Skip to content

WWU Equestrian Chair Authors 'Amazing Horse Facts' Book



FULTON, MO – Gary Mullen is a busy person. He is equestrian studies division chair and associate professor of equestrian science at William Woods University. He also is a licensed USEF "R" judge for both Andalusians and Friesians, and he was recently appointed to serve on the USEF committees for both breeds.

Despite his hectic schedule, Mullen has always enjoyed writing. But he never intended to write a book about horse trivia.

Mullen had only been at WWU for a few months when he was contacted by Quarto Publishing in London. They were looking for a "university equine expert" to write a proposal for a book about amazing horse facts. A bird book with the same format had been successful, and they were looking to expand the concept to horses.

"I had no intention of writing this particular book," said Mullen, who was paid a flat fee to write a proposed table of contents and eight pages of actual text. "I never really thought it would sell, so I just dismissed the idea of writing the book."

However, a year later Mullen was contacted again by Quarto—they had quite a few potential buyers and wanted to pay him another flat fee for authoring the book with an international audience in mind.

"I was very busy with my job, and I was leery about taking on the responsibility, especially since they wanted it done in four months. I contacted my children and they said they would be very upset if I did not do this for them and my grandchildren," said Mullen, who decided to tackle what turned into a 200-page endeavor.

"I planned out the 200 pages and did a few pages a night. I spent three weeks at Christmas break doing the bulk of the work," said Mullen.

Not only did he do the writing, but Mullen looked through thousands of photographs to depict the ideas that he had in his head. Once he found the pictures he wanted, the editor had to attempt to contact the photographers for permission to use the photographs. It was a long process, and they were trying to do it all in a short span of time.

"I am a deadline freak, so I met every deadline," said Mullen. "My editor in London was incredible. We exchanged ideas rapidly via internet, and the whole process was extremely smooth."

The book has been marketed internationally, as the publisher originally planned. The book has been sold to additional publishers in China, Italy, Australia, Holland, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Estonia and Lithuania, and there are plans to sell it to publishers in other countries.

Mullen was pleased with the final product.

"I wanted it to be unique," said Mullen. "I think the book addresses almost any question one might have about horses, no matter how bizarre it might seem. I call the book a ‘bathroom read’ because it has snippets of light-hearted information. It is too small for a coffee table book, but perfect for the restroom!"

While this project is over, Mullen’s writing is not. Over the years he has written articles for numerous horse magazines and newspapers, and he has plans for future books that he thinks will be distinctive and worthy of writing.

"Amazing Horse Facts and Trivia" is available through bookstores like Barnes & Noble, or online at Amazon.com and other suppliers.

More Stories

  • Morgan Honors at USEF Convention

    AMHA is pleased to congratulate Morgan trainer Mike Goebig of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, as the 2017 Pegasus Medal of Honor recipient. Mike received this great honor at last evening's US Equestrian's awards dinner... Read More
  • NWSA Fall Classic Selects Judge

    The Northwest Saddlebred Association Fall Classic Horse Show has named Bill Waller to be the judge for this year’s show. The event is scheduled for Sept. 19-22, 2018 at the Oregon Horse Center in Eugene, Oregon. Read More
  • Freedman's Announces Release of New Saddle Pad

    Freedman’s is proud to launch their newest product, The Freedman Acavallo Memory Foam Gel Pad. The Freedman Acavallo Memory Foam Gel Pad is a full compression, non-slip pad, specifically designed to fit discreetly under Freedman’s cut back saddles... Read More
  • Far West Morgan Regional Joins Country Classic

    The Far West Morgan Regional Championship Horse Show has big changes in store for participants in 2018. Last year Far West was held in conjunction with the Oregon Morgan Classic at the Oregon Horse Center in June. Read More
  • River Ridge Charity Selects Judging Panel

    River Ridge Charity is fast approaching and is scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday, April 25-28, 2018 at the Ohio Exposition Center in Columbus, Ohio... Read More
  • ASHA Welcomes New Directors For 2018

    The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) is pleased to announce the election of seven (7) new members to its Board of Directors, who will join the Board at the UPHA & ASHA Conference, which will host the ASHA annual meeting on February 1, 2018. Read More
  • David L. Howard to be Honored for Lifetime Achievement

    The American Saddlebred Horse Association (ASHA) has announced its annual award recipients, based on ballots tabulated by the ASHA Board of Directors. Nominees for each award are received from the general membership and committee volunteers, screened by the ASHA Executive Committee, and voted on by the full Board from the candidates selected. Read More
  • Iowa Horse Shows Associations Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet

    The Iowa Horse Shows Association will hold their annual meeting and awards banquet on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at The Prairie Meadows Event Center, Altoona, IA. Events begin at 3:30 PM with the annual membership meeting of the Iowa Horse Shows Association followed by the Iowa American Saddlebred Association meeting. At 5:30 PM the American Saddlebred Futurity of Iowa will hold their Stallion Service Auction. The Banquet and Awards ceremony will begin at 7 PM. Read More
  • 2018 AMHA Convention Schedule

    Come celebrate Valentine’s Day with your favorite breed and those who share the same passion as you at the Hyatt Regency in Lexington, Kentucky, for the 2018 AMHA Annual Convention and Awards Gala... Read More
  • Jubilee Regional Morgan Horse Show Takes Hiatus for 2018

    Due to continued uncertainty at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, the committee for the Jubilee Regional Morgan Horse Show has voted to take a one-year hiatus from hosting the show traditionally held at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield at the end of August... Read More