Battleship: A Daring Heiress, a Teenage Jockey, and America's Horse

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/3/2014
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
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The moving story of a tough little horse, a gifted boy, and a woman ahead of her time.

The youngest jockey, the smallest horse, and an unconventional heiress who disliked publicizing herself. Together, near Liverpool, England, they made a leap of faith on a spring day in 1938: overriding the jockey's father, trusting the boy and the horse that the British nicknamed "the American pony" to handle a race course that newspapers called Suicide Lane. There, Battleship might become the first American racer to win England's monumental, century-old Grand National steeplechase. His rider, Great Britain's Bruce Hobbs, was only seventeen years old.

Hobbs started life with an advantage: his father, Reginald, was a superb professional horseman. But Reg Hobbs also made extreme demands, putting Bruce in situations that horrified the boy's mother and sometimes terrified the child. Bruce had to decide just how brave he could stand to be.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the enigmatic Marion duPont grew up at the estate now known as James Madison's Montpelier—the refuge of America's "Father of the Constitution." Rejecting her chance to be a debutante, denied a corporate role because of her gender, Marion chose a pursuit where horses spoke for her. Taking on the world's toughest race, she would leave her film-star husband, Randolph Scott, a continent away and be pulled beyond her own control.
With its reach from Lindbergh's transatlantic flight to Cary Grant's Hollywood, Battleship is an epic tale of personal drive to test one's own true worth.

Author Biography

DOROTHY OURS is a lifelong horse and racing enthusiast who worked for several years at America’s National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Her first book, Man o’ War: A Legend Like Lightning, was honored as runner-up for Thoroughbred racing’s inaugural Dr. Tony Ryan Book Award.  She has freelanced as a racing journalist and studied Battleship and his world as a John H. Daniels Research Fellow at the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, Virginia. Her B.F.A. in Theater came in handy while exploring the world of Randolph Scott.

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