I love stories about children who grow up in the worst of circumstances but rise above all the challenges that life throws at them. Some horses have done the same. Take the chestnut, thoroughbred gelding Neville Bardos for example. The 16.1 hand beauty with a wide, off-center, white blaze down his face was born in Scone, Australia. Bred to race, he proved to be a washout on the track and a problem-child to boot. On his way to the glue factory, an Australian rider and trainer by the name of Boyd Martin yelled over the fence, "I'll buy him." So, for $850 Martin had himself a horse. For a while, the rider thought he had made a mistake. Not only was the horse difficult to work with but he had the awful habit of "Wind Sucking" or Cribbing. This is very addictive behavior and is often treated with a "cribbing collar" that prevents them from expanding their windpipe enough to suck in large gulps of air. It turned out that the cribbing collar would later save his live. The horse's bad behavior caused Boyd to name him after a hot-headed gangster from a movie and the nick name: Neville the Devil!
Boyd Martin is a champion Event rider and trainer. In Mists of Darkness-Book Two of the Mist Trilogy ,
now available exclusively on Amazon's Kindles, the evil unicorn, Hasbadana, sends his mist of darkness to the Rolex Three-Day Event in Kentucky to persuade many of the horses competing there to join his army of
rebels. Eventing is the Tri-athelon of Equestrian sports. Here is a video of Neville on the cross country course.
In 2007, Boyd Martin moved to the US and set up an eventing stable in Pennsylvania. . In 2011, Martin's barn caught on fire. Six of the eleven horses were killed. Neville was the last horse to escape, Boyd leading him out of the black, smoke-filled barn by his cribbing collar! Neville miraculously healed from both the burns and the far more serious smoke inhalation. He spent an hour a day in an oxygen tank for two weeks.
Now, this USEF International Horse of the Year is gearing up to represent the US in this summer's Olympics in London. The final eventing team will be announced in July and I will let you know if he makes the team.
Add Mists of Darkness to your collection of wonderful Horse and fantasy books! It is available now exclusively on Amazon's Kindle Store. It will be out in print soon!