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Gone to Stud (1996): Barnyard Babes Bare All

Jane Glenn, Gone to Stud (J. A. Allen, 1996)


[originally posted 17Sep2001]

An artist's rendition of two horses ambling away from a wedding ceremony adorns the front cover of the book.

The happy couple report they will be honeymooning at Longchamps.
photo credit: amazon.co.uk

Glenn gives us a quick look at life on a stud farm from the other side of the breeding shed. It’s really a book for prospective owners—what to expect when your mare’s expecting, as it were. Glenn keeps things light and raises a chuckle now and again, and the book is engagingly illustrated (this may be guilt by association more than anything, but the illustrations reminded me quite a bit of those in the book Great Racing Disasters, which has the same tone to it). If it suffers, it does so by inconsistency of tone—the humor pops up now and again, but we’re never really signalled as to when it’s time to get serious—and also in the book’s brevity. At just over a hundred pages, Glenn barely touches on much of the day-to-day aspect of stud farm life and work. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as going into too much detail would quickly bog down the average reader, and Glenn chose (wisely, one thinks) to err on the side of caution here. I’d like to see what she’d do with a kind of companion volume, more along the lines of anecdotes from farm life—the little things, both amusing and not, that shed light on the completely irrational love that makes us humans spend our lives thinking about, breeding, and racing Thoroughbred horses. ** ½

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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