While crowds flock to show jumping events around the world, marveling at the magnificence of the champion horses that compete at the Grand Prix level, few are aware of the passionate and intense relationship between rider and horse required to make it to the jump-off. Unbridled Passion - Show Jumpings Greatest Horses and Riders (Acanthus Publishing 2011), provides an intimate look inside the Olympic sport of show jumping and the superstar pairings that define excellence at the elite level. Each chapter is an up close and personal conversation between author, Jeff Papows, and one of the best contemporary riders in North America.
Many of the stories shared by these internationally celebrated riders have not previously been disclosed to the public and detail the struggles and sacrifices that each rider has dealt with along the way. Running the gamut of broken bones, the challenges of assembling an ownership group, temperamental equine partners, transportation mishaps, and not being able to find the right horse at the right time, the superstars of show jumping reveal the difficulties of getting to and staying at the elite level of the sport.
The vignettes also indicate the joys, the exhilaration, and the glamour that culminates in showing these magnificent horses in the international rings at the leading competitions throughout the world. The riders share their feelings of pride standing on the Olympic podium as the Star Spangled Banner is played. They relay the thrill of representing their country on international tours and being a member of a victorious Nations Cup team. They also offer in intimate detail the depth of their feelings for their partner and are quick to acknowledge the importance of the chemistry between themselves and their horse in order to succeed on the world stage.
Internationally esteemed Olympic coach, George Morris has contributed the Foreword to the book. Jeff Papows utilizes his own experience as an amateur show jumper coupled with personal interviews with the biggest stars, owners, support staff, and caregivers, to give readers an inside look at the personalities behind show jumping. Over 60 vibrant color photographs enhance the richness of Papows' text and capture these globally recognized riders and their Sunday horses in their most glorious moments of competition. Twenty-three horse and rider teams, both professional and amateur, are showcased in these candid portraits, revealing the path they took to achieve their dreams and the sacrifices they made to show at the highest levels of the sport.
Jeff Papows engaging prose and signature writing style enable the reader to smell the barn, experience the flight over a Swedish oxer, and feel the pain of lifting yourself into the saddle with a broken collarbone. Whether you are a participant in the sport, a family member of a rider, or an enthusiastic fan; you don't want to miss the inside story of the world's most beautiful sport told with candor and humor in Unbridled Passion.