Dear Karen I received my copy of Legends I this week! I had not read your book for a couple of years having loaned my copy to a friend. For the past 60+ years I have read nearly every book ever published concerning Quarter Horses, including all of Denhardt's books, and all of the Legends books produced by Western Horseman magazine. In my personal opinion your Legends I book is the best presented book on Quarter Horses I have read. Your personal effort to research and verify the material you utilised for Legends I was certainly a superior effort.
kindest regards David Briggs
Finally with a few other priorities now out of the way I can get moving again on volume 2 of "Australian Legends - Our History of Outstanding Quarter Horses". If you thought that the first book had everything you needed to know about the history of the Australian Quarter Horse, then think again. Volume 2 features several more of the best imported horses that have had a profound effect in this country. Carrying some of the top bloodlines from American Quarter Horses in their day, the second book includes the history and stories behind horses like Femme Fatale*, Mr Freckle's Boy*, Chickeramic*, Clover Kamali*, Jet Boom*, Mr Jessie James*, Lion Deck*, Easter Chex*, Roc'O'Lena*, Morn Deck, Doc's Spinifex* and Doc's Freckle's Oak*. As you can see this impressive list contains several of the best sprint horses that were imported during the seventies and eighties along with more great working horse blood which heavily impacted on the newly-introduced western events of cutting, reining and working cowhorse which were then growing in strength.
There will also be another extensive history chapter covering some other horses that need to be included for their contribution to the breed, and let's not forget the good people who put so much effort into the promotion of our wonderful Australian Quarter Horses.
I am still seeking historical photos of the horses listed above and photos of their best get and grand get that are competing today with success. So please don't hesitate to send me an email or give me a call if you think your horse should be considered for volume two. The second book is designed to accompany and compliment the first book, so if you don't have your copy of volume 1 then please get online and purchase a copy from me. And give me a call and I can sign it for you, your friend or loved one too. regards Karen
Your insight and sensitivity exceeds your years of experience in the industry. You’ve amazingly captured the atmosphere of those days and brought it all back. The work equals that of Bob Denhardt. It is a true chronicle. You must be one of the old school. Thank you for dignifying our passion. We lived the dream and you’ve captured it for posterity.
With kindest regards, Rita Ashby
One of the most popular horses in the world – the American Quarter Horse, a cornerstone of Australian station life since the mid-1950s – has been researched by first-time author and cutting horse competitor Karen Thrun in Australian Legends – Our History of Outstanding Quarter Horses, Volume One. Four years in the making, this hefty publication presents itself as the first-ever history of the Quarter Horse in Australia, with two more volumes to come.
The book deals with the history of the breed and its introduction into Australia in 1954, and identifies some of the best Quarter Horses since then. Among the topics covered are the early cynicism the breed experienced upon its importation, the physical attributes that set it apart from anything Australian horsemen had seen before it, and the success with which it competed. The book pores through early foundation lines, generations of breeding and the big players in the early days – Robert J. Kleberg Jr., Samuel Hordern, Jack Reilly and Max Mc Taggart. Among the horses profiled, there’s Quarter Elgrando, Hollywood Return and Doc’s Misty Morn. Heavily supported with images, Thrun has put photographs on every page – it is likely there is not a horse mentioned that doesn’t have its picture somewhere throughout, and there are a lot of horses mentioned.
Australian Legends is a 336-page whopper of a book that has left few stones unturned. It is simply written and colourfully presented, and for riders, breeders and enthusiasts of the Quarter Horse it is must-have material for the bookshelf.
RM Williams OUTBACK magazine
The book is very informative. I love that anyone reading will get the facts about each horse and each situation and any rumours or non-facts are sorted. I never knew that the King Ranch were the founders of the Santa breed of cattle, that was great to read about. You have done an awesome job in researching the information for this book. I can’t wait to get Volume Two. I guess it’ll be a bit of a wait for that one, but it will be worth the wait I’m sure. Thank you again for giving Australia an Official Record on these great horses.
Kimberlee Fitzgerald, Dimbulah, Qld.
Well I received your long awaited book for my Christmas gift and have barely been able to take my nose out of it. You are to be congratulated for such a beautiful book. Your thoroughness and ability to maintain the interest of the reader throughout is a credit to your writing style and research. You have certainly recreated the era in an insightful and in depth way.
My only disappointment is that some of the horses’ colours were not printed as accurately as I remember them in some of the photos eg. Jet Master as I remember him was deep dark red but in some shots he looks yellowish. I guess that is as much a product of having to reproduce copies from faded photos. I was delighted to see a photo of young Quarter Master, who was not very photogenic, and your statement that he was a most underestimated sire. Thanks for rekindling the memories. It certainly was an amazing period. Good Luck with your sales and I look forward to the next volume.
Jeanette Gower, Aldgate, SA
I have just finished reading your fascinating book. As happens at funerals, when you have listened to a eulogy you wish you had known more about the person during their life as most of them have led such interesting lives. Although I remember most of the people you mention I did not know many of them very well. Your story telling certainly brought them to life. I am astounded by the amount of research you must have done in your four year journey. Greg Lougher’s problem shipping his horses to UK made my journey seem like a picnic.
Karen, your book has brought back memories of 25 exciting years of my life and reminded me how lucky I was to have been part of such undertakings. I am glad to have been able to help a bit with catalogues and some notes. Best wishes for Christmas and good luck with Volume 2.
Regards, Martin Lemann, Bowral, NSW
For an author researching and writing her first book, you have made a favourable impression on me with “Legends”. It is a wonderful book. So many photos telling the story better than words could ever do. So honest and accurate, with attention to detail. This was a huge undertaking. Now it’s done, this book one day will be an authority to all QH lovers. What a great service you have done.
Greg McCamley, North Rockhampton, Qld.
I received your book yesterday and am totally impressed! Thank you so much for sending me a copy. At one time I had entertained a similar thought but I know I would never have produced anything so thoroughly informative and delightful. It is very rewarding to see so many of my own photos included – and the time I spent creating the database so Sue Carlson (Flashback Images) could find the photos is totally rewarded.
I love to get magazines about the western horse industry in Australia – it’s like stepping back into my old life. This book will be a real time capsule! I started reading it last night and read right through my favorite TV shows with hardly a thought for them. Please, please, please do more books on the Quarter horse.
Best Wishes, Peta-Anne, Willcox, Arizona, USA
Congratulations on getting Australian Legends out to the public. I know the hours you have put into getting this book completed. You put your heart and soul into this project. You are the only person who had the get up and go to write this book and I know it will be a success which you deserve. We both know it is not about the money but a desire to bring the history to the people who love the wonderful animal that the Quarter Horse is. And it will be good for the young people who do not know the history of the breed. Can’t wait to read it.
Joy Tyler, Loftus Heights, NSW