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