Karen Valby
March 15, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

Stud: Adventures in Breeding

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Kevin Conley
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it a B+

Not the best book for prudish types, as there are stories galore of equine heaving and humping here. Conley takes readers into the pre-coital stall of Seattle Slew, a stallion who warms up to Andrea Bocelli music before going in to meet his mare. He captures the Kentucky drawl of horse people without sounding condescending or contrived: ”’Hell nation,’ one man said, ‘I’m sharp as a bowling ball today.”’ And he cleverly compares the elaborate social and economic layers of breeding to the money-conscious matchmaking found in Jane Austen novels. Employing the perfect tone of intelligent bemusement, Conley delivers a story that’s less about the business than about the colorful people, and ponies, who keep it running.

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