Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Headless Horsemen

Headless Horsemen

A Tale of Chemical Colts, Subprime Sales Agents, and the Last Kentucky Derby on Steroids

Jim Squires

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

"An insider's stunning account of the corrupt practices that threaten both the horses and the game . . . an engrossing read." —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Jim Squires was in trouble. He was in the horse business, an enterprise seemingly intent on committing suicide, led over the cliff by visionless leaders. A clannish group called "the Dinnies" had long refused to share power, as vast overproduction and unbridled greed created a subprime-like bubble in the market. Overpriced animals of dubious quality and drug-enhanced performance on the track were undermining the integrity of competition and ultimately the very breed itself. With its economic model broken, its tawdry sales practices under attack, and its public image in tatters, the sport was overdue for a reckoning.

Headless Horsemen is Squires's critique of what is happening to the sport and the animals he loves, as he and a small group of unlikely heroes agitate for a return to fair dealing. For anyone who cares about the soul and survival of horse racing, this book is an impassioned call to arms.


Headless Horsemen

Something had definitely gone haywire. Breaking into tears at the realization that Greg Norman had just failed to win the British Open at age fifty-three...


Praise for Headless Horsemen

“Acerbic wit and an insider's brazen take on the elusive horse-game.” —Sam Shepard

“I laughed. I cried. I read this book a second time, and then I cried again. If you want to know how thoroughbred horse racing in the United States has destroyed itself, this is the book for you. If you want to know what is to be done, this is the book for you. I can't recommend it highly enough.” —Jane Smiley

“Jim Squires has written a sad and scathing and all-too-true story about the greed and obtuseness that are destroying the once glorious sport of thoroughbred horse racing and that are turning that most magnificent of God's creatures -- the thoroughbred horse -- into a steroid-swollen dinosaur. The charlatans of the Kentucky breeding industry and at the New York Racing Association -- as well as their overpaid apologists -- should read every page of Squires's indictment with heads hung in shame.” —Joe McGinniss

“[A]n insider's stunning account of the corrupt practices that threaten both the horses and the game. . . . Squires' folksy style makes for an engrossing read.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[A] hilarious and informative look at the troubled condition of horse racing.” —Publishers Weekly

“Exposes a thoroughbred horse-racing industry drowning in drug abuse and rife with unscrupulous business practices. . . . A well-told cautionary tale about greed and willful inattention.” —Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Jim Squires

Jim Squires is the author of Horse of a Different Color, an account of his wild ride as the breeder of Monarchos, the winner of the 2001 Kentucky Derby. He has been breeding and raising horses since 1977, thoroughbreds in Kentucky since 1990, and was the editor of the Chicago Tribune from 1981 to 1989. He lives in Versailles, Kentucky.

Jim Squires

Jim Squires

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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