This Blog is dedicated to the Noble and Great horses in our lives and throughout history. Visit the land of the unicorns in Behind The Mist, the horse lover's fantasy for pre-teens to adults.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PETER McCUE - Famous horse-Future Unicorn

Peter McCue (cute name isn't it!) is a member of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame. He is was a very famous stallion that lived from 1895 to 1923. His genetic make-up had more to do with the development of the Quarter Horse breed in the first forty years of the last century than any other horse. Everyone into Quarter Horses wanted his sons. Everyone knew a son of Peter McCue would out perform all others!

Peter McCue's sire is clearly responsible for his greatness. His father, Dan Tucker (I love that name, too!) was huge...16 hands tall and 1,430 pounds!

Peter McCue first became famous on the race track. As with other quarter horses, he was a sprinter. He ran most of his races in Texas, Oklahoma and Illinois. In the quarter horse racing world, he was another Secretariat! (See the blog post about Secretariat on December 8, 2010.) His speed for a quarter of a mile was phenomenal.

His last owner was Coke Roberds who cared for him until the big horse died in 1923 at the age of 28. Before his death he sired many sons and daughters that have contributed to the Quarter Horse racing world and the breed in general.

I got this information from:

Peter McCue is also written about in the book: Quarter Horses: A Story of Two Centuries by Robert Moorman.

Peter McCue is clearly a noble and great horse that deserves to become a member of the Legion of the Unicorn!

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RAVEL can dance across the fields of Celestia!

It has been quite a while since I have written about a Dressage horse. Since dressage is my passion I am going to tell you about one of the current "Greats!" His name is Ravel and he is ridden by Steffan Peters. Ravel is a fabulous Dutch Warmblood. He is owned by Akiko Yamazaki. The big, dark bay gelding was found by Steffan Peters when he was searching for his next Olympic horse. He was found in the fall of 2006 in Edward Gal's stable in Harskamy, The Netherlands. (See the post about Edward Gal and Totilas from Januaray 26, 2011) Ravel was purchased as a stallion but had to be gelded when he was in quarantine while being imported to the U.S. So that means no baby Ravels! A short time later, he had a serious injury that his caretakers feared would end his career. But Steffan Peters patiently brought him back to full and exceptional health after 8 months. This proves that Peters meant what he said in the article in The Chronical of the Horse. He is quoted as saying: "It's not just about competition-it's a serious love for animals."

In 2010, The Chronical of the Horse selected Ravel and Steffen Peters as Horse and Horseman of the Year after their spectacular showing in 2009. During that year, Ravel won 10 out of hie 11 competitions at the FEI level. This included the world cup in Las Vegas and Aachen CDI in Germany. Speaking of Aachen, it had been more than 20 years since an American had won that competition. The last winner was Robert Dover on Federleicht in 1987. All of the top dressage horses from Europe were there and RAVEL came home the WINNER! Watch this horse dance!

Ravel currently lives at Peter's San Diego home: Arroyo Del Mar Ranch. It is a 22 acre property. He spends most of each day lounging in his double-sized box stall. He is easy going and very sweet but once Peters gets in the saddle, he gets right to work. He loves to show off for a crowd or a camera.

I, hereby, nominate Ravel to the high honor of Unicornhood and Steffen Peters to the position of a unicorn rider.

Read Behind The Mist to learn about how the noble and great horses become unicorns in the afterlife.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

WIMPY - Fastest unicorn for 1/4 mile!

Readers of Behind The Mist will remember that future unicorns come from all breeds of horse. Today I would like to write about the truly American Melting Pot horse...the Quarter Horse.

The American Quarter Horse is a cross-breed of Spanish and English horses that were brought into America at the time of Columbus and beyond. They got their name because they are considered the fastest horses for a quarter of a mile. They have long been a favorite of the American Cowboy as a work horse. Quarter horses were used on the long cattle drives and for other work on a ranch.

Wimpy is one of the most famous quarter horses. He was the very first quarter horse to be registered in the American Quarter Horse Association registry. According to the article in Wikipedia: "He was foaled on the King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas on March 3, 1937.[1] However, the original application listed his foaling date as April 3, 1937, and the original stud books gave his foaling year as 1935.[2] He was a son of Solis, himself a son of Old Sorrel, the King Ranch foundation stallion. Solis' dam was an unregistered and unnamed mare of Thoroughbred breeding who was by Right Royal and out of a mare by Martin's Best. Wimpy's dam was a mare named Panda, also sired by Old Sorrel. Panda's dam was a roan mare by Hickory Bill. Wimpy traced three times to Hickory Bill, making him quite inbred to Hickory Bill.[3][4]

He was a chestnut colored stallion, with a star and a sock on his left hind leg. When fully grown, he was 15 hands high and weighed about 1200 pounds.[1]

