Foaling season is upon us and as cold as it is now, new horses are entering the world daily. The breeding decisions are done, the die is cast. As Forrest Gump so eloquently said, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are gonna get.” That sure is the way it is with horses too. One horse is champion and a full sibling lacks the same ability. Yes all are differently abled and while some succeed at the races others may end up hacking with a local hunt (if they are lucky). Secretariat had a full sibling that ended up as a riding horse. Breeding is not an exact science.
Jumping ahead to March the 30th, Secretariat’s birthday party at the Meadow Event Park my mind turns to Virginia native Penny Chenery who loved to quote her farm manager Howard Gentry who reminded her “The mare done it.” Indeed, she did.
Often belittled by men in the Thoroughbred industry who referred to her as “just a housewife” Penny embraced the tall order of turning the farm around. She would have loved this “me too” movement prevalent in our culture today. Old habits die hard –but die they must. I am sorry for every woman who has endured suffering to be involved with horses—its far to prevalent in our modern world that embraces the timeless rhythms of horse care (or husbandry–even that word is sexist). Penny is my hero and her image gives me strength to preservere.
Penny Chenery lived by three precepts that she passed on to her Kate (who shared them with me in an interview): 1. Forget you are a woman, 2. Always do your best. 3. Never take “No” for an answer.
Well folks, its 2019, here we go. Great stories, horses and people abound–so far I have outlined about 30 episodes of Horsing Around Virginia. Finally, the time has come to press forward on getting Horsing Around Virginia on public television. Won’t take “No” for an answer, will do my best.