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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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Luke, the boy book critic reviews BEHIND THE MIST

You have to watch this darling little boy give his review of Behind the Mist!

Behind the Mist was written for the middle grade readers: 9 to 14. But this boy is just 8 so if you know of a precocious 8 year old, they will love it, too!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WAR ADMIRAL - Famous son of Man O'War

The picture above is of the most famous horse race in American History: the match race between the 1937 Triple Crown winner, War Admiral and the "people's darling" from the west coast: Seabiscuit. As you probably already know, Seabisuit won that race by four lengths.

However, dear readers, do not let that take away from the greatness of War Admiral! This wonderful horse was born in February, 1934 at the Lexington, Kentucky home of his father: Man O'War. The name of the breding facility is Faraway Farm. He was the sixth foal by Man O'War from the mare Brushup. The first five were fillies and didn't do great on the race track. But War Admiral was another story. In all, his owner: Samuel D. Riddle raced him 26 times and he won 21 of them. As I mentioned, he was the triple crown winner in 1937 and was named "Horse of the Year" that year. He was later elected to the National Museum of Racing and the Hall of Fame.

Unlike the movie depiction of him, he was a dark brown and smaller than average. The average race horse is 16 hands. His father, Man O'War was 16.2 but War Admiral was only 15.3 hands.

War Admiral went on to become a great sire. He fathered 40 stakes winners before he died in 1959 at the age of 25.

He is truly one of the noble and great horses and deserves to become a unicorn!

Here is the newsreal clip of War Admiral winning the 1937 Kentucky Derby, the first of the Triple Crown Races.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

THE GREAT BUCEPHALUS-An important player in The Mist Trilogy

I started this blog one year ago. Since that time, thousands of you have visited and enjoyed the stories about famous horses. I am repeating this post because Bucephalus plays an important role in the third book of The Mist Trilogy: The Rising Mist. Plus, I think Bucephalus is cool!

One of the most famous horses in history is the black stallion, Bucephalus, mount of Alexander the Great. In the third book of The Mist Trilogy, The Rising Mist, the reader meets this amazing horse in his immortal life. I don't want to tell you any more about that or it might ruin the story. But I do want to tell you about the original Bucephalus. Much of what is written about him may very well fall in the category of folklore so I can't be sure of all of the facts. But I will tell you what is believed to be true.

Bucephalus was born around the year 356 B.C., the same time as Alexander The Great. He was bred by the great horsemen in Thessaly. When he was twelve years old, he was brought as an unbroken stallion to Philip II of Macedonia by a horse dealer. The dealer, Philonicus, was asking 13 talents for the horse. A talent was a huge amount of money, equaling 57 to 60 pounds of gold or silver. So, imagine the value of 13 talents! In any case, when Philip saw that none of his horsemen and trainers could ride the horse, he scoffed and asked to have the horse taken away. However, young twelve- year-old Alexander, who had been watching the attempts by his father's trainers, stepped forward and said: "I can tame this horse to ride. It only needs the right rider." The adults, of course, laughed him to scorn but he was not deterred. We can call Alexander the first "Horse Whisperer" because, as he had been watching, he noticed that the horse was frightened by the shadows cast by the men as well as their aggressive body and head movements. The young boy walked quietly up to the horse, speaking softly to him, and turned him to face the sun, thus casting the shadows behind him. Gently stroking his black coat he worked his way around to the horse's side and mounted the stallion. Off they galloped until boy and horse were one.(one famous mos

Alexander named him Bucephalus, which means "Ox head" because his head, which sported a white star and one blue eye, was extremely broad as a bull's.

At that time, bridles were used but not leather saddles or stirrups. Alexander and Bucephalus traveled thousands of miles with only a cloth laid over the horse's back. The two conquered the entire Persian empire from the Mediterranean Sea to modern day India, and south to Egypt. It is interesting to note that, on their march down to Egypt, Jerusalem folded without a battle. The people of Jerusalem quoted Daniel's prophecy found in the 8th chapter about a mighty Greek King that would conquer Egypt so Alexander left them alone and traveled on.

Alexander believed that both he and his horse would be immortal (A fact attested to in the third book of The Mist Trilogy) and when his horse died at the age of 28 or 30 (depending on the source,) Alexander gave him a state funeral and named a city, Bucephala, after him. Some say that the horse died in Alexander's last battle, other say he died of old age.

Bucephalus has been immortalized in art, literature and movies. In fact, Walter Farley's Black Stallion was loosely based upon this story. If you watch the movie carefully, you will see the father of the boy, Alec, give him a tiny statue of Bucephalus when they are on the boat.

Check out the clip below from a movie about Alexander the Great.

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