In advance of its release on 22nd September, enjoy a sneak peek at woman&home’s October cover star Clare Balding reading an exclusive extract from her first children’s book, ‘The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop’.
The 45-year-old presenter, who lives in West London with her wife, Alice Arnold, and their dog Archie, a Tibetan terrier, has already written two bestselling memoirs, ‘My Animals and Other Family’ and ‘Walking Home: Great British Adventures… and Other Rambles’, but this is her first foray into fiction.
The book’s heroine is 10-year-old Charlie Bass, who dreams of owning a pony. Elements of Clare’s own childhood have been incorporated into the book (“For me, confidence came from riding. It gave me self-belief when I wasn’t shining at school,” she tells us) but the characters themselves are modelled on her nieces and nephews. “I’ve never wanted children myself. If you have them, you have to look after them! By writing books like this one, I get to entertain them, which is much better. Not having kids means I have a lot more time in my life,” she asserts.
Clare, who describes herself as “more accepting” of her body than she used to be, admits to walking around the Olympic Park in Rio in an attempt to lose 4lbs. However, she told woman&home that she had “always wanted a heroine with big thighs – there are not enough of us in the world! I wanted to include a positive message in my children’s novel. One that says, ‘It’s not about how your legs look, it’s about what they can do for you’. I hope that this book will in some way help a generation of girls grow up not worrying what they look like. For them to realise the strength they can get from their heads and their bodies. Plus a sense of team spirit – the idea that it’s better to come together and help each other out.”