A few days ago, I hinted about some impending horse news. I’m sure some of my loyal readers have been waiting with bated breath. Your wait is over. At this time, it gives me great pleasure to virtually introduce the latest member of Matt’s Motley Menagerie, an 8-year-old thoroughbred gelding named Don’t Cross Bo, aka Crossbo. I would have called him Bo, but Crossbo seemed to be his former barn name, and it’s acceptable enough that I decided not to risk the bad luck that reputedly results from changing a horse’s name.
In spite of Arthur’s liver problem in February, he is showing no signs of slowing down. But I had to agree with incessant nagging friendly advice from the Bitch Pack that it’s time to prepare for his eventual retirement. At 20 years old, he might easily hunt five more years; that’s not uncommon. On the other hand, in spite of seeming younger than his actual age, he might not last that long. And there’s definitely a lot of merit to the idea that it would be good to have another horse ready to hunt if Arthur retires unexpectedly, and not suddenly be horseless and desperately seeking a replacement. Considering that my brother missed a whole season and the end of a previous one after losing his mare, one Pack member commented that “It would really suck not to have any Simpsons in the field.” It’s hard to argue with that kind of sentiment.
At first, I thought I could deflect the assault, at least temporarily, by making some vague comments about starting to look for a horse. Only a perpetual bachelor like myself would be naïve enough to think that determined women could be so easily put off. I found my email box stuffed with forwarded “horse for sale” messages. It finally became clear to me that there would be no rest until I actually took possession of a horse.
So, with the typical male hatred of prolonged shopping (just gimme what I want, take my damn money, and get me the hell out of here), I stuck my checkbook in my pocket Sunday and went and looked at one of the horses who had a promising email description. He looked like a nice horse, he jumped nicely, what more could I want? The owner wasn’t there, so the actual purchase didn’t take place until today, but he’s mine now, so maybe the Pack will cut me some slack.
Just because I could, I looked up his pedigree and race record for those interested in that kind of thing. It doesn’t mean much to me. With four finishes in the money in 17 starts over 2 years, he obviously didn’t excel on the track. But that’s not going to stop him from being a damn fine hunter. And for those who care more about looks than ancestry, here’s a bigger picture. At least I managed to get some good pictures outside before the weather turned to crap. I should have known that buying a new horse would guarantee a week of cold rainy weather, even if I didn’t change his name.