[published on 15 Nov 17]
When The Chronicle invited me to write for them, I had grand visions of regaling the horse world with tales of Soon and I. Soon, my intrepid and worldly off the track Thoroughbred (OTTB) gelding, who went on a tear with me this summer and accomplished some pretty incredible things. Perhaps I would write about our summer riding with Joe Fargis and Linda Zang, or perhaps the journey of training your own OTTB on an amateur schedule, or what life is like balancing horses and another career. Perhaps I still will.
…But I never imagined I would be describing to you all how he died.
It was just after midnight on the morning of Sunday, November 12, 2017. In the end, I suppose it was fitting that Soon’s final day was Veterans’ Day.
You see, Soon was a true War Horse. He had 52 starts on the race track over the course of five years. He had run-away wins, and wins that came down to the wire, where he dug in and showed real grit in order to run down his opponent. I bought him off the track in 2013, he was sound as a dollar and came with a sort of old-soul wisdom that you only find in those older war horses. He was the closest thing to rational I had ever seen in a horse. He was far too polite to be anything but perfect. His work ethic and athletic ability were just icing on the cake. He loved his people, too. I have said many times, that if I had the ability to custom-build a horse for my needs, I could not have done a better job than Soon. Who he was is what made him so great.
They say old soldiers never die, they simply fade away…