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The Tesios, as I knew them, by Mario Incisa della Rochetta

October 31, 2010

When I first got The Tesios, as I knew them, by Mario Incisa della Rochetta, I thought the book was nothing out of the ordinary. When I started analyzing these horse books, I struggled to figure out how much a book might be worth. I didn’t know how to evaluate and rank the book taking into consideration its content, the author(s), the edition, the condition, a signature (or two), and its availability. I hadn’t even heard of looking at a books’ association, which has to do with a book’s prior owner and how known, or relevant, he or she is to the author. Then you subtract for any underlining or other obvious flaws.

I was curious about this book’s value.

Of course its content is special, as Mario Incisa della Rochetta succinctly describes owner, breeder, and trainer Federico Tesio and his wife Donna Lydia, who “released him from every smallest care and enabled him to exercise his superior faculties to the full.” Tesio’s skills were legendary and his breeding and training secrets were carefully guarded. Mario Incisa della Rochetta divulges some of these secrets in this book, given his close relationship with the Tesios who trained on his estate in Italy. Mario Incisa della Rochetta was part of the Antinori family, which is behind one of Italy’s most significant negociant firms & has been profiled on 60 Minutes.

I love what Mario writes about Donna Lydia: “Donna Lydia was never beautiful and somehow her dentist had managed to accentuate her resemblance to an old horse. But she had great style.” (p. 101) Do people in the horse industry relate everything to horses?

Anyway, the cover and book looked to be in relatively good condition, with a clear mylar cover now protecting the dust jacket. I opened up the book, saw the signature (good), and then saw the underlining (bad), which isn’t too bad, though is throughout the book. How do you evaluate that? I kept staring at the signature page, wondering what to do next. I wondered who Pat was.

Her address label is at the top of the page, and I decided to find out who she was. Who is Pat Koechlin-Smythe?

Much to my surprise, she was one of Britain’s premier female showjumpers, winning the bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics in Stockholm as part of Britain’s jumping team.  I couldn’t believe it! Of course, it makes sense that Mario and Pat would know each other, both in the horse industry and both authors. I felt like I’d make a big find, linking two people in an association, and giving this book a new beauty.

I’m going to add some more information and links when I find more (and figure out how to add links).

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