Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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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.

Purrfec’ Granary

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 IV of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,Part II: “The Witch With Warts,” and Part III: Pink Gin: The Beer Swilling Timber Horse.

purfec granary2 rosemary coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Sarah and I clearly remember Billy telling us about Purrfec’ Granary. Billy mucked out for us but he also had a way with words. This is how he described her infuriating ability to demolish stone walls and gallop off toward the rising sun.

“She lie down against a wall of stone—it's a trick she learned—and she do gently poosh that darned wall clean over. Then off she go wid ’er tail over herself!”

Sex Spot: The White, Furry Menace

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 V of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,Part II: “The Witch With Warts,” Part III: "Pink Gin: The Beer Swilling Timber Horse," and Part IV: "Purrfec' Granary."

sex spotIllustration by Rosemary H. Coates

Two weeks after Sarah and I arrived in the States we were on the road northwards with twenty-five hunters. They were entered at the Piping Rock Horse Show on Long Island. The horses were loaded into nine-horse trailers for their journey. In the first compartment six horses faced each other across an aisle. Although three horses could be loaded into a separate compartment at the back, there was only one 11.2-hand pony in there—so small, he was up to his belly in straw. This was Sex Spot who would not travel with another horse; he had the three back stalls to himself. He got his name because he had a football-sized black spot on his rump, in an otherwise white coat.

Stinkum Dinkum and the Christmas Eggnog

dinkum.coatesIllustration by Rosemary CoatesBack 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 VI of their adventures. Find the first five in the Horse and Hound drop-down menu, under Humor. 

Dinkum was a hideous black horse with a foul temper. He acquired his stable name, Stinkum, right from the start. Billy, who mucked out for us, warned us about him as soon as we set foot in the barn.