Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wrong Ending

This story had the wrong ending.  This wasn't the way it was supposed to go. 


You were supposed to have an unprecedented career in showjumping, adored by fans across the nations for years, and continue to amaze us with your talent, agility, strength, and heart.  You were supposed to be retired, with that wise old look on your face that teenaged stallions get, and paraded around the ring adorned with a blanket of roses.  Crowds of people were supposed to stand and applaud your many, many accomplishments, music playing and riders choking up with pride and esteem.  You were supposed to live out your twilight years in some big green pasture, calling out to mares across the fencelines, pinning your ears at geldings walking past, and nickering to grooms for treats and scratches.


You were not supposed to come crashing to the ground in a heartbreaking, violent, tragic way.  The crowd was not supposed to look on in horror, hands clapped across mouths and tears streaming down their cheeks.  You should have ended this competition with a victory gallop, a ribbon streaming from your bridle.  There shouldn't have been a moment of silence.  The competition shouldn't have been cancelled.  This was definitely not the way the story was supposed to play out. 


I haven't been blogging regularly lately because I have some kind of prolonged writer's block and I find myself with no idea what to say these days (but everything is fine, Tucker and I are well). I felt compelled to write something today though, both to honor this great horse and to reflect on how profoundly his passing has affected me.  It has left me feeling morose, a little indignant at life, and completely empty. 


Go home and hug your horses tonight.  Tell them you love them and you're grateful for them.  And be honored to be part of a sport that allows us to share in the lives of champions like Hickstead.


5 comments:

  1. So saddened when I learned of Hickstead's passing yesterday. Perhaps he didn't get his glory years like you say, nickering to the mares and prancing the fenceline, but he got what few horses get, to end their career and their life doing the thing they love best, with the person they love best.

    He didn't pass quietly on the family farm, long after his name had faded to something of legends, when the fans had moved on to the next great stallion within Lamaze's grip and his ribbons had faded and tattered.

    Instead, he had one last hurrah, a final gallop on the course with his best friend, flying over the fences as only Hickstead and Lamaze ever could. And the people weep, the world slows and the remember. But he ended it where he started it all, where he gained his fame and where he'll always be famous.

    Can there be any better, more suiting passing for this horse?

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  2. Special horses reach out and touch us all.
    Very nice tribute.

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  3. Hickstead isn't the first beloved horse to pass on, but his passing affected me more than others have, except for my own personal horses. He and Lamaze were truly the greatest of partners. And he helped remind me how precious my own horses are to me. They definitly recieved extra hugs from me after I heard.

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  4. What a beautiful tribute to an incredible horse.

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