Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range: www.pitchpublishing.co.uk




Read Review
<back to archive

Warriors on Horseback By John Carter

Release date: 12th February, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury

List Price: £20.00
Our Price: £18.00
You Save: £2 (10%)
Buy Now

Members of the Armed Forces may raise an eyebrow and consider a wry smile when reading the opening line of John Carter’s Warriors on Horseback, an insight into the history and lives of professional jockeys. “What,” asks Carter, “possesses someone to earn a living by placing himself or herself in mortal danger every day?”

No doubt a sizeable number of soldiers, sailors and airmen frequently ask themselves something similar, but Carter is talking about the professional jockey, the only sportsman he can think of who is prepared to “get up at the crack of dawn seven days a week to rack up more motorway miles for an annual income that Premiership footballers can earn in a week.”

Much attention has this week, rightly, focused on AP McCoy’s decision to retire from jump racing at the end of the current season. McCoy will claim his twentieth consecutive champion jockey title in April, an incredible achievement in any sport and while some of the writing reflecting upon his remarkable career has read like an obituary at times, one feature that is emphasised time and again is the Ulsterman’s incredible bravery.

John Carter would agree and probably suggest that all 450-odd professional jockeys working across both horse racing codes possess similar levels of courage as the man at the top of the jockey’s tree. Most can recount a notorious catalogue of broken bones, chipped teeth and worse, yet very few would want to do anything different.

Indeed, Carter interviews one former jockey who, when aged 28, suffered a fall which left him in an induced coma for six weeks. Thirty years later, he is still unable to ride, yet after three decades of mental anguish, Carter is astonished to learn that the man wouldn’t have lived his life any differently.

Warriors on Horseback is, therefore, an appropriate title to describe jockeys from the eighty-something Willie Snaith, to 17-year-old amateur Holie Doyle, but there are plenty of other, peripheral characters who ensure that jockeys are well prepared to face a succession of uncompromising challenges. I was particularly interested in Phil Taylor, the Master Jockey’s Valet who tours the National Hunt circuit for up to 330 days a year, a tale surely worthy of a separate tome.

The sporting version of mortal danger is actually miles away from the real thing encountered by our Armed Forces, but this minor criticism aside, you cannot fail to be impressed by the bravery and courage of the warriors about whom Mr Carter writes.


<back to archive


MoneyMapp


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Farther Corner By Harry Pearson
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now
The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt and the Making of the American Athlete By Ryan Swanson
Diversion Books
Read Review Buy Now
Running the World By Nick Butter
Bantam Books
Read Review Buy Now
British Football’s Greatest Grounds One hundred must-see football venues By Mike Bayly
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Macho Time The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of Hector Camacho By Christian Giudice
Hamilcar Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Man of All Talents The Extraordinary Life of Douglas Clark By Steven Bell
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
When The World Stops Watching By Damian Lawlor
Black & White Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Men Who Raised the Bar The evolution of the highest individual score in Test cricket By Chris Waters
Wisden
Read Review Buy Now
Wings of Change How the world’s biggest energy drink manufacturer made a mark in football By Karan Tejwani
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Jack Dempsey And The Roaring Twenties By Thomas Myler
Know The Score Books
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.