PBOTD 28th October: Eric Hatch - Year of the Horse

Today's PBOTD, and those for the next few days are all related (sometimes a bit tenuously, I admit) to the National Horse Show in America. When I was researching this post I found out a whole load of things I hadn't known before. The show was held at not one, but three versions of Madison Square Gardens in New York. It was started in 1883 by a group of sportsmen, and in 1890 moved to the second Madison Square Gardens. And in 1926, it moved to the third Madison Square Gardens. In 2011, it moved yet again, but this time right out of New York to the Kentucky Horse Park.

Eric Hatch, author of today's book Year of the Horse (1965), was an author, owned a radio station, and was an expert horseman, a judge and a steward of the American Horse Shows Association.

Year of the Horse is the story of an advertising executive, Freddie Bolton, who works on Madison Avenue (I told you some of these connections were tenuous). He has an adored daughter, and when she asks for a horse, that's what he gives her. Despite the fact the whole family are already living well beyond their means. Freddie names the horse after a product he just happens to represent.

He knows nothing about horses, but finds himself growing very fond of the horse, who is, it turns out, a very capable animal indeed, more than capable enough of competing at Madison Square Gardens.


This book was made into the Disney movie "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit" in 1968. Actually not a bad horse film--ridiculous of course but we got a kick out of it!

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