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Comment: Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact. The dust jacket, if applicable, may be slightly worn. Spine may show signs of wear, but is tight and square. Pages may include limited (10% or less) notes/highlighting, which DON'T obstruct the main text in any way. May be an ex-library book. Overall, it's a very nice and clean book. Ships from Amazon (Prime). Please leave feedback after purchase to let others know about your experience with us. Thanks!
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Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada Hardcover – August 22, 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Those of us who come from older generations cannot but admire what the late Col. Richard Rust achieved in producing, as a true labor of love, such a touching tribute to his mother. [We] will also be grateful to him for having evoked so many fond old horse-show memories. (William Steinkraus, four-time Olympic medal winner)

Renegade Champion is honest, compelling, and sometimes bittersweet. (In and Around Horse Country)

This true story reads like a Hollywood script but better. Unlike many biographies, this one is decorated with anecdotes that only a child would pick up through a lifetime spent with his mother. He does a masterful job of relating facts and blending them with these wonderful tidbits, so that the reader seems to feel what's going through Pohl's mind rather than simply reading her words. (The Chronicle Of The Horse)

Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada is a fitting tribute to Jane Pohl and the horse that propelled her to the top of the male-dominated jumper circuit of the 1940s. It’s an extraordinary treat to go back in time when prized show horses were actually working hunters, to a world where Thoroughbreds were exalted, and to big indoor shows being covered nationally in newspapers. But more than that readers will easily relate to her frustrations and triumphs of a horse crazy girl, showing on a shoestring budget, rubbing and grooming herself and training a horse that doesn’t have a blue-blooded pedigree—it’s all there in vivid detail as if Jane wrote the book herself. (Retired Racehorse blog)


Whether she wanted the job or not, [Jane Pohl] broke down the doors that led to women being included on the Olympic equestrian teams in 1964. Male or female, we owe her a debt of gratitude.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; 1St Edition edition (August 22, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158979379X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589793798
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Renegade Champion" is a heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking story. It is beautifully written. Whether one loves horses or knows little about them, this story cannot help but remind us how perseverance pays off, and how rewarding the relationship with four-footed companions can be. It also reminds us that the teenage years can be the best of times and the worst of times.

For those who do love horses, this book is a must-read. Jane Pohl's son must have loved his mother very much to write such a moving book that shows that she gave him great memories.

For this reader, "Renegade Champion" is one of those rare books that is truly unforgettable. I will always picture Jane Pohl and Fitzrada -- a runt who was sentenced to death as a rogue horse -- flying over the show-jumping barriers -- with room to spare.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book to treasure and it will always be on my bookcase. Renegade Champion is a true story of a smart but dangerous horse named Fitzrada and the young woman, Jane Pohl, who believed in him. The story follows Jane and "Fitz" from their first encounter on an Army base to their unikely rise to fame in the horse show world, culminating with her performance in the Jumper Championship at the National Horse Show at Madison Square Garden in 1946.
Best of all, it is a good read, and keeps you on edge, wondering what will happen next.
This book is a loving tribute to Jane by her son, Richard Rust. Unfortunately, I understand he died just before publication, so never learned how his book was received.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a heartwrenching true story of the bond between horse and human.Richard Rust made the time and tension come alive when telling of his mother's pain and passion for jumping and her great love, Fitzrada. It's the story of one human who fell in love with a horse and used that love to change the face of show jumping as we knew it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
That's what Jane Pohl Rust would answer, in her later years, when asked if she had had much experience on horseback. Pohl Rust ACTUALLY had done quite a bit of riding from 1945 to 1950 when she rode her horse Fitz (shortened for Fitzrada), a runty horse she rescued from death when her family bought him from the army in 1940. She had ridden Fitz at her father's Army base in Hawaii before the war and had been the only rider who could tame him. Pohl Rust - an Army brat - had moved around with her family, from West Point to Hawaii to Virginia. She was an avid rider and jumper - never owning a horse, but always working out with the Army equestrian teams at what ever base she was living.

In 1940 she took Fitz with her when she entered Vassar College in New York. He was still difficult to work with and ride, but she gamely took him fox hunting at local meets. She also entered riding and jumping contests with him. After her graduation in 1943, she moved back to her family's home in the Loudoun area in Virginia. She entered meets and races and jumping competition in northern Virginia, ultimately going to New York's National Horse Show from 1945 to 1950, and sweeping the awards each year. She was aiming for a place on the 1948 US Olympic Equestrian Team, but it was still only open to Army officers. By 1952, when places on the team were opened up to all amateur riders, Pohl Rust had retired from competition and Fitz had died.

Until her death in early 2001, she lived in the Boston area and then northern Virginia, where she raised her son, Richard Rust - the product of an early, unhappy marriage - and taught high school. She also rode to hunt with various northern Virginia hunt clubs and "kept her hand in" by teaching youngsters how to ride and jump.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Renegade Champion is a wonderful book for horse lovers, for lovers of horse sport, for riders, for just about anyone who is interested in the history of a sport, or even for those who are interested in the history of women in sports. It is much less about the horse than it is about his rider, Jane, but it is still a very good story, which is also very well told.

As a fan of horse sports and a lover of horse stories, I was very happy to have been given a chance to review this book and I dove right in. Though the book is written by the author's son, it is (for the most part) written in the third person. The storytelling is catchy and calmly draws you in to the lives of Jane and her family. There is some jumping around in history, as the book begins in the recent-past, then moves to the beginning of Jane's life with Fitzrada, and concludes with what has happened after Jane's passing. (I give nothing away in that statement, it is clear from the beginning that she has passed away.) But the jumble of history isn't difficult to handle, in fact it flows very well.

I had one serious issue with this book, which came after what I thought should have been the ending. Please keep in mind that I had an early review copy of this book and it might change before it is sent out for the general public, but I was very upset by the change in tone at the end of the book. I am not going to surprise anyone to say that the horse is no longer alive, so I will say that after the death of Fitz, the story takes an unusual twist and turn. It continues with the story of Jane Rust until her passing and then becomes a rambling of sorts on the author's experiences in dealing with feelings and the estate and whatnot after his mother's passing.
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