Steeplechasing began in County Cork in 1752, when Edmund Blake bet Cornelius O'Callaghan a cask of wine that his own hunter could beat O'Callaghan's over a line of country from Buttevant Church Spire to the steeple of St Leger at Doneraile nearly five miles away. Thus "steeplechasing" was born. Anne Holland's book celebrates the great moments in this sport's 250 year history by portraying steeplechasing's story thematically. She draws portraits of the sport's progress during the 19th century which saw, in 1839, the first running of the Grand National, and brings evocative memories of steeplechasing and those characters who participated in it in the 20th century. Finally she brings readers into the 21st century and the modern Grand National.
Anne Holland is herself a former amateur rider and one of the first women to ride (and win) under National Hunt Rules. She has been a regular contributor to Horse & Hound Magazine for over 20 years and is the author of a number of bestselling books on her sport.