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Xenophon Press

Mark of Clover by Countess Judith Barczy Gyurky "Kelly"

Regular price $50.00

Now accepting advance reservation orders

Expected Spring 2022

Mark of Clover contains a delightful collection of tales and lore covering 1000 years of Hungarian Warmblood history. The exciting and intriguing stories span the period from the Ninth Century through the end of World War II. Each chapter portrays individual horses with the "Mark of Clover," a unique birthmark belonging to a strain of horses originating from the Western Eurasian steppes. For any horse-lover, this is a fascinating book worth reading, depicting devoted and brave horses and humans.

Illustrated with drawings and watercolors by the author.

Countess Judith Barczy Kelly

Countess Judith Barczy Gyurky escaped from Hungary during World War II, on foot with wagons, bringing 64 horses and a few caretakers.  She traded her family jewelry for feed until she reached territory controlled by the US Army in Austria. Ultimately, she found her way to freedom in Virginia with the 14 remaining horses. She purchased a small farm near Batesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She named the farm "Port-a-Ferry Farm." signaling the safe end of her journey.  She lived until 1985 with her "Mark of Clover" horses. Many young equestrians were mentored by "Aunt Judith" as she was affectionately known by her beloved students.


"In the ninth century, before they entered middle Europe, under the leadership of the Chieftain Arpad, and settled in the rich valley of the Danube that is now Hungary, the Magyars lived in an Asiatic land that suffered a great drought. The Taltos, or High-Priest, slaughtered many snow-white horses and kept the sacrificial fires burning day and night to appease the evil spirits that kept the rain away from the pastures and fields, but it was all in vain, for no rain fell upon the parched and barren lands. (Subsequent paragraph...) The Magyar's were a horse-loving nation, and each family sought to surpass the other in breeding a superior line of animals. The competition was strong, but for some years Tokos had been the undisputed owner of the best breed. These horses were fast, cunning, and brave. In endurance and speed tests against the other Magyar animals, they always won. Tokos was taking all of his horses with him, for none was ever sold or given away. A few mares were carefully bred each year, and, if the colts were not perfect or did not live up to the standard set by Tokos, there were destroyed. Many of these horses bore a strange sign upon the tips of their muzzles, a mark in the shape of a four-leaf clover. It was rumored among the Magyars that it was the mark of the Gods, and, as long as the Gods favored the clan of Tokos, no one could hope to breed a better horse."

ISBN: 9781948717380 





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