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HC pays six figures for horse rescue memoir

HarperCollins has paid a high six figure sum for world English rights in a memoir about saving horses in Zimbabwe.

Mandy Retzlaff's 104 Horses was bought by Myles Archibald and Hannah Macdonald at the Collins division of Harper UK in a deal brokered by Patrick Walsh of Conville and Walsh.

The memoir opens in 2001 and tells of Retzlaff and her husband's rescue of horses injured and abandoned in the Zimbabwe farm invasions. After repeatedly being evicted from farms themselves, the couple eventually crossed into Mozambique with 104 of their rescued animals, and set up a horse safari business on the coast.

Walsh called the memoir "an incredibly moving account of trying to hold a family together against impossible odds, and yet having the goodness at a time of incredible insecurity to save horses which would otherwise have died".

The agent sent out the proposal a week ago and within 48 hours had three different international divisions of HarperCollins gearing up to offer, with Archibald and Macdonald eventually co-ordinating their partner companies HarperCollins USA and HarperCanada to put together the deal.

Publication will be in the first half of 2013.