Stable Lass by Author Gemma Hogg
Being a stable lass is probably one of the hardest jobs in the country, and yet for Gemma Hogg it is the most rewarding. She works in the beautiful Yorkshire market town of Middleham and if her colleagues are occasionally challenging, then the horses are downright astonishing. Now, in Stable Lass, she takes us into the closed world of a top racing yard, from the elation of having several winners in one day to the almost indescribable grief of losing a horse.
Like most stable lads and lasses, Gemma arrived in her yard as a teenager fresh out of racing college and had to cope with living away from home for the first time, as well as adapting to the brutal long hours, backbreaking work and often treacherous weather. She describes falling in love with Polo Venture, the first racehorse in her care, the pure exhilaration of riding him on Middleham Gallops for the first time and what happens when a horse takes against you, from the growling gelding Valiant Warrior to the potentially lethal Broadway Boy. She brings to life the characters around the yard, from straight-talking boss Micky Hammond to the jockeys starving themselves to make weight, the wealthy owners and the other stable lads and lasses who come from a range of different places and backgrounds.
Haynet reviewer, Grainne Ni Chaba-Byrne of Newmarket Equine Physiotherapy, recently gave us her thoughts on the book:
Stable Lass is an insightful book about the life of Gemma Hogg, the author, on her experiences of life in a racing yard. She starts by bringing you into the racing world through the eyes of a dreamy young girl with exciting expectations. She conveys brilliantly the thrill of riding the thoroughbred, the mad colourful staff characters, the bond the groom, riders and trainers have with their horses, the huge excitement of leading in a winner and going racing.
But she also writes about the realistic side of hard work in all weathers, the financial difficulties and the heartache of loss. The book develops as she grows up in the racing world. It’s a very realistic easy to read, frank worded book on life in racing – a must read for anyone who has worked in racing or would like to!
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