The Horse God Built - Lawrence Scanlan

The Horse God Built

By Lawrence Scanlan

  • Release Date: 2010-04-01
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors
Score: 4
From 64 Ratings


He was the perfect horse, it was said, "the horse God built."

Most of us know the legend of Secretariat, the tall, handsome chestnut racehorse whose string of honors runs long and rich: the only two-year-old ever to win Horse of the Year, in 1972; winner in 1973 of the Triple Crown, his times in all three races still unsurpassed; featured on the cover of Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated; the only horse listed on ESPN's top fifty athletes of the twentieth century (ahead of Mickey Mantle). His final race at Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack is a touchstone memory for horse lovers everywhere. Yet while Secretariat will be remembered forever, one man, Eddie "Shorty" Sweat, who was pivotal to the great horse's success, has been all but forgotten---until now.

In The Horse God Built, bestselling equestrian writer Lawrence Scanlan has written a tribute to an exceptional man that is also a backroads journey to a corner of the racing world rarely visited. As a young black man growing up in South Carolina, Eddie Sweat struggled at several occupations before settling on the job he was born for---groom to North America's finest racehorses. As Secretariat's groom, loyal friend, and protector, Eddie understood the horse far better than anyone else. A wildly generous man who could read a horse with his eyes, he shared in little of the financial success or glamour of Secretariat's wins on the track, but won the heart of Big Red with his soft words and relentless devotion.

In Scanlan's rich narrative, we get a groom's-eye view of the racing world and the vantage of a man who spent every possible moment with the horse he loved, yet who often basked in the horse's glory from the sidelines. More than anything else, The Horse God Built is a moving portrait of the powerful bond between human and horse.


  • Secretariat

    By Judy0658
    Not what I was expecting - thought it would be about the horse. But a beautiful essay on the bond of horse & human. Highly recommend to anyone who loves horses and racing.
  • New found love

    By CMcT1
    Very good insight into the relationship between a Great Horse and his loyal groom. I found it very interesting and learned so much about a great story in the history of horse racing.
  • Great read!

    By dlangford2283
    I was pleasantly surprised how great a book this was, watched the movie secretariat, and wanted to know more about the horse and the people surrounding him. Look forward to reading more books about the greatest horse I have ever seen, I am 43 yrs old and was 5 when he did his triple crown. Glad I can say that I was from his generation.
  • A great read!

    By FantasiasWhippets
    In the family of Secretariat books, this one is wonderful:) I absolutely love the stuff about Eddie Sweat, what a great man! Will recommend to everyone I can!
  • Remarkable

    By Thelma Melk
    This is an incredible story. I watched the movie and am so glad I read the story of Eddie Sweat and his absolute devotion to Secretariat that culminated in the greatest race horse that ever lived. You don't have to be a horse lover to get this one. RIP Eddie. A life well lived.