Mike Tucker was born into a life of farming and horses. His passion and hard work enabled him to progress from international groom to successful international event rider, top level Eventing official and television commentator. The pinnacle of Mike's career as a commentator was covering Nick Skelton's Gold Medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016 for the BBC.
In The Man Behind the Mike we learn about Mike's family history and the connection with the Badminton Estate where his grandfather farmed; The Beaufort Pony Club, a huge influence in his life with many top level riders being members; a visit to Australia, staying with the Roycroft family, which proved to be a pivotal moment in his efforts to become a successful event rider; and about Mike's second place at Badminton, which laid the foundations of his credibility as a rider and commentator. The voice behind the microphone had the experience and knowledge to commentate with authority and to command respect from the listening public at venues of not just horse trials but also show jumping, dressage, and shows in general.
The wealth of experience and lifetime involvement in the world of equestrian sport has enabled him to travel all over the world meeting many different people and sharing his expertise. We are told many funny, revealing, fascinating and sometimes sad anecdotes of his experiences of the successes and failures along the way and we are given a true insight into the real stories behind the headlines, and The Man Behind the Mike.
Sportsbeat very kindly produced this video of the book launch, which took place during the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2018 (opens in Youtube) https://youtu.be/Sz57K4JsVHg?list=PLsWkvtc3juKBgJEOJ9D77dqT4GRiv38yF
About the Author
Jane Wallace was born in Cambridge and started riding at an early age. She was soon spotted as showing talent and rode many of the top show ponies of the 1960s, winning at all the major shows including the Horse of the Year Show and Dublin Show. In 1989 Jane won the Individual Silver Medal at the European Championships at Burghley and was ranked 3rd lady rider in the world. Jane was a highly regarded hunter judge, judging at the major shows including The Horse of the Year Show. She taught and gave lectures/demonstrations in England and abroad. She continues to run a busy livery yard and still teaches. Jane has written several books, The Less Than Perfect Horse, Jumping is Jumping, Teaching Children to Ride and seven Threshold Picture Guides.
- Book Specifications
Sub Heading Mike Tucker: The Voice of Equestrianism ISBN 9781846892684 Author Jane Wallace Binding Casebound Extent 304 pages, 234x153mm Illustrations 24 pp colour plates - colour and black & white photographs Ebook Yes
‘Jane Wallace has done a heroic job in completing this book and has thoroughly done justice to a quite irreplaceable man of great passion, kindness and, above all, humour’ – Kate Green, Country Life
‘There are a few people so closely associated with a sport that they become its sound. Ringing in the ears of many an aspiring Pony Clubber were the tones of Mike Tucker. He was the vocal backdrop to our pony-mad lives, the voice of equestrianism as a BBC commentator for 25 years. Whether it was the Olympic Games of any other equestrian event, Tucker shared his humour, knowledge and charm with those watching and listening. Jane Wallace’s book began as a collaboration but she was forced to finish without its main character after his untimely death. But Wallace has succeeded in creating both a biography and a tribute to Tucker, marshalling both Mike’s words and those of his friends and colleagues. The later chapters brim with anecdotes, including HRH The Princess Royal’s account of the commentator’s curse. Tucker was a cattleman who finished second at Badminton, designed cross-country courses, chaired committees, was a Jockey Club steward and contributed much to the equestrian world. “Mike would have been proud of this book,” said Wallace. I concur, he certainly would have been. And he would of been proud of her, too. A fitting tribute. ’ – Alexandra Henton, The Field
‘A fantastic book which gives a tremendous insight of the late Mike Tucker. The Man Behind the Mike should be on everyone's read list – a superb tribute to someone who gave so much to the sport.’ – British Showjumping
‘The Man Behind the Mike” is a wonderful tribute to Mike Tucker, giving us fascinating insight to his life in horses from those who knew him best. A mix of autobiographical quotes and those from friends an colleagues, it interweaves into a rich tapestry so fitting for a man whose voice and personality was known and loved throughout equestrianism.’ – Martha Terry, Horse & Hound
'The text is a delightful portrait of a man who lived an extraordinary and very full life, who was excellent company, who liked to help people and yet was full of self- deprecating humour. Throughout the last half of the book, which is filled with memories and recollections from those who knew him both professionally and socially he is poken of as a legend of a man whom everyone misses very much. This is a skilled portrayal, making the reader feel they know the man and yet are left feeling disappointed they never had the opportunity to get to know him in person.' — Louise Broderick, Horse & Pony Ireland (To read the full review, click on this link http://hay-net.co.uk/the-man-behind-the-mike-a-review/)
Jane Wallace’s biography of commentator and all-round countryman Mike Tucker is yet another great read from Quiller. Except that it isn’t, a biography that is, or certainly not a straight forward traditional linear narrative e.g. “He did this, and then this happened….” This volume is so much more than that, and all the more enjoyable and readable because of it. In summary it is a book that will no doubt get reread time after time, and each time I will no doubt learn a little more. Buy this book you will enjoy it. — Peter Brooks, Bailys Hunting Directory
'What a thoroughly enjoyable read, it is entertaining, enlightening, educational, hilarious and, at the same time, successfully maintains his privacy. Mike would have loved this book... Reading it was a rollercoaster of emotions but it is so uplifting and a perfect all-round tribute to someone I feel very privileged to have known.' — Liz Thorburn, BBC Producer
'This world is often unknown to us Dutch. Admittedly, we may have heard of the Grand National and Royal Ascott. But what these events are all about and what the significance is for our neighbours in Britain will be unknown territory for most of us. In the biography of horseman Mike Tucker, [...] Jane Wallace knows how to describe this world... you get a very nice insight into the British horse world. Only the photo on the cover already speaks volumes.' — Allesoverboekenenschrijvers (To read the whole review (in Dutch), click here).
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