A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing
By Patrick Smithwick
Inspired by the Henry Taylor poem of the same name, Flying Change is the true story of a man changing strides and leaving the comforts and security of middle-age life to reenter the hazardous and highly competitive world of steeplechasing. After a youthful career begun under the tutelage of his father, legendary steeplechase jockey A. P. “Paddy” Smithwick, he gave up riding to become a newspaper editor, a Chesapeake Bay waterman, a teacher of English and literature, and a father. But the one-time jockey could not leave the sport he so loved. At forty-six, he pushed himself back into shape for competitive racing and set about trying to find a horse to ride in the most challenging of timber races, the Maryland Hunt Cup. From the rolling hills of Maryland horse country, Smithwick issues a movingly written call to those of us trapped in increasingly sedentary, digital lives to get up and go outdoors and let the senses play, to feel a cold rain on your shoulders and sit in front of a warm fire, to smell hay and grass and live in the beauty of spring dawns and brilliant autumn sunsets.
2012; Chesapeake Book Company; Hardcover