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Stud: Adventures in Breedingby Kevin Conley
Synopses & Reviews
Every year, on Valentine's Day, the great Thoroughbred farms open their breeding sheds and begin their primary business. For the next one hundred and fifty days, the cries of stallions and the vigorous encouragement of their handlers echo through the breeding country, from the gentle hills of Kentucky to the rich valleys of California.
Stud takes us into this strange and seductive world. We move from Lexington's Overbrook Farm, where the world's leading sire, Storm Cat, a lightly raced eighteen-year-old, earns thirty-five million dollars a year; the the auction halls, where sheikhs and bookies bid millions for Storm Cat's well-bred offspring. We visit Three Chimneys, where the twenty-seven-year-old Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, a senior citizen by equine standards, makes a rousing return to active duty after spinal surgery, and stroll through Running Horse Farm, on the banks of the Rio Grande, where a nearly unmanageable colt, Devil Begone, has found peace and prosperity servicing desert mares like Patty O'Furniture. In California, we meet Cee's Tizzy, one of the state's busiest stallions and the sire of the swift-heeled Tiznow, the 2000 Horse of the Year and the first horse to win back-to-back Breeder's Cup Classics.
Cheap stud, top stud, old stud, wild stud, from the Hall of Fame horse to the harem stallion with his feral herd, Stud looks at intimate acts in idyllic settings and the billion-dollar business behind them.
"Kevin Conley, an editor at the New Yorker and the author of Stud: Adventures in Breeding, clearly would argue that horses in heat deserve literary attention — and after finishing his book, it's tough to disagree....He bounces from farm to farm with bemusement and no clear goal or focus, which occasionally makes Stud feel like a scattershot collage without a narrative core. But Conley's mix of wit and awe ensures that the journey is pleasurable and informative." Damien Cave, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)
"A great entertainment, a piece of vivid reporting, and a marvel of economy and wit. I read it straight through, at a gallop." Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides
About the Author
Kevin Conley is an editor at The New Yorker. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and The New Yorker. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, Amy, and their two children, Max and Sarah.
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