PBOTD 26th April: Sam Savitt - There Was a Horse

It's the Maryland Hunt Cup today, so to celebrate, here's the one book I know about which features it. If you know of more, please let me know.

The Maryland Hunt Cup started in 1894, when the Elkridge Fox Hunting Club challenged the Green Spring Valley Hounds to a race over timber. The next year, the race was open to members of fox hunts in Maryland, and in 1903, members of Hunt Clubs throughout the USA and Canada were able to enter. The Cup has a permanent home at Worthington Valley, and is run over four miles, with 22 fences. 

The Dial Press, 1961, 1st edition
There Was A Horse (1961) is the story of high school senior Mike Benson, who buys a grey horse called Viking. His brother, Chris, encourages him to train Viking, but it doesn't go well. Mike falls off, again and again and again, and he can't control Viking. However, a new farmhand solves the mystery of why the horse behaves as he does, and they train the horse to steeplechase with such success that he enters the Maryland Hunt Cup. 

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For much more on Sam Savitt - well worth a look as he is a sublime illustrator, see his page on my website.


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