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Old Friends: Visits with My Favorite Thoroughbreds Hardcover – September 1, 2002


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"...a must-have for all equine lovers." -- The Florida Horse, October 2002

"If you buy no other horse book this year, make sure this finds a place on your bookshelf." -- Horseman's Yankee Pedlar

"If you love racehorses, you will love this book. It's a real collector's item." -- Teletext, John O'Hara

About the Author

Livingston first began photographing Thoroughbed racing in the early 1970s when she visited Saratoga Race Course and is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in fine arts. She has received two Eclipse Awards for her outstanding photography, and her work has been featured in books such as Old Friends, More Old Friends, and Barbara Livingston's Saratoga. Her work has also appeared in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, The Blood-Horse, Newsweek, People, and on the cover of TV Guide.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Eclipse Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1581500831
  • ISBN-13: 978-1581500837
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. Palmer on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a frequent visitor to a website which contains a lot of the work of Barbara Livingston. I have to say that her photography of famous race horses, both current and from the past is impressive. When I saw that she was writing a book about older thoroughbreds living out their last years, I was intrigued.
There are horses shown that I hadn't thought of in 20 years included, such as Wajima, who came out of nowhere in the latter part of 1975 to almost beat out the great Forego for Horse of the Year and faded into oblivion almost as quickly. He ended up living a nice long life.
Another fun read was the story of Proud Birdie, who was very popular in Florida, but hit it big with a win over Forego in a big race. The pictures of these horses were spectacular.
Barbara also chronicles the great champions Affirmed, Seattle Slew, Spectacular Bid and John Henry as well. A lot has been written about these horses when they were in their primes, but a masterful job has been done about their later years.
I'm still going through the book, but I've looked at enough to let you know that if you love the bauty of horse racing, this would be a great coffee table book for your collection.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Barbara D. Livingston, Old Friends: Visits with My Favorite Thorougbreds (Eclipse Press, 2002)

Reviewing books of photography often makes me feel guilty. As brilliant as someone like Romain Slocombe or Joel-Peter Witkin (for example) is, and as good as his books are, it seems kind of cheating to put a big photography book on one's list of books read for a given year. After all, how long does it really take to get through a book of photography?

Not so with Old Friends. While it is, in fact, packed with the gorgeous photographs of horses for which Barbara Livingston is so deservedly well-known, every horse in here also has a small essay from Ms. Livingston, making this more a trip down memory lane than a photography book. Some of the horses in here are some of the best-known horses on the continent (Spectacular Bid, for example), some are well-known in their region of the States (Zuppardo's Prince, the leading stallion in Louisiana most years), and some even the most hardcore horseplayer has long forgotten, or never heard of in the first place. Livingston treats them all with equal dignity, and by the end of the book, we feel like we know these horses, too.

A number of the horses here, since (and in a few cases before) the book was published, have died, and any of the rest of them are going to succumb to the ravages of old age within the next few years. But while some of their names will live in the lore of horse racing forever, Livingston has here ensured that many of the others will also not be forgotten.

A fantastic book, and well worth having. **** ½
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful book! The photographs are beautiful and the text is honest and touching. Each vignette makes you feel as if you are at the farm with the author that day. This is a must have for every horse lover. I recommend a full box of tissues every time you read this book. It is not a sad book but very moving and full of love an drespect for the wonderful horses represented here. As many of us horse savvy folks know...these are the lucky ones. I Just love it!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Rouge on January 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Barbara has devoted much time and heart into a wonderful book reflecting the lives of many racing legends. She's been able to touch on individual aspects of each animal including a little racing background and breeding. After reading each chapter, I felt I knew each one personally.
As a frequent browser of Bloodhorse.com, I've come across obituaries of several horses that were in the book and have printed the articles and inserted them into their appropriate chapters. I recently emailed Barbara with some inquiries and she was very kind in responding back to me. She is currently working on Old Friends-Part 2 and you can bet I'll purchase a copy for my library.
I recommend this book to all horse enthusiates!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "nitney72" on August 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book after hearing about the death of the great Ferdinand.
This book shows many of the great ones that have come along, many that are still breeding and many that are living out the rest of their days in quiet comfort. Livingston is a fan of all of these horses, writing as if each one is her own. I read this book in one sitting, crying and laughing all at the same time.
I can't help but think of all the horses that didn't make it, the horse that met the same end as Ferdinand. The one's that were bred for speed but couldn't quite turn it on at the right time. The horses in this book were and are all very, very lucky indeed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I had the pleasure of meeting the author at Gulfstream Park . She was doing a book-signing at the Florida Derby and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. She is a kind and gracious lady. She took her time with everyone who approached her. I was already planning to purchase book and was so happy to get an autographed copy! The pictures are incredible and the grace and dignity she conveys with them is perfect for such beautiful animals as thoroughbred horses. I recommend this book to anyone who loves horses or horse racing. As Ms Livingston signed in my book : Track fever is a good thing!"
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