Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The tale of HOLY SMOKE....

This post is pulling from another one
about a few years ago... but this time
just about the horse...

In 1950, my mother and a friend
went to a horse auction in New York.
Across came a dark grey tall horse.
17 hands. He was a steeplechase
jumper in Ireland. But he had some
damage done on the way over to
American on the ship. It effected
his breathing. So endurance races
were not going to be his suit anymore.
He went pretty cheap. I think she said
he cost her $100. Pretty low for a horse
of his experience. She was the only bid.
But no one was really interested in him as he was
damaged as they said. Should go to
the slaughter house, they said.. not any
good to anyone.. But my mother thought
other wise.. she was in love.

He was called Holy Smoke. Because
that is what Mom said when she saw him,
just as everyone else had, when they
approached him. My mother would
get up on the chicken coop jump when
she had to get on him by herself.
Otherwise, someone had to boost her on.

There was a 16+ year love affair with
Holy Smoke and Mom. She won
class after class. Year after year.
He did so well, I can remember
having to sleep in the barn before
a few show, with my girlfriend. They
were afraid someone might come
and give Smokey (as we called him)
a shot. Even through the money
was not really big in those day, the
prestige was.

Smokey was a sweetheart, he
could be ridden by a child, he was
so mild. A child could walk under
his tall legs, and never have to
worry about him stomping. He
was a baby. The only flaw that
Smokey had was he could not
eat green grass. Yep, he got
colic in a flash. We spend many
a nights walking him for hours.
Putting on the twist, so we
could get the meds down him.
Which was a dandy trick when
all he had to do is raise his head
and no one could reach him.
We would all take turns walking him
thru the night..

Holy Smoke won New England
Champion Jumper for 5 years
straight. He was a proud horse.
And when he entered the ring,
he came alive. Dancing as he got
ready for the jumps. He flew over
them with such ease.   Yep, for
a horse they thought should go to
the slaughter house, he did pretty

darn good.

Smokey died at the age of 28,
he was retired to Mom and Dad's

new farm.
He had a donkey for a pal. And
he seem to keep the young Hackney's
that the folks switched to in their 50's.
all in line, when they act up. He was the
old man of the new farm. They seem to
respect him.

He and Mom's ashes are buried
together on the farm. 

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