Headless Horsemen: A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids

Headless Horsemen: A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids

A pointed and irreverent critique of thoroughbred racing’s breakdown, by a prominent journalist turned horse breeder

Jim Squires was in trouble. He had gone from one business seemingly intent on committing suicide to another, both led over the cliff by visionless leaders. First it was the newspaper bean-counters’ blind adherence to the demands of Wall Street. Then in horse racing it was a clannish group called “the Dinnies†refusing to share power and unable to see that vast overproduction and unbridled greed had created a subprime-like bubble in the market. Overpriced animals of dubious quality and drug-enhanced performance on the track were undermining the integrity of competition and ultimately the very breed itself. With its economic model broken, its tawdry sales practices under attack, and its public image in tatters after a series of televised fatal breakdowns by horses in famous races, the sport was overdue for a reckoning.

Headless Horsemen is Squires’s comic but poignant critique of what is happening to the sport and the animals he loves, as he and a small group of unlikely heroes agitate for a return to fair dealing. For anyone who cares about the soul and survival of horse racing, this book is an impassioned call to arms.

Title:Headless Horsemen: A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780805090604
Format Type:

    Headless Horsemen: A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids Reviews

  • Ms.pegasus

    The casual horseracing observer knows about the triple crown, and might even be familiar with some of the horses listed in the record books. The record books, however are only the tip of the iceberg. ...

  • Joan Colby

    This is Squires, a former Chicago Tribune editor's second book on the Thoroughbred industry. Squires is a longtime horseman who got into the Thoroughbred business after leaving the Trib and moving to ...

  • Christine

    So someone railed against the recent articles in the NY Times about horse racing, saying that author had some vendetta because of losing or something. I found this strange because the NYT's article wa...

  • Joe Drape

    Jim Squires makes you laugh and rage about a grand old sport that can't stop fighting among each other and shooting itself in the foot. He's an amiable raconteur - this is a must for horse libraries. ...

  • Dan Cunningham

    Just finished reading this book again. A softcover edition I have held onto.Though originally published in 2009 the book still seems relevant today. Horses are still being juiced, according to recent ...

  • Lianne Morgan-Sands

    What a treasure to find this book at my local 'previously loved' book store. I bought it as a gift for a relative who manager for his brother, Hugo Dittfach who was top Canadian jockey in the 1950's &...

  • Pandionhalatius37.6

    An in depth book, one that assumes the reader is familiar with the big names of thoroughbred breeding, as well as the ins and outs of how the business runs. I imagine it was a quite sharp critique of ...

  • Marshall

    Headless Horsemen is a confusing jumbled rant written by an angry self-important breeder who, despite all of the success he's achieved with his small-time operation, feels abused. When he didn't recei...

  • Chris Porter

    There are too many numbers, too many names, too many horse names.The last couple of chapters are fine. The part where Jim Squires brags about his fighting skills is not:"Having gone to grammar school ...

  • Robin

    I am a life-long horse lover and having read this book, I understand why I distrust almost everyone in the horseracing industry. Those trainers, breeders and owners who do it for the love of the horse...