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Xenophon Press

Mark of Clover by Countess Judith Barczy Gyurky "Kelly"

Regular price $40.00

Now in Print

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

Countess Judith Barczy Gyurky"Kelly" escaped from Hungary during World War II, on foot with wagons, bringing 64 horses and a few caretakers. She traded and sold her family belongings and jewelry for horse feed until she reached territory controlled by the US Army in Austria. Ultimately, she found her way to freedom in Virginia with the 12 remaining horses. She purchased a small farm near Batesville in 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 many beloved students and clients.
Illustrated with drawings and watercolors by the author.
Check out another story of escape from Hungary in "A Rider's Survival from Tyranny" by Charles de Kunffy, also from Xenophon Press

At the time of this writing, filmmaker, Kimberley Williams is preparing a documentary on the Hungarian horses entitled Horse Diamonds, due to be released in 2024. It will include extensive coverage of Aunt Judith's role in rescuing the Hungarian warmbloods to America.



"Dawn rises. I have finished the last episode during the night and concluded the chain of stories, that, over a thousand years, linked a line of brave animals-from the arid Asiatic steppes to the green pastures of Virginia.

I am tired and sleepy just the same as I was many years ago when rocked to sleep by the same stories’ narratives. I want to remind you, dear Readers, that this is not a historical book: The names are distorted, the dates vague, and the locations anything, but precise. Yet, please, remember that these stories have been colored by the imagination of several generations of minstrels, story tellers, old nurses, grooms, . . .

Now, my aim was to pass them on to you the way I heard them-the stories that would sink into oblivion, together with a certain type of life, of peoples and horses; a world to which we belonged; Old Hungary.

No doubt, people will call most of the events that connected the fate of the horses with my family’s history a coincidence. They might be right. But as for myself, I can only feel gratitude toward the breed of Clover that stood me by.

I also want to ask you a favor, dear Reader: Do not lend this book to your friends; make them buy it. Because, as you may know, the breed of Clover eats oats-and how!"

Sales go toward feeding horses and publishing more books!



color hardcover

143 pages

Illustrated by the author




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