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  • Published: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780241959763
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

My Animals and Other Family




The wildly funny, deeply moving childhood memoirs of the much-loved BBC star

'I had spent most of my childhood thinking I was a dog, and suspect I had aged in dog years. By the time I was ten I had discovered the pain of unbearable loss. I had felt joy and jealousy. Most important of all, I knew how to love and how to let myself be loved. All these things I learnt through animals. Horses and dogs were my family and my friends. This is their story as much as it is mine'

Clare Balding grew up in a rather unusual household. Her father a champion trainer, she shared her life with more than 100 thoroughbred racehorses, mares, foals and ponies, as well as an ever-present pack of boxers and lurchers. As a toddler she would happily ride the legendary Mill Reef and take breakfast with the Queen.

She and her younger brother came very low down the pecking order. Left to their own devices, they had to learn life's toughest lessons through the animals, and through their adventures in the stables and the idyllic Hampshire Downs. From the protective Candy to the pot-bellied Valkyrie and the frisky Hattie, each horse and each dog had their own character and their own special part to play.

The running family joke was that "women ain't people". Clare has to prove them wrong, to make her voice heard - but first she had to make sure she had something to say.

My Animals and Other Family is a funny, brave, tender story of self-discovery.

  • Published: 24 October 2012
  • ISBN: 9780241959763
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 272

About the author

Clare Balding

Clare Balding is an award-winning presenter, writer and broadcaster who has been presenting sports on television since 1998, when she became synonymous with horse racing on the BBC. Since then, she has reported on five Olympic Games (from Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London) as well as four Paralympic Games and three Winter Olympics. In addition, she is well known for her rugby league coverage; has presented Crufts; and hosts BBC Radio 4's walking series Ramblings. She has also covered ceremonial events such as the Lord Mayor's Show, Trooping the Colour and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Her autobiography, My Animals and Other Family, was published in 2012 and won the National Book Award for biography of the year. It has sold over a quarter of a million copies in hardback. The same year, she won the BAFTA Special Award and RTS Presenter of the Year Award for her coverage of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2013, she was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting and journalism in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Also by Clare Balding

See all

Praise for My Animals and Other Family

Moving, funny and larger than life

Michael Morpurgo

Magical, enchanting, riotously eccentric

Daily Mail

Funny and moving, James Herriot meets David Sedaris

The Times

Forthright, thoughtful, funny . . . reads like a Jilly Cooper novel

Sunday Times

Funny and unexpectedly wise. Balding has lots of good stories to tell. It is impossible not to admire her honesty

Mail on Sunday

She can do anything. If there were four more Clare Baldings, we'd have our empire back. Six, and we'd be colonising the Moon. And there would be crumpets and ashtrays for everyone

Caitlin Moran, The Times

The reading equivalent of snuggling by the fire with a labrador

The Guardian

A funny, affectionate memoir

Independent on Sunday

Charming, refreshingly self-depreciating, funny and moving. Balding tells it with immense flair

Daily Express

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