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 and other suppliers.

More Stories

  • A Memorable First Trip To Oklahoma

    Taylor Ladd arrived in Oklahoma to compete for the first time this year, but she had the success of a seasoned veteran. The walk-trot rider left the fairgrounds with two World Championships, one Reserve World Championship, and three Grand National titles under the direction of Taylor River Farm. Read More
  • Highlights from Morgan Grand National

    Enjoy the victory passes and interviews from Oklahoma City on ReporTV! Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN FINAL

    It's official! The REPORT Leaderboard for the 2017 Morgan Grand National and World Championship Horse Show is final. Wow!  All the hard work all year really paid off! Congratulations to all the winners - blue ribbon and otherwise!


    Read More
  • Interview at Sterling Training Center

    In the interview that follows, trainer Katie Mair and owners Mary and Natalie Golota share their thoughts following Katie's win with As Predicted GCH at the Morgan Grand National.  Read More
  • Interview at Cater Stables

    In the interview that follows, trainer Kristen Cater and proud owner Lila Tater share their thoughts following Kristen's victory in Hunter Pleasure with Epona's Mo'O Lio GCH at Morgan Grand National.  Read More
  • Interview at Fire Stables Equestrian

    In the interview that follows, Elaine Galatz, Hannah McBain, Phil Fountain and Julianne Rafferty of Fire Stables Equestrian share their thoughts following a successful Morgan Grand National. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN Thru Friday

    With only Saturday's finale performances to go, here's how the blue ribbon counts go in the REPORT Leaderboard through end of day Friday, October 13. Read More
  • A Family Bond

    The Youth of the Year contest tests the skills of young equestrian each year at the Morgan Grand National. Selina Cloutier had the honor of winning this prestigious competition in 1998, and this year, her daughter Clea is competing for the same title. Read More
  • Another Record Breaking Performance

    Morgan Grand National fans were treated to a history making performance on Thursday afternoon as Arcadia, Oklahoma resident Chloe Farischon became the first junior exhibitor to win the World Champion Four-Year-Old English Pleasure title. Read More
  • REPORT Leaderboard MGN Thru Thursday

    It's coming down to the wire and the competition is so close. Check out the REPORT Leaderboard standings as of Thursday, October 12. Read More