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Renegade Champion: The Unlikely Rise of Fitzrada Paperback – 16 Jul 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; Reprint edition (16 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589799585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589799585
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.3 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,806,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


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

About the Author

Richard R. Rust was a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, a practicing civil engineer, and an amateur sportsman. The author died in 2008.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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