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True Horse Stories Series

David Parkins and Judy Andrekson
Little Squire by Judy Andrekson; illustrated by David Parkins
Brigadier by Judy Andrekson; illustrated by David Parkins
Gunner by Judy Andrekson; illustrated by David Parkins

True Horse Stories Series : Titles in Order

Book 6
If nature had taken its course, Fosta would never have lived. But thanks to quick and loving intervention, the plucky little foal did survive. In the first few moments of his life, he was stolen from his dame by an expectant mare. When she had no milk to give him, he had to be fostered by a third “mother” since his own refused to take him back. From the very beginning, his chances of amounting to anything were horribly slim. Added to that, it didn’t look as if he would ever be big enough for racing. Yet Fosta has become one of the best-known horses ever to run Australia’s grueling “ultimate endurance test,” the Shahzada. For five days, the toughest and fastest horses compete internationally to cover four hundred kilometers of rugged terrain. The motto of the event is “To Finish is to Win,” and Fosta has finished an incredible ten out of eleven starts, making him one of the most consistent and enduring horses of all time. Here is his story, told so that readers will feel they are atop Fosta as he attempts to earn his last completion buckle.
Book 5
Little Squire was born in an Irish meadow on an early spring day. The colt was beautifully formed with strong, straight legs and a pretty head. But due to his small size, it was unlikely he would be more than a nice child’s riding pony. By the following spring, the yearling was separated from his mother and turned out to pasture with the other weanlings. Little Squire wasn’t happy to be away from his dam so he charged the high stone wall and cleared it easily. Little Squire had just shown an astonishing side of himself that would eventually bring him greatness.

Over time, the young horse traded hands, crossed an ocean, and ended up on the American show-jumping circuit. That was when he met another diminutive Irish immigrant, Mickey Walsh.

The two were inseparable until, at Mickey’s request, Little Squire was retired at the top of his game, and while he was still sound. He went out in a blaze of glory, though, ending his last performance with Mickey by jumping a six-foot-two fence — rider-less — in front of a packed arena. During the war-torn 30s, Little Squire had given people something to cheer about.
Book 4
The true story of a gentle hero who won hearts and affection for
his commitment to “serve and protect.”

A big boy right from the start, Brig was a Belgian draft cross, or grade horse, with just the right temperament to earn his place on the Mounted Unit of the Toronto Police Department. Brigadier was a golden chestnut with four white socks, and his size alone was imposing. But that wasn’t why Sergeant Graham Acott chose this horse above all the others with such certainty. The animal’s large, intelligent, and gentle eyes were what struck him. This was a horse, and a partner, perfectly suited to the job for which he’d been bred.

Brigadier never let Graham or anyone else down for a moment, and his years of service with the force were happy ones. When, on that last night, he turned into the path of an oncoming car and took the full force of its impact, he did what he was trained to do and he did it with the heart of a gentle hero.

Thousands wept and were outraged by the senseless cruelty that ended Brig’s life. For his selfless act, Brigadier received full honors, a police funeral, and tributes from around the world. But his days of willing service, the smiles he brought, and his gift of companionship are what he will always be remembered for.
Book 3
Miskeen was born in obscurity on a Russian farm, sold to a traveling circus, and earned a reputation performing in small towns in the 1980s. He was schooled first as a liberty (rider-less) horse and then as a “dancing” (dressage) performer. Dancing was what he did best, and he was often observed trotting on the spot whenever he heard music. He matured into a magnificent, highly trained and valuable animal. But then tragedy struck.

Confined in his stall after an exhausting day of performances in unbearable heat, Miskeen was spotted by a boy. The boy took up a training whip and beat the horse mercilessly until, in panic, Miskeen struck out. The boy was bitten severely, and, in retribution, Miskeen was ordered to have all his teeth pulled so that he could never “turn vicious” again. Suddenly the magnificent animal was disabled, humiliated, unable to eat, and totally worthless to those who had prized him.

Miskeen would have died, had he not been rehabilitated by a young British woman named Vicky Malia. He recovered, eventually rewarding his new owner with private dance performances. It seemed he still had an ear for music and a memory of grander days. Miskeen is dancing still.
Book 2
He was born, wild and free, in the vast mountainous scrublands of Nevada. Until he was a year old, no human hand touched him, though he knew something of the danger people represented to the herd. But one fateful day, the herd was chased by a huge black creature in the sky, and the yearling was separated from his mother. In blind panic he ran, but he could not outdistance the terrifying, whirling thing above him, or the humans on horseback that surrounded him.

Before long, JB Andrew would come to the attention of many. He was big, leggy, and awkward, but he had a long, graceful stride and was chosen for an inmate prison program where he would be trained and made ready for adoption. JB, short for Jail Bird, had a special quality that forced people to take notice. Before his retirement years later, he would win hearts and trophies in the elite competitive dressage ring by becoming the first and only wild mustang to attain success in the sport. He paved the way for people to dream, believe, and succeed and in doing so, JB became one of the greatest ambassadors for wild mustangs the breed has ever known.

Third in the True Horse Stories series, JB Andrew: Mustang Magic is as warm as it is inspiring.
Book 1
Each book in the True Horse Stories focuses on a contemporary horse from a different part of the world, and each animal is, in his or her own way, a hero.

PBJ Decks Smokin Gun (Gunner) is an American Paint Horse, one of the many of Heather Lott Goodwin’s herd, and a valuable show animal that won the World Championship Paint Horse title. When Hurricane Katrina passed over the Goodwin property, it took with it the fences, the cattle, and several horses. Heather and her family lived in their horse trailer for six weeks and considered themselves lucky to have safe, comfortable shelter. After the storm, they searched for the animals and recovered many of them. But three months passed before they located Gunner, a hundred miles away. They were told he was in terrible shape and should be put down. Nevertheless, Heather drove on washed-out roads to bring him home, starving, dehydrated, and blind in one eye. With the help of a vet and her mother, she nursed him back to health. Amazingly, nine months later, he was well enough to compete again in the World Championship Paint Horse Show. Gunner’s story is a testament to love and to determination.

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