This slender novel follows the life of a Belgian draft horse from his yearling days in a pasture in Alberta through several owners until he finds his true calling as a therapeutic and vaulting horse at a riding center in Virginia.
Depressed and certain that there is no place for draft horses in the world anymore, his sire bites the tip off one of his ears; the resulting defect (inexplicably) sends him to a “kill” auction instead of one for valuable purebreds. A man named John Macadoo saves him from slaughter and takes him to Virginia, where he becomes the companion of a lonely boy. Another forced sale several years later takes him to the Maury River Stables, where he meets a young girl named Claire and an old Appaloosa named Chancey, both characters from the companion book, Chancey of the Maury River (2008). As with the previous book, overly formal and at times overwrought language mars the readability. Several logical lapses strain credulity here as well—Why would the only two choices for selling the horse be by auction? Why would a physical blemish mean his purebred papers wouldn’t travel with him?—and the beginning seems to promise a much grander future for the equine protagonist than the simple tale that unfolds.
Macadoo’s story will please very enthusiastic horse lovers—and only them. (Fiction. 8-12)