Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A look back to 1996

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

One gift I received was the translation of old VHS home videos to DVDs. On one of these was a recording of an early lesson with Limerick. The year was 1996, and the season was spring, which means I had only been with her for two months, max.

What a long way she and I have come since that lesson! I can truthfully say that I would not be the equestrian, not be the horse woman I am today without this little mare.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Limerick update

Things have slowed down, Limerick-wise. I ride when I can, but not as regularly as I would prefer! Lim was doing well until Monday--that night, she was covered in mud on her left side when I arrived at the barn. I was all set to ride, but as I groomed her I realized that something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it until I began uncovering the mud on the left side of her butt.

Underneath the dry mud was a gigantic lump--a hematoma. Ouch--poor baby probably got kicked in turnout.

So I've been treating this hematoma for the past few days. I guess our riding schedule will remain irregular until the new year, but that's okay. That's what happens sometimes.

A little history about Native Dancer

I love horse racing history, and sometimes if an article particularly strikes me, I'll email it to myself to file away. This is one of those articles!

Past and Present at Sagamore Farm

Sagamore Farm was home to Maryland-bred Native Dancer. Winner of 21 races out of 22 starts, his only loss was by a closing head in the 1953 Kentucky Derby, which was commonly blamed on a poor ride by the jockey. He went on to win the Preakness and Belmont, and many thought he could have easily won the Triple Crown.

Native Dancer's 1953 Kentucky Derby loss

While considered one of the greatest racehorses of all time, Native Dancer left a more lasting impression in the breeding shed. Out of a Discovery ("The Iron Horse") mare* and by a Phalaris-line stallion, Native Dancer played a heavy hand in the shaping of the Thoroughbred breed in the latter 20th-century. His most important descendants were grandsons Northern Dancer (via daughter Natalma) who also traced to Phalaris in his sire line (via Nearco) and Mr. Prospector (via son Raise a Native) who was also buttressed on the other side by a Phalaris line, via damsire Nashua (Nearco). Needless to say, the Phalaris via Native Dancer x Phalaris via Nearco nick was/is quite potent!

The blood of both Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector, continues on through numerous top sires standing today.

*Bold Ruler, another top sire traced in male line to Phalaris via Neaco, and is out of a Discovery mare, making Discovery one of the most important broodmare sires of the 20th century. Bold Ruler offspring and direct descendants include 70s greats Secretariat, Ruffian, Seattle Slew and Spectacular Bid.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Perennial top sire Pulpit has passed away

I got a text from a friend this morning that there was a rumor Pulpit had a heart attack, and I replied that I hoped it was truly a rumor. Sadly, that wasn't the case. I know the stallion was a favorite, both personality and career-wise, with the Claiborne crew--they must be devastated.

I am thankful that we got to see him in October this year. He looked wonderful--his coat glowed with health, and he was proud and confident. He carefully took peppermints from the groom and posed regally for us all. His eyes reflected traces of the amber hue passed down by his legendary paternal grandsire, Seattle Slew. "He has those Slew eyes," I had told my husband at the time. Little did we know that he would be gone in less than two months.

Rest in peace, big guy.