“The Legend of the Great Horse” is not about horses

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is filled with horses galloping through history — but the story is not about horses. It is about us: for it is ourselves we find in horses, for better or worse.

The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy is filled with horses galloping through history — but the story is not only about horses. It is about us.

Horses are strange and fascinating creatures, but it their adaptation to our endeavors that bring them into our world. And of course, it is humans who take the prize for strangeness.

It is humanity that put armies of thundering, gleaming chariots in the service of ancient empires … and we ourselves who built the Circuses of Rome to race those chariots in the madness of the world’s first major spectator sport. We were the ones who decked our mounts with leather, armor and gold, charged them into battle, elevated our partnership into art and were inspired by their beauty and power.

We have been entertained and healed and recreated by the horse … we have shared in his speed and strength. Yet Nature remains Nature, brought higher by our good works or brought to destruction by our brutality; the horse remains a horse, always. It is ourselves we find in horses, for better or worse.

History may be seen as a record of bad ideas improved upon, then forgotten, and relearned again. Mankind has suffered countless dark ages, and it is ourselves who slowly reclaim the good ideas of the past; and then forget why. The horse has been only our silent witness, an innocent participant in man’s follies, waiting patiently for us to learn and remember once more.

Record crowd of 73,736 attend Canadian Show Jumping Masters

Spruce Meadows arenaThough horsemanship is ancient, Show Jumping itself is one of the world’s youngest professional sports!

Organized jumping is barely 100 years old. It was not known that horses could jump large fences until the 18th Century, when fox hunting was threatened by the Enclosure Laws that fenced previously open land.

A century ago we seemed to be at the end of our ancient partnership with the horse, since the animal’s use in transportation was made obsolete by the invention of the internal combustion engine. Today there are more horses than ever, largely due to equestrian sport and recreation … and one of the big drivers of that growth is the international sport of Show Jumping.

So it is great news to hear of the sport’s continuing success as a spectator attraction, as was seen last week at the Canadian jumping hot-spot of Spruce Meadows in Calgary. A record crowd of over 70,000 spectators attended the closing Masters competition, many waiting in lawnchairs at 6:00am to secure the best seats. Congrats to Spruce Meadows for its great work, and for proving that Show Jumping can be a spectator sport for the future.

History at a Gallop: “Eclipsed by Shadow” wins 2009 Reader Views Literary Award

For Immediate Release
Contact: Robert Hall | Micron Press 617-301-2901

History at a Gallop: “Eclipsed by Shadow” wins 2009 Reader Views Literary Award

» See Reader Views Literary Award Review

BOSTON – The critically acclaimed first volume of a bold new trilogy about the history of horsemanship has won in the Fantasy category of the 2008 Reader Views Literary Awards. Veteran horseman John Royce has crafted a fast-paced literary journey through civilization’s earliest history that is gaining the attention of YA+ readers and educators.

Readers are transported to long-ago cultures through vivid characters and events. One does not have to be a horse enthusiast to recognize that horsemanship has been a central force of civilization, and Eclipsed by Shadow tells the history through a fun and engaging story. As the Award review states, “John Royce introduces us to one of those works you will remember forever.”

Since its publication in late 2008, Eclipsed by Shadow has received recommendations from Library Journal, Midwest Book Review and the Historical Novel Society as well as a growing list of excellent reviews from newspapers, Top Amazon reviewers and others.

“I believe a wholesome story can be a page-turning adventure,” says author John Royce, veteran horseman turned writer, “Horsemanship provides a colorful link to our human past, and that inspiration sparked an adventure which spans the arc of civilization.”

Readers and reviewers are finding this first book of The Legend of the Great Horse trilogy to be an authentic and engaging experience. In the words of a Top 50 Amazon Reviewer: “This sweeping historical fantasy should have an impact on its reader that penetrates far beyond the boundaries of the usual YA (Young Adult) novel. It teaches lessons about history & horsemanship, and what it really means to be ‘civilized.’ “


Eclipsed by Shadow | The Legend of the Great Horse ~ Book I of III
By John Royce

ISBN 978-0-9724121-3-1
292 Pages, Softcover $15.95

ISBN 978-0-9724121-5-5
304 Pages, Hardcover $22.95

Micron Press
71 Prince Street, #35
Boston, MA  02113
(617) 301-2901

First Chapter, Bio, Press Kit, and more online at:  TheGreatHorse.com