On Tuesday this week I found myself leading my dear old friend Maude across the paddock, un-clipping the lead one final time and allowing her free and unhindered passage over the rainbow bridge. Her passing was peaceful and dignified - She gave me so much over the years that the very least I could give back was this.
We first met 13 years ago and it was love (and more importantly, respect!) at first sight. This majestic and magnificent Irish mare, a Kingsway Diamond daughter, had a sparkle in her eye and a presence that couldn't be denied - you could see that right from the start, she wanted to do things her way! What a great mare she was! Proud and strong and an absolutely wonderful mother. It’s true I would curse her for the first few days of each new baby’s life as she would lead me a merry dance around the paddock refusing point blank to allow me to touch her or, more importantly, HER baby and this never ever changed, even after she had produced six foals. But that was her way and that was part of what made her so special and besides, she always came around, eventually.
Maude produced our very first foal by TF Hamish (TF Malteser) and went on to give us three more to Hamish (TF Rafferty, TF Liath and TF Aisling) and the two sisters Aine and Enya (TF Summer Solstice and TF Celtic Moon) by TF Life O’Reilly. All foals are now grown or growing up in wonderful homes with people who love them and I am so proud of her and what she produced for me. I will also be forever grateful to her owner, Caroline, who let her come and live with us all those years ago and to Sara who ensured that she left us with such dignity.
Run free old girl, til we meet again on the other side. I love you.