Dream Alliance achieved national acclaim by winning the Welsh Grand National by over three lengths.
While garnering media attention before the 2010 Grand National, he ultimately didn’t run and retired in 2012. The heartwarming narrative became a significant part of the sport’s history and reached the big screen with a movie adaptation in 2020.
The Horse God Built
We cannot highlight the best books about horse racing without mentioning the Secretariat. The horse with an exceptionally big heart (literally), that set record times that still remain unbeaten. Eddie Sweat’s narrative of Secretariat, the illustrious Triple Crown champion racehorse, is a compelling tale sure to enthrall horse enthusiasts everywhere. Lawrence Scanlan skillfully portrays the story from Eddie Sweat’s perspective, who, as Secretariat’s groom and closest confidant, offers unique insights.
This portrayal illuminates why this beloved steed is widely acknowledged as the greatest racehorse ever. Not only did he achieve record-breaking success on the track, but his profound connection with his unassuming groom serves as a poignant reminder that genuine joy can be found through companionship, transcending differences in financial fortune.
The Lucky Thirteen: The Winners of America’s Triple Crown of Horse Racing
Published in 2019, The Lucky Thirteen stands as the latest addition to the collection of books profiling the Triple Crown and its champions, uniquely featuring Justify (2018).
Edward L. Bowen, a preeminent historian in the racing world, showcases his profound knowledge of the sport and its distinguished equine champions. A must-read for all Triple Crown enthusiasts, this book delves into the immortals whose names are etched on this exclusive list.
For those eager to explore recent horse racing events destined for the annals of history, The Lucky Thirteen offers an ideal opportunity to deepen one’s understanding of the sport.
A Day at the Races
In this remarkable feat, the book encapsulates half a millennium of horseracing history through 128 vignettes. While not a historian myself, Peter May skillfully narrates the ancient stories of events and horses integral to the origins of the modern sport in a captivating manner that held my attention. Henrietta Knight, as mentioned on the cover, aptly notes, “Peter May’s enthusiasm is infectious; his research is phenomenal.”
The depth of research is truly impressive. Even as Arkle’s monumental career is condensed into just over a page, its enchantment remains fully intact—a perfect little nutshell with all the essential points. Condensing an entire horse’s career or a life-changing achievement into so few words requires extensive research to capture the essence, decide on the key details, and determine what to omit.
May accomplishes this with a light touch and the gravity deserving of these significant horses and events. His writing style is non-judgmental, deftly presenting the reader with a barrage of facts without them even realizing it.
It is the perfect book for people who want to learn more about the sport and all the things that are happening behind the curtains.
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