Spring Valley's Spotted Champion Dorrance & Company, Inc, New York, 1988, cover art Doris Schwint
Spring Valley Farm has a lot of strong characters: the austere Austrian Captain Chris Victor, Mary Lynn, the riding instructress, Jessie Hunt the Stable Hand, and two students: Tara and Robin. Tara is a model student; Robin is impetuous and contrary. Spring Valley stakes its reputation on the Appaloosa horse Champagne, whose past holds a painful secret. Champagne, with Robin riding him, is entered in the prestigious Eastern Regionals at Madison Square Garden.
Dr Gary Christopher Vezzoli was a PhD research physicist: the understanding of mechanics this gave him he felt enabled him to understand the “harmonious motion of the horse-rider team”. He was a commissioned officer in the U S Army Reserve and also taught equitation: he wrote Superior Horsemanship: Learning and Teaching the English Hunting Seat (Oak Tree 1978). He taught at the real Spring Valley Farms, and many of his experiences there were woven into his horse book Spring Valley’s Spotted Champion.
Finding the book: not the commonest book in the world, and pricing is variable. It was not published in the UK.