Saturday, July 21, 2012

Time to Get Back on the Saddle! "Tod Sloan, By Himself"

          It is that time of the year again! The Del Mar Horse Races are happening right now and such thrills must be experienced by all. Do not worry about being out of the loop with the technicalities and lingo of horse racing. The SDSU Press has just the thing to get you up to speed! What better way to fully experience what horse racing has to offer than by going into the heart and soul of a groundbreaking jockey.

         If Tod Sloan had not dedicated his life to the world of horse racing his second profession should have been writing. Sloan’s autobiography, “Tod Sloan, By Himself,” edited by A. Dick Luckman, exceeds the generic tale of athletic success. This notable figure of the late nineteenth century shot to fame through his new and controversial ideas, ones still upheld by jockeys world-wide. His struggle through life is raw and honest and his joyful memories are palpable through his writing.

         Sloan’s innovation began with a new style of riding, expressed by the editor in the preface as:
“Tod Sloan became famous in his day because he introduced a new style of riding, which his initially sceptical contemporaries derisively described as the “monkey seat,” “the American seat,” the “monkey on a stick,” the “crouch seat,” and no doubt other unmentionable things. He moved up, in a semi-crouch, high on the horse’s neck, driving forward, looking down over the horse’s head, with very short stirrups on a short rein. For two hundred years before this jockeys had always ridden in a very different way.”

Del Mar Diaries: The Jockeys, 'Uncovered'

Purchase your copy of, "Tod Sloan, By Himself" today!