He was a grand Champion Stallion in March 1941 at the Southwestern Exposition Quarter Horse show in Fort Worth, Texas, which honor earned him the first number in the newly organized American Quarter Horse Association.[1]

He sired over a hundred and fifty foals for the King Ranch, before he was given in 1958 to George Clegg, who had bred Old Sorrel. However, Clegg was forced to sell Wimpy to Rex Cauble, who owned the stallion until Wimpy died on August 13, 1959, when Wimpy was twenty-two years old.[1]

Among his sons and daughters were Bill Cody, Kip Mac, Caballero, Wimpy's Image, Silver Wimpy, Wimpy II, Lauro and Showdown.[5] His grandget included Joe Cody, Marion's Girl, Codalena, Pandarita Hill and Show Maid.[6]

He was inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 1989.[7] In September 1961 a bronze statue of Wimpy was erected outside the AQHA Headquarters in Amarillo, Texas.[1] "

A note: George Clegg, mentioned above in the wikipedia article is one of the most famous Quarter Horse breeders and credited with developing the breed as we know it today.

If you ask a horse person to name a famous quarter horse and they can only name one, it will probably be Wimpy!

Send me the story of your NOBLE AND GREAT horse. I don't care if they are famous or even registered...just loved!

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Young Adult Fantasy readers and Children Fantasy readers will love the new fantasy book: Behind The Mist. Behind the Mist is a wonderful book about horses and unicorns. It is available on its own website: or wherever fine books are sold.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

COMANCHE-Survived to become a Unicorn

Comanche is the stuff from which legends are made! He was a 15 hand bay gelding of mixed breed...thought to be Morgan and Mustang. (See the post on Justin Morgan for more on Morgans.) He was purchased by the army in 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri and sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Captain Myles Keogh of the 7th Cavalry bought him as his personal battle mount. Later that year, Captain Keogh rode in a battle against the Comanche Indians in Kansas where the sturdy horse suffered a serious wound from an arrow to the hindquarters. Yet, this brave little horse kept going. This is where he earned his name. In fact, Comanche was wounded in several battles, yet he always countinued to carry Captain Keogh through them.

On June 25, 1876, Captain Keogh rode him behind Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. This famous battle resulted in the death of the entire detachment of soldiers but Comanche and nearly 100 horses and one yellow bulldog survived. The Legend is that only Comanche survived but this is not true. In terms of fame and reputation I guess you could say it is true as his remains are kept protected at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum to this day. Anyway, Comanche was found two days later in very bad shape. He was transported to Fort Lincoln and was nursed back to health and retired.

I found the following order on Wikipedia that you will find interesting:

In April 1878, Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis issued the following humane order:
"Headquarters Seventh United States Cavalry, Fort A. Lincoln, D. T., April 10th, 1878. General Orders No. 7.
(1.) The horse known as 'Comanche,' being the only living representative of the bloody tragedy of the Little Big Horn, June 25th, 1876, his kind treatment and comfort shall be a matter of special pride and solicitude on the part of every member of the Seventh Cavalry to the end that his life be preserved to the utmost limit. Wounded and scarred as he is, his very existence speaks in terms more eloquent than words, of the desperate struggle against overwhelming numbers of the hopeless conflict and the heroic manner in which all went down on that fatal day.
(2.) The commanding officer of Company I will see that a special and comfortable stable is fitted up for him, and he will not be ridden by any person whatsoever, under any circumstances, nor will he be put to any kind of work.
(3.) Hereafter, upon all occasions of ceremony of mounted regimental formation, saddled, bridled, and draped in mourning, and led by a mounted trooper of Company I, will be paraded with the regiment.
By command of Col. Sturgis, E. A. Garlington, First Lieutenant and Adjutant, Seventh Cavalry."[2]

Comanche then lived a life of luxury and was honored to be made "Second Commanding Officer" of the 7th Cavalry.

In 1887, he was taken to Fort Riley, Kansas where he lived out his days. He died in 1890. He is one of only two horses in U.S. history to be buried with full military honors. (See the post on Black Jack.)

At least two songs have been written about him. Enjoy this one:

I hereby nominate Comanche to the Legion of the Unicorn. May he wear his horn with honor!

Read about the Legion of the Unicorn in the first book of the Mist Trilogy: Behind the Mist.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

MAXIMUS - Tangled up in Unicornhood

The movie "Tangled" far exceeded my expectations! I didn't know, in particular, that I would fall in love with the horse-hero...MAXIMUS! This horse was hilarious in his dog-like characteristics. If you have read Behind The Mist, you will know that I am a dog lover! But I also loved his determination and sense of duty. However, he was also a sucker for a good love story which he wisely saw the makings of in Flynn and Rapunzel. If you haven't seen this movie, I would recommend it. I hereby nominate the horse MAXIMUS for unicornhood (a term I coined for Behind The Mist.) I can just see him in the fantasy world of Celestia being a noble and great unicorn!

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