Monday, April 30, 2012

More in the sobering Times series about racehorse breakdowns

By Eliza

The second installment, this one focusing on casinos and their role in the problem.  Click here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Exterminator's 1918 Kentucky Derby

By Eliza

More Derby stuff. . .this is historical, though.  Exterminator, the racehorse with whom I am admittedly preoccupied, won the Derby in 1918.  Here is a video of his race.  I love how you can see what a rainy day it had been, the depth of the mud on the track.  You can see photographers picking their way through the muck.  And most of all, there is Exterminator, pulling ahead with what people would start to recognize as his characteristic style, and then wearing his roses at the end, his long head and long body.  Everyone is wearing a hat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting Derby-Ready

By Eliza

Even if you are not a gigantic racing fan, you must know it's almost Derby time.  And as a horse person, you really should have a pick when you walk into that Derby party.  Here is your cheat sheet, and his name is Steve Haskins.  He writes for the Blood-Horse and his choices--"Haskins' Derby Dozen"--are all you need to know about the most exciting two minutes in sports.  Click here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Check out Laura Crum at the Equestrian Ink Blog

Kind of funny to be writing a blog post about another blog, but today I'm writing in about a blog that I read. If you read, you will also like It's written by people who write fiction about horses. I found it because I am a of Laura Crum, who writes the Wednesday blog posts but is more famous as the author of the Gail McCarthy mysteries.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Lessons Learned From Amy Tryon

How shocking and sad to hear about two-time Olympic medalist event rider Amy Tryon’s untimely death yesterday. As I sit here writing I’m recalling all the times I interviewed her from this same seat. She was always humble, hard-working and focused on her horse’s happiness. Her talent, her knack for finding and shaping equine partners, and her tremendous dedication to the art of horsemanship have earned her well-deserved international recognition. And she made it to her first Olympics (2004) in her “spare” time while serving as a full-time job as a firefighter. She lived with her husband Greg and their horses in DuvallWA.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tough Times, Yet Hope Lives at Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue

By Kitson

It was the screaming that did it.

When Pure Thoughts Horse Rescue founders Jennifer Swanson and Brad Gaver went to pick up the chestnut paint horse, there was a lot of crying and screaming. Who wouldn’t scream if you were losing your house and had to give away your horse, too? But while the family was upset, it was their goat who was screaming as his best friend disappeared into the trailer. Without missing a beat, Brad and Jennifer offered to take the goat, too. It’s just what they do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

More Roxy

By Kitson

Roxy, courtesy of the Maria's Watercolor
I chatted with Stacy Westfall last night about a story we're working on together and she mentioned how she was touched by the tribute piece that I wrote about her dearly departed quarter horse mare, Roxy (in the May/June 2012 issue of Young Rider). Today on her blog she shared a photo of the beautiful watercolor of Roxy that an artist painted and sent to her. Stacy keeps saying: Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Of Illusions Shattered

By Kitson

The Wick Home in Morristown, New Jersey
This week I visited family in New Jersey. On my way home, I took a slight detour through Morris County to drive past the farm that my grandparents once owned in Morristown. I also visited the nearby National Historical Parkat Jockey Hollow. I had visited there when I was a child and loved hearing about the legend of Tempe Wick, the young colonial woman who, during the Revolutionary War, hid her beloved horse inside her family’s home from mutinous, horse-thieving soldiers. What's not to love about Tempe?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Game of Thrones Horses (Garrons)

By Eliza

Obviously we have been working a bit of a theme with onscreen horses here lately--Hunger Games, Luck, Dreamer and Grand Slam, and now, Game of Thrones. I've read all the books, but it wasn't until last night that I saw the first episode of the HBO series. Talk about horses aplenty. There are horses everywhere. Royal horses, pack horses, cart horses, ponies for children. In the books, the smaller horses are called garrons, which I learned is a Scottish word for a hardy little horse.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Grand Slam dies

By Eliza

Racing reports everywhere are on top of the news that Grand Slam, the great stallion, has died. You can go to those other sources--good one from the Blood-Horse--for why this is important. But I just want everyone to remember the moment in the movie Dreamer (an excellent choice for those who want to watch something about the love between a girl and a horse that is not all about riding--she literally rides one time) when the little horsey Carhartt-wearing girl played by Dakota Fanning meets Grand Slam. She's thrilled, astonished, a true fan of the greatest game. and it's one the movie's finest moments.