2001-Mon Mar 27 20:35:35 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
In retrospect, it’s not surprising that Clare Balding became a darling of Britain’s horse-racing scene. The broadcaster and former amateur jockey and event rider is the U.K.’s go-to sports presenter — and two-time recipient of the Racing Broadcaster of the Year award. But before she made a name for herself covering such illustrious events as the London Olympics, Balding spent a rather unconventional childhood as the daughter of a champion horse trainer.
And we don’t use the word “champion” lightly: Balding’s father trained the royal family's horses and her first pony, Valkyrie, was a gift from none other than Queen Elizabeth II.
This month Balding’s first book, My Animals and Other Family, hits American stores. Balding has summed up its premise best: “Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine.”
Vetstreet reached out to the author to discuss her literary venture — as well as what it was really like to live on an estate in the English countryside surrounded by more than 100 horses and plenty of dogs too.
A. Clare Balding: “It was actually at school, when I was about 6 years old, and I said that the Queen was coming over [to my house] for breakfast. The other children thought I was lying, and the teacher told me to stop showing off. I was saying it as a statement of fact — I didn't realize that it sounded like boasting or a lie.”
A. “I was a fan of Gerald Durrell and also of James Herriot, author of All Creatures Great and Small. I wanted to capture a bit of that madcap British rural life, where animals are more important than people.”
A. “I think that I learned about unconditional love very early on. I loved Frank — my multicolored, badly behaved pony — despite the fact that everyone thought he was ugly and had no manners. I knew that we understood each other. He was my soul mate. I also learned from horses and ponies that patience and consistency are virtues that will be rewarded. If you are short-tempered or confused in your messages, a horse doesn't know what to do — and will do the opposite of your wishes.”
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.