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“A Long Rein” By Mary Hanna

“This is not just a book about my mother and her remarkable love story. It is the story of my life, and of some of the amazing people who have formed my attitudes – people who have helped me not only fulfil my dreams, but in some cases to achieve goals far beyond any I’d even dared to imagine.”

Four-time equestrian Olympian Mary Hanna was born both to ride and to compete at the highest level. But she only realised this when she began to examine her mother’s life and to understand how much she had inherited from a feisty and beautiful woman for whom “the horses always came first”.

Mary’s original aim was to write an extraordinary life-long love story that began in 1933 when her mother, then 17, met a handsome German naval officer who would later captain the Kormoran, the cruiser responsible for Australia’s worst-ever naval disaster, the 1942 sinking of the HMAS Sydney.

A Long Rein is that story – and so much more. It is a fascinating account of Mary Hanna’s own life and of the amazing men, women – and horses – who inspired her to take on the world’s best riders in Atlanta in 1996, in Sydney in 2000, in Athens in 2004, in London in 2012 and, she hopes, once more in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

A Long Rein not only takes the reader behind the scenes of Mary’s incredible Olympic journey, it reflects on some of the trials in her personal life; from the tragedy of losing her first husband in a car accident, to her brave fight to save her horses from nature’s most deadly force during the devastating fires of Ash Wednesday.

Throughout everything, Mary’s horses have remained her constant source of joy and inspiration. In Mary’s own words:

“Horses, like people, can teach you to be tough and resilient. A childhood with horses is a great preparation for whatever life may dish out to you as an adult. They have taught me, enriched my life and taken me on so many wonderful journeys throughout the world.” A Long Rein is published on 12 October 2013, RRP $20.00. Available from Horseland stores nationally and from our website for $29.95 inc postage within Australia.

Book signing at Horseland Geelong


David wood chats with 4 time Olympian Mary Hanna about her new book Mary Hanna a long rein.

“Hello Good Lifers,

I’m sure you have heard me rambling on against jumps racing, whips, gambling on horses… but I DO love the animals themselves. I must admit my only ‘close encounters’ with them have been through an early love for Silvie, a little old horse who used to pull the baker’s cart and was then retired to a paddock I passed each morning on my way to school and, more recently, with the beautiful Phoenix who lived in the paddock between my house and “next door”. Sadly, when the house was sold Phoenix moved on too.

I do love to see them in all their pride at dressage events, so was pleased to speak on air a few weeks ago with Mary Hanna, author of “A Long Rein” and a successful Olympic equestrienne. And that is how I came to be at Horseland the other evening for the launch of Mary’s book – and found myself in another world!

This vast emporium is the David Jones of the horse world and I gasped at the range of accoutrements on offer and also at the prices! A hand-made diamente studded bridle was priced at $799 and a friendly horse owner to whom I was chatting told me that a friend of hers had paid $1,200 each for two custom made bridles. The air was redolent with the smell of new leather from the elaborate saddles lining the wall…. Lovely!

It was a very pleasant evening, Mary was a most interesting speaker and I found a “victim” for the program….a local artist who specialises in horsey art works. She is having an exhibition at Horseland quite soon and I hope to be speaking to her on the program. ”

Horsezone's review

‘A Long Rein – An Equestrian Journey’ is a fascinating tale that sheds light on Mary’s history, which is filled with fantastic characters, and on her life long journey to get where she is today.

Portland Observer Review


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