Monday, 14 November 2016

Vale Wynyard Night Owl

At two minutes past midnight this morning a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island. It was so severe that we well and truly felt it up here and it spooked all the animals. Sadly it looks as if the shock was too much for my precious Hooty who I found this morning with her daughter River lying beside her. The blessing is that it looks as if there was no struggle and it was quick and, I hope, painless. But oh how I will miss her.

Hooty came to me from Southland back in 2007. On her way north she stopped in Canterbury and was bred to Coalman's Touch with the result being a little orange colt that I named TF Rory O'Moore. Hooty went on to produce four more foals (Waterford Ciara, Winiata, TF Ailbhe MacBrennan and TF River Song) and was retired in 2014 when she lost what was to be her final foal. Her last live born baby, River, was by her side at her death which gives some comfort although I know that horses feel loss too and River will now be grieving.

She was such a grand old mare, so reliable and kind but could still be a bit naughty if the mood took her. I wish she had been sound enough for me to ride as I am sure we could've had some great adventures together. It's truly the end of an era here at Talisman Farm and my best broodmare has gone. It's true that she will live on in her amazing children and I am so glad I have her daughter, River but her passing will leave an enormous hole - I thought her retirement would be much longer.

So, Godspeed Hooty, the best mare ever! Thank you for everything, for your beautiful foals and your beautiful soul and for saving me the pain of choosing your time for you by choosing it for yourself. Run free.

Somewhere...In time's own space,
There must be some sweet pastured place....
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow,
Some paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen,
I know great horses live again.