Coping with your own death, when you are not yet dead, is a strange thing...A natural on a horse since he was able to walk, and imbued with a pure love of riding, Declan Murphy became one of the most brilliant jockeys of his generation before his world came crashing down at the final hurdle of a race at Haydock Park. His skull shattered in twelve places, he was believed to be dead, the last rites were read and the Racing Post published his obituary. Miraculously, and the word is not used lightly, he survived and defied medical thinking in recovering to the extent that eighteen months after his fall, he was able to saddle up for one more race. As usual, he won. For 23 years, Declan has been unable to tell his story, to bring to words existence on the frontier between life and death, to describe the incredible bond between man and horse. But now, in an extraordinary collaboration with Ami Rao, she has helped him find those words, a way to piece together what happened before, during and after, what it all meant and what it means to us all.
It is a story of triumph, fear, love and loss, by turns primal, heartbreaking and inspirational, and ultimately, it is the story of hope, and of life.
"You can read and enjoy Centaur simply as a thrilling account of an elite sportsman who nearly died, but lived to ride again. There are beautiful insights too into the relationship between rider and horse. But it is also a book about how stories get told." Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
Declan Murphy (Author) Declan Murphy was born in rural Limerick on 5 March 1966. Like most of his seven siblings, he took to riding horses from an early age and after being spotted by Ireland's top trainers became a leading amateur jockey while at school. He then moved to England and rode a host of winners in races as prestigious as the Champion Chase and Gold Cup before a near-fatal accident on Arcot at Haydock Park in May 1994. Eighteen months later he rode a final winner, Jibereen, at Chepstow.Ami Rao (Author) Ami Rao is a British-American writer who was born in Calcutta and has lived and worked in New York City, London, Paris, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Ami has a BA in English Literature from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. As a self-proclaimed foodie, she has written before for Tim Hayward's Fire & Knives. She has always been 'absolutely horse mad' and rides regularly in her spare time. Centaur is her debut book.