Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada

Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada

4.6 6
by Richard R. Rust
     
 

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“If you buy that horse, you’re buying your daughter’s death warrant,” Jane Pohl’s father was warned at the army barracks in the spring of 1941. But the potential that his teenage daughter Jane saw in the small, temperamental Thoroughbred was enough to convince him otherwise.

Earlier that year, when Fitzrada arrived at the army base

Overview

“If you buy that horse, you’re buying your daughter’s death warrant,” Jane Pohl’s father was warned at the army barracks in the spring of 1941. But the potential that his teenage daughter Jane saw in the small, temperamental Thoroughbred was enough to convince him otherwise.

Earlier that year, when Fitzrada arrived at the army base where Jane’s family lived, the horse was stubborn, unpredictable, and dangerous. Any man who dared addle him up soon found himself face down in the dirt. Jane, excited to ride any horse and up for the challenge, had the most success with Fitz. She was patient and consistent, and the horse responded well at last, showing a great affinity for jumping. Then, inexplicably, a terrible riding accident resulted in serious injuries for both Jane and Fitz, and the army decide that it was time to destroy the horse. Heartbroken, Jane pleaded with her reluctant father: the only way to save Fitz was to buy him from the army.

Jane Pohl’s foresight proved to be correct. Jane and Fitz went on to take the Virginia show-jumping circuit by storm, winning 37 jumper and 6 hinter championships. At a time when women were rarely seen in jumping classes at horse shows and were not taken seriously by male competitors, Jane and Fitz helped to break down barriers against women riders competing in the Olympics. In 1946, Jane and Fitz found themselves at the Jumper Championship at the prestigious National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden—the highest jumping title in North America. The road there for horse and rider was a five-year test of faith, patience, and understanding friendship.

Editorial Reviews

The Chronicle Of The Horse
This true story reads like a Hollywood script but better. Unlike many biographies, this one is decorated with anecdotes that only a child would pick up through a lifetime spent with his mother. He does a masterful job of relating facts and blending them with these wonderful tidbits, so that the reader seems to feel what's going through Pohl's mind rather than simply reading her words.
Retired Racehorse blog
Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada is a fitting tribute to Jane Pohl and the horse that propelled her to the top of the male-dominated jumper circuit of the 1940s. It’s an extraordinary treat to go back in time when prized show horses were actually working hunters, to a world where Thoroughbreds were exalted, and to big indoor shows being covered nationally in newspapers. But more than that readers will easily relate to her frustrations and triumphs of a horse crazy girl, showing on a shoestring budget, rubbing and grooming herself and training a horse that doesn’t have a blue-blooded pedigree—it’s all there in vivid detail as if Jane wrote the book herself.
William Steinkraus
Those of us who come from older generations cannot but admire what the late Col. Richard Rust achieved in producing, as a true labor of love, such a touching tribute to his mother. [We] will also be grateful to him for having evoked so many fond old horse-show memories.
In and Around Horse Country
Renegade Champion is honest, compelling, and sometimes bittersweet.
Chronicle Of The Horse
This true story reads like a Hollywood script but better. Unlike many biographies, this one is decorated with anecdotes that only a child would pick up through a lifetime spent with his mother. He does a masterful job of relating facts and blending them with these wonderful tidbits, so that the reader seems to feel what's going through Pohl's mind rather than simply reading her words.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589793798
Publisher:
Taylor Trade Publishing
Publication date:
10/25/2008
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
796,376
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Richard R. Rust was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a practicing civil engineer, and an amateur sportsman. As a child, he rode his tricycle under Fitz’s belly and started riding ponies at age four. His mother, Jane Pohl, is the subject of this book, and his father, D. N. Rust III, was an amateur steeplechase trainer and rider with two wins of the Virginia Gold Cup. He died in 2008.

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Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
lotsapaints More than 1 year ago
I took this book camping just for fun since it isn't a long book figuring I'd read a little each night at the campfire. Once I started it though I wanted to keep reading so I got up early to finish it. I raise horses and show so it was very entertaining and it fit well with the next book I have, The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very heartwarming and inspiring story about a great horsewoman and her amazing horse.
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