Thursday, December 15, 2011

Farewell, Indian Charlie

Twice this year, my husband and I had the chance to be enamored by two different horses. And this year, we lost them all too soon. As fate would have it, both horses were of the same family--a great sire and his champion daughter.

A few months ago I posted about the loss of Fleet Indian, and this morning her sire, Indian Charlie, passed away.

Airdrie Stud was the first stud farm we visited in Lexington over Breeder's Cup weekend. The visit was a stark contrast to the hubbub of the open houses later in the day. Rather than a milling mess of people, it was just my husband, his friend, the stallion manager, the barn cat, and I...and of course, the horses. And rather than seeing stalled, perfectly-groomed stallions on display, we were free to roam the property of Airdie and see the stallions at their best--as happy, muddy horses.

This alone was a wonderful treat, but the first stallion we made a beeline for--and the number one reason we were at Airdrie--made the visit all the more special. He was Indian Charlie, and his personality was larger than his gigantic frame. He ran, he made us laugh, and he happily posed for our zillions of photographs. He also reminded me very much of Fleet Indian, and it was clear where she had acquired her looks and sweet temperament. Indian Charlie was a stand-out from the other stallions there and such a pleasure to visit that if we had packed up and left for Illinois right after Airdrie, I would have been satisfied.

"We must see him again next year," I told my husband as we were leaving, and he wholeheartedly agreed.

Upon learning of his passing this morning, my husband I were extremely saddened. We both feel very fortunate to have met both sire and daughter this year. If only we had more opportunities with them in the future. Rest in peace, Indian Charlie.

My husband photographing Indian Charlie


Liz said...

Dear Heidi,

Once again your writing brings tears to my eyes. Even though while I'm reading your wonderful blog about the amazing Indian Charlie and Fleet Indian I'm crying, partly from still being in mourning from losing our beloved Fleet Indian, they are also tears of joy....remembering how wonderful Fleet was and how truly she was like her sire. You are so right....they were so much alike and I can only hope that they are somewhere in the heavens, together, running like the wind while waiting for the day to come when we can run with them.

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful thoughts and beautiful pictures.

Liz Maddux
Summer Wind Farm

Heidi Carpenter Designs said...

I am glad you enjoyed it, Liz. He was a memorable horse, as was his daughter!