Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daddy's last mare found in ideal setting

I had such a great surprise yesterday. I took my 16-month, 80-pound Labrador, Cash the Dog in Black, to a basic obedience class in Hernando at Critter Camp. When I drove up the tree-lined land, I noticed a pasture of Appaloosa horses.

When I met Sandra L. Selph-Gooch, the owner of Critter Camp, I told her my father had been one of the first breeders of Appaloosa Horses in this area. After his death in 1998, I sold his last mare, Poco Snowbird. I told her I’d sold her to a guy from Hernando but couldn’t remember his name.

She said, “Was it Eric Beene’ of Journey’s End?” I said, “Yes.” She told me that Eric was her son who had given me directions earlier. The property was now called Southern Winds Ranch. Then she also said, “Your mare is probably out there in the pasture with that pretty filly by her side.”

I almost cried.

Snowbird was Daddy’s (Hayley Dandridge, Senatobia) last horse. He died in 1998 and was buried on his 85th birthday. He was past his riding days, but he loved feeding Snowbird everyday, just putting his hands on her, and got to see her broken to ride.

She was the culmination of his lifelong breeding of Appaloosa Horses and Quarter Horses. In her pedigree were some of his own mares and stallions. Others included Prince Shannon, Colida’s Bill Hancock (twice), Red Angel, Chief Waggoner, Miss Pie Fuller, Tahawus Trapper, Tahawus Sissy Hancock, his stallion High Spots Pride, and even to his old favorite Quarter mare Penny.

He would be so proud of the home she has and the beautiful offspring she has produced. I miss him everyday. Just when I’m ready to let go, something pops up and brings with it a smile and a tear.

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