Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Bizarro Politics

mule

Awash in the political tsunami of hopeful presidential nominees swarming over us on TV, the author, writing for the "Corbin News Journal" in Kentucky, is reminded of something she read a few years ago. At the time she just thought it was just a funny story. Now, she says, it begins to make some sense.


The story goes that one fine evening a Mrs. George Wood called a Dr. Martin Satterfield, a veterinarian, from her home. It was about her mule, Horace. After asking a few questions and hearing the answers, Dr. Satterfield said, “Give him a dose of mineral oil, and if he ain’t alright in the morning, call me, and I’ll come out and take a look at your mule.”

She wanted to know how to give the mule the mineral oil and the Doctor said “Give it through a funnel.”

She protested that the mule might bite her, and the Doctor, becoming exasperated, said, “You’re a farm woman, and you know about those things. Give it to him in the other end.”

How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter

Humphrey.rosemary coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Back in the late 1950s, Sarah and I—both just nineteen—came to America. We had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. I was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends.

What luxury! There were no ration books in sight. Jamie taught Sarah and me to cook for hundreds. There were never less than ten for dinner. Any recipes, if ever referred to, were quadrupled. Jamie made gravy by mixing flour and water in old mayonnaise jars—several quarts at a time. Looking around us, Sarah and I saw crabs and lobsters en masse; moulded jellies; mouldy leftovers; bedevilled eggs; whipped, squashed rutabagas...and Jack Daniels in jugs. As one of our earliest American experiences after leaving war-torn Britain, we had never, ever, seen anything like it.

The Witch With Warts

witch.rosemary coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Back in the late 1950s, Sarah and I—both just nineteen—came to America. We had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. I was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends.

Jamie picked us up at the airport, but by the time we reached the farm we were in the midst of a snowstorm and a power outage. Our first night was spent in total darkness. It was perhaps merciful that we could not see the mess.

Pink Gin—The Beer-Swilling Timber Horse

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part III of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,” and Part II: “The Witch With Warts.”

pink gin2.coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

We had not been long in the States when Pink Gin arrived at Bryn Mawr Farms. Billy, who mucked out for us, was, as usual, the first to find fault with him.

“He do get drunk, he do. Proper beer-swiller he be. And he eats eggs and molasses with all his feed. Lord, if only I could eat like that!”

Pink Gin (not his real name) was a timber horse with a record of wins. Since most timber racing is in the spring, pre-season training often means blizzards and temperatures averaging ten degrees Fahrenheit. This was one of the reasons for the high-calorie diet that included beer and eggs.

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