The Ride of My Life: Memoirs of a Sporting Editor by Michael ClaytonThe Ride of My Life: Memoirs of a Sporting Editor by Michael Clayton

The Ride of My Life: Memoirs of a Sporting Editor

byMichael Clayton

Hardcover | September 1, 2016

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Michael Clayton has enjoyed a fascinating career as a professional journalist on Fleet Street - but the highlight of his career was his work as a editor and journalist in the field of horses, and with hunting horses in particular. This is his autobiography in horses: his boyhood work in local stables, his first post as a cub reporter, leading eventually to his appointment as editor of Horse and Hound magazine. Here he talks frankly about his involvement with the Royal family and their horses, his roving hunting brief, the development of new safety standards in riding, and all the key characters of the equine world whom he got to know first-hand. He worked as a reporter of horse-racing, show-jumping, carriage driving (disastrous!) and with almost all the hunts of Britain, Ireland and the USA. Michael also recalls the time of the hunting ban, among other key moments.His account, with photographs, is witty, incisive, pacey and very frank.
Title:The Ride of My Life: Memoirs of a Sporting EditorFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6 × 1 inPublished:September 1, 2016Publisher:Merlin Unwin BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1910723215

ISBN - 13:9781910723210


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A modern Jorrocks would thoroughly approve of the American hunting world. Jorrocks in Surtees' 'Handley Cross' and in 'Jaunts and Jollities' warmed to the true hunting man who put the sport achieved with hounds well above the mere ride.He would find plenty of foxhunters of that ilk in North America. It was by chance that I experienced some of the most fascinating foxhunting of my life, while I was attending the 1978 world eventing championships in Kentucky.I was introduced to one of the greatest hunting characters it has been my pleasure to meet, Ben Hardaway III, Master of the Midland, the pack based near Columbus, Georgia, which he founded in 1950. Much has been written about Ben, but he is one of those people larger than any description you could commit to print.'Come and see my hounds,' said Ben in our first conversation at Lexington.'I'd love to. I'll try to fix a visit down to Georgia,' I replied.'No, come right now,' said Ben in his easy Southern accent. 'You can fly down for a few days when this show's over.''Which flight should I take?' I asked. 'My flight,' said Ben with a grin.He ushered Jim Meads and myself onto his private jet aircraft which zoomed from Lexington, Kentucky to Columbus, Georgia in quick time. At Columbus airport, a car was waiting by the runway. Ben took the wheel and headed straight for the perimeter fence round the airfield.'Got my own personalised exit,' said Ben. He pressed a button on the dashboard and a section of the fence obligingly swished back to allow us through. If this all sounds like a man showing off, well perhaps it was, but Ben has a disarming capacity for laughing at himself, as well as the rest of the world. I suspect he could have made a comfortable living as a stand-up comedian if he had been born in a different cradle.Heir to a major US construction company, Ben has been able to spend money lavishly on his favourite sport. In doing so he has generously provided many years of sheer delight to others who followed his hounds, and soon became his friends and disciples. He charged only ten dollars a year subscription to Midland Hunt members, but joked: 'And they get ten dollars worth of say!'Despite the private aircraft, and the inherited fortune, there is nothing over-blown about Ben Hardaway's reputation as a hunting man. Like all true hunting men he is a keen naturalist who has deeply studied his quarry, mainly red and grey foxes and coyotes, and the highly challenging environment ...