March 8th 1987 to October 5th 2012.
This is Mary's story. I bought her out of a thoroughbred sale at the old Detroit Race Course back in 1996. Mary was thin and in poor condition and pregnant! She didn't have much in the way of pedigree and was bred to an unknown and unproven stallion. The race people passed her by, but there was something about her. After the bidding I went to her stall to see what I had gotten myself into. Her previous owner was there saying goodbye. He was the only owner worried about his horse's new home and I was the only bidder checking on their new horse. So I guess it was meant to be that I would be the one to buy her. He said he had boarded her out and didn't realize how thin and unkept she was. He was so worried she would have a bad home or worse yet, go to slaughter. I assured him she would have a good home.
If only I knew then the road ahead of us! That this was going to be that special horse, that I would be the one the one to say the final good bye in her old age. What a funny road life can take us on.
Mary proved to be a good riding horse and an even better broodmare. Due to a cracked pelvis, we never got her to the horse shows. We kept her first foal and sold her to a friend. That foal went on to win reserve champion at his very first horse show. When my friend offered to let me buy Mary back I jumped at the chance. Several winning show foals and many trail miles later, my husband got deployed overseas. Not able to afford to ship her overseas with us or pay board on lots of horses we had to decided who to keep and who to sell. We kept one of her fillies but placed Mary in a home with the agreement that she would come back to us if they ever didn't want her. Two years into our deployment we found out she wasn't doing well in her new home. She was now in her late teens and had lost a bunch of weight. Looking at going into a northern winter too thin to survive, they were planning on putting her down. I just wasn't ready for that yet. So we took her back and trailered her down to my trainer's in Florida. She thrived in the new enviroment. Kudos, hugs and praise to Theresa, who got Mary back into great condition.
I took her home once we returned back to the US. I promised her she would never be skinny again and that she would live with me until the day she died. We enjoyed her for several years and even got one last filly from her. Than it was time for a well deserved retirement. She spent her last two years being a great auntie and keeping the young horses in line.
We are going to miss her and her quirky personality. I am lucky enough to have two fillies of hers to carry on her legacy. Cadenza and Venezia both display why Mary was such a great broodmare. They have 3 balanced gaits, super friendly personality, show ring sparkle and best if all, when they turn to look at you, you can see thier mom's signature expression reflected back at you.