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Sky Watch: My Obsession With America's Favorite Show Horse

Spring 2024, University Press of Kentucky

Sky Watch is the story of one unstoppable show horse, the rivalry that defined him, and the way horses like him carried one soon-to-be mother back to herself.  

In the 1980s, American Saddlebred horse Sky Watch’s rivalry with Imperator filled Louisville’s Freedom Hall to the rafters, pushing the show horse industry to a peak that hasn’t been seen since. Emma Hudelson has just rekindled her childhood passion for horses and discovered Sky Watch’s legacy when she and her husband decide to start a family. As she struggles to find her way in the elite world of American Saddlebreds before pregnancy forces her out of the saddle, she travels to the heart of Kentucky to unravel Sky Watch’s story. If she can capture the magic behind the horse who changed show horses forever, maybe she can understand her own compulsion to return to horses even as motherhood threatens to pull her away.

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Selected Work

When Riders Write

The Cincinnati Review, December 2022


Flying Island Journal, May 2020


Thin Air Magazine, March 2020


The Chattahoochee Review, December 2019

Depressed, Not Addicted

The Fix, July 2019


The Rumpus, March 2019


Print: The Nasiona, December 2018

Audio: The Nasiona Podcast, Episode 9: Daughterhood


805 Lit+Art, December 2018


Foglifter, November 2018

Learning Herbivore

Chickpea Magazine, February 2018

Nail Polish

Lost Balloon, August 2017



Linden Avenue, July 2017

Mentally Ill, Addicted, and Medicated

BUST, August 2016

Sometimes Smoothies and Yoga Aren't Enough

The Manifest-Station, January 2016

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