Lady Elizabeth Kitson pays tribute to a very special show pony in her novel 'Legend A True Story' — a story for children and adults alike
Legend A True Story tells the tale of Lady Elizabeth Kitson’s (née Spencer) remarkable pony, Legend.
The humorous and touching novel recounts the life of Legend, with whom Elizabeth secured wins at the Royal International Horse Show three years running from 1946 to 1948 and at the first Horse of The Year Show in 1949.
The book features delightful paintings by 77-year-old Elizabeth of Legend, his companion Granite and other equine friends.
Elizabeth recalls life as a young girl, during and after the war, competing and having fun with her ponies. The first part of the book is told from her point of view and the second from Legend’s perspective.
“It was fun imagining I was Legend,” she says. “We grew up together and I was just a year older. Legend had so much character and he always had such a sense of enjoyment about him. He loved life.
“Legend achieved such a lot and it is important that he is always remembered. It was also a wonderful time in my life, and quite different from the type of childhood that is experienced today.
“During the war and after there wasn’t a lot of food around and our amusement was being outdoors and riding the ponies.”
The story, suitable for children and adults, begins in Surrey during the Second World War.
Elizabeth’s father is away fighting and she and her mother move to Devon to live with her grandparents.
Elizabeth is four years old and it is here that her adventures begin with Legend. She is the first to ride Legend and after numerous falls, they become inseparable.
Legend and Elizabeth go on to win show after show, leading them to the most prestigious show of the time, the Royal International Horse Show.
Elizabeth went on to become a formidable horsewoman and showjumped internationally and schooled horses up to Grade A, while also enjoying successes in point-to-points.
Legend A True Story is published by Forelock Books and costs £12.99.
For more information visit: www.forelock-books.co.uk