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'My life,' Patsy Durack told his children, 'began like a fairy tale with a boy who made a wish. I wished that I might some day ride a fine horse of my very own.'
To Ride a Fine Horse is based on an Australian classic - Mary Durack's Kings in Grass Castles - adapted for young readers. It tells the story of Mary's grandfather, Patsy, a poor Irish boy who came to Australia at seventeen, made his fortune on the goldfields, and then founded a pastoral empire in the remote outback. Patsy's ambition had always been to 'ride a fine horse' but he would far exceed this dream, becoming one of the nation's top horse breeders, with his choice of the finest thoroughbred mounts in the land.
This account of Patsy Durack's life is based on his letters, notebooks and documents, discovered by his granddaughter Mary in an old tin trunk more than fifty years after his death. The illustrations that appear throughout the text are the work of Mary's sister, Elizabeth, and are reproduced from the original 1963 edition.
- Allen & Unwin, July 2012
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