Sky Watch by Emma Hudelson


  • 245 Page Hardback Book
  • University Press of Kentucky
Categories: , SKU: 12038


Enjoy Sky Watch by Emma Hudelson: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story is not only the tale of a remarkable horse, but of the American Saddlebred breed and the way these horses carried one rider back to herself. Tracking the path of Sky Watch’s success, Hudelson’s book is a deeply personal homage to one of the sport’s greatest show horses and the indelible impression he left on the breed and in the hearts of those who loved him.

Horse shows used to draw crowds by the thousands to state fairs and venues such as Madison Square Garden. And in the 1980s, no performance horse filled more arena seats than the American Saddlebred Sky Watch. He pushed the saddle seat industry to a peak that hasn’t been seen since. An athlete through and through, the stallion dominated the sport with the same power and intensity as a Kentucky Derby winner. With unmatched talent, Sky Watch earned four World Grand Championships and twelve World titles overall, making his career one for the history books. Years after Sky Watch finished competing, videos of his legacy in the ring captured the heart of author and lifelong horsewoman Emma Hudelson. Her fascination with the unstoppable stallion sent her on a journey to discover how a horse becomes a legend, convinced that if she can capture the magic behind the greatest show horse of all time, maybe she can understand her own obsession with Saddlebreds.


Praise for Sky Watch: 

What is more compelling than a remarkable horse making history? In this engaging first-person narrative, Emma Hudelson weaves the rise of show horse Sky Watch with a portrait of the magical, mysterious world of American Saddlebred horses and her own powerful story with the breed. Beautiful horses and masterful showmanship abound, but ultimately this is a story about love—in all its forms.

~Kristen Iversen, author of Full Body Burden and Molly Brown

Great horses live at the center of many stories—their own, those of their keepers, those of their fans. Sometimes they even shape the times in which they live. Sky Watch‘s constellation of tales is plotted with great skill and energy by Hudelson, giving us compelling insight into an esoteric world where the high-stepping American Saddlebred is king.

~Susanna Forrest, author of The Age of the Horse: An Equine Journey through Human History and If Wishes Were Horses: A Memoir of Equine Obsession

Emma Hudelson’s Sky Watch is a beautiful braided memoir deftly weaving the dramatic story of Saddlebred horses’ biggest star, Sky Watch; the history of horsemanship; and Hudelson’s own life with horses. I loved being immersed in this world and was moved by the obsession, adventure, and the biggest delight of all—how we care for one another, allowing what’s brightest about those we love, both human and animal, to shine.

~Tessa Fontaine, author of The Electric Woman: A Memoir in Death-Defying Acts


About the Author

Emma Hudelson is a nonfiction writer from Indiana. Her book Sky Watch: Chasing an American Saddlebred Story will be out in 2024 with the University Press of Kentucky. Her work appears in the Cincinnati Review, the Chattahoochee ReviewThe Rumpus, and elsewhere, and she contributes regularly to Saddle & Bridle. Emma writes about horses, women, and wellness, and she is passionate about the therapeutic power of expressive writing. She holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Cincinnati and directs the Writing for Wellness program at Butler University. Her Writing for Wellness work takes her to hospitals, addiction recovery centers, medical schools, and community centers. When she’s not teaching or writing, Emma is usually at the barn. She has one daughter, one husband, one dog, one cat, and one horse.