A slight change of topic from the open houses: I received Cigar’s halter in the mail the same day we went out to see Bullet Train and Union Rags, and it seems like an occasion to share a few photos and memories of Cigar. The first two photos are from June 2012, and I had never really before been able to get Cigar’s attention. I didn’t really then either, but some of the Arabians on their way to the ring for the Egyptian Event certainly interested him. After he watched them go by, he and I were eye to eye. I followed his race career avidly, and every step of his journey through retirement from racing, to Ashford, to fertility treatments, and finally to the Horse Park, where his admirers can at last visit as often as possible. It was a bit sentimental the first time I got to see him at the Park. He is the first “big” horse of my lifetime, and I would still rank him as the best I have ever followed, even with the horses that have raced since. In light of that, this moment in these photos when it was just he and I across a fence line, face-to-face, felt like a gift he gave me. I’m not trying to veer into overly sentimental territory, but it does happen at times.
So to receive his halter felt like a similar gift. I never really anticipated having something he once wore, but when I heard the Horse Park does sell their champions’ halters, I knew I would want the opportunity to have his when the time was right. It’s not often, after all, you get to buy the halter of a horse who has been one of the best you’ve ever seen.
While on the subject of special horses, after visiting Bullet Train, I roamed through Damselfly Gallery in Midway, and came across this lovely photo of Rachel and her foal. I don’t remember the photographer’s name, but it was something I wasn’t able to pass up. This shop is definitely worth a visit for racing enthusiasts.
Keeneland January Sale