TPH Book Review: Horse Show Boyfriend by Austin Bell

By TPH Intern Vyla Carter

We all remember when Meg Banks’ Instagram (@meg_at_) and blog blew up and she decided to travel to horse shows all over the country. What we did not know is that her boyfriend went along with her. Banks’ boyfriend, Austin Bell, eventually decided to write the book Horse Show Boyfriend to explain his journey on the A-show circuit and to explain how it works and what he thought of it it.

In the first of two sections of the book, ”The Sport”, Bell explains what he learned while on the circuit. Each chapter in the section simplifies an aspect of the A-circuit in a humorous fashion. The chapters include his explanation of the hunters, jumpers, and equation, to the (very scary) details of how much riding on the A-circuit can cost. Even someone who has been riding for many years is bound to learn about a new aspect of the sport from Bell’s writing.

Bell then gives details about the shows he attended in the second portion of the book, “The Shows”. Wellington, Kentucky, Upperville, Tryon, and Pony finals are just a few of the shows Bell traveled to with his girlfriend. From the tense atmosphere of Pony Finals to the air-conditioned bathrooms of Tryon, Bell gives comedic details and thoughts on each show he visited. Each chapter explains the various aspects of the show, including: the show’s history, the crowd likely to be seen at that certain show, the venue, big events and classes, the surrounding area, and Bell’s thoughts on the show or location. Bell brings the reader to each horse show with him by describing the shows in great detail.

Horse Show Boyfriend gives a fun and interesting way to learn about the sport of riding horses on the A-circuit. This read is perfect for anyone, even somewhat involved in the sport. Whether someone is a horse show dad who has no idea what’s going on or a seasoned Grand Prix rider, this lighthearted read is sure to tickle a funny bone. The witty footnotes and humorous writing style make Bell’s debut book a great read.