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Wayne McCrory wins 2024 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize for Wild Horses of the Chilcotin

Wayne McCrory wins 2024 Basil Stuart-Stubbs Book Prize for Wild Horses of the Chilcotin

Wayne McCrory has won the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Scholarly Book on British Columbia for his book The Wild Horses of the Chilcotin: Their History and Future. The $3,500 prize, given by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, will be awarded at a reception to be held in May.

“McCrory’s book combines masterful storytelling with in-depth biological research into the wild horse culture of the Tŝilhqot’in people,” says Dr. Susan E. Parker, UBC’s University Librarian. “We are pleased to award Wayne McCrory with the Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize.”

The Wild Horses of the Chilcotin: Their History and Future is a hardcover book, complete with colour photos, that has occupied the #1 spot on the BC Bestseller list throughout the winter. In it, wildlife biologist Wayne McCrory draws upon two decades of research to make a case for the protection of the Chilcotin’s wild horses—a population that is seen by government policy as an intrusion, competing for range land with native species and domestic cattle. McCrory argues that the horses, known in Tŝilhqot’in culture as qiyus, are a resilient part of the area’s balanced prey-predator ecosystem. McCrory also chronicles the Chilcotin wild horses’ genetic history and significance to the Tŝilhqot’in, juxtaposing their efforts to protect qiyus against movements to cull them.

Wayne McCrory is a registered professional biologist specializing in the study of wild horses, bears and western toads. He has published more than ninety scientific reports on wildlife and conservation, including two technical reports on wild horses in BC and Alberta and, with horse genetics expert Dr. Gus Cothran, two reports on the genetics of wild horses in the Chilcotin. McCrory lives on a small farm in Hills, BC, with his wife, conservationist and journalist Lorna Visser.

The Basil Stuart-Stubbs Prize for Outstanding Book on British Columbia, sponsored by UBC Library and the Pacific BookWorld News Society, recognizes the best scholarly book published by a Canadian author on a B.C. subject. The book prize was established in memory of Basil Stuart-Stubbs, a bibliophile, scholar and librarian who passed away in 2012. Stuart-Stubbs’s many accomplishments included serving as the University Librarian at UBC Library and as the Director of UBC’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies. Stuart-Stubbs had a leadership role in many national and regional library and publishing activities. During his exceptional career, he took particular interest in the production and distribution of Canadian books and was associated with several initiatives beneficial to authors and their readers, and to Canadian publishing. The other books shortlisted for the 2024 award were Sheltering in the Backrush by Jeanette Taylor (Harbour Publishing) and The Notorious Georges by Jonathan Strainger. (UBC Press).