Robin Oakley brings alive the colourful world of those who ride and train jumping horses. With elegant production and gripping images The History of Jump Racing chronicles the social and economic changes which have brought the sport 's ups and downs like the development of sponsorships and syndicate ownership, the near loss of the Grand National, the growing domination of the Cheltenham Festival and the growth of all-weather racing to meet the bookies ' demands for betting shop fodder.
Pace and colour is provided by stories of the horses who have been taken to the heart of racing crowds, like the Irish-trained hurdler Istabraq and Best Mate, the three-times winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup for England. Famous rivalries and memorable races are re-lived and key victories revisited in portraits of and interviews with the owners, jockeys and trainers who have dominated the sport. The emphasis will be largely on the past fifty years from Arkle to Tony McCoy but a significant introduction by Edward Gillespie encapsulates the past history of what was previously known as National Hunt Racing ' and sets the stories in context.