Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Remembering Ruffian

July 7th marks the 38th anniversary of Ruffian's untimely death, in 1975.  

She was one of the best mares ever and The Blood Horse ranked her among the top U.S. racehorses of the 20th century.  There was even a film about her, made in 2007, called Ruffian.


Ruffian was lovely to look at (16'2) and tall like Zenyatta; she was foaled at Claiborne Farm and was sired by the Phipps' family's Bold Ruler stallion (the same line as Secretariat).  She was out of the Native Dancer mare, Shenanigans.  

Her short career was filled with awards:  the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Two-Year-Old Filly in 1974 and winning the Filly Triple Crown in 1975. She was undefeated in her first 10 races with an average winning margin of 8 1/3 lengths. She was on the lead at every point of call in every race she ever ran.  She set a new stakes record in each of the 8 stakes races which she won. She equaled two track records.   All but one of Ruffian's track records remain unbroken. The one that was broken was recently beaten by Rachel Alexandra in 2009.

She was also stoic.  She won the Sorority Stakes (setting a new stakes record) on a freshly popped splint which is not a serious injury but nonetheless painful.  She won the Spinaway in a track record but the morning after the race it was discovered that she had not eaten her food.  She had a hairline fracture on her hind leg.

Ruffian's final race was run at Belmont on July 6, 1975.  It was a much anticipated match race between Ruffian and Foolish Pleasure, the winner of the 1975 Kentucky Derby.  Coincidentally, Jacinto Vasquez was the jockey for both horses but he chose to ride Ruffian as he believed she was the better horse.

The race was attended by 50,000 and was seen on television by 20 million. I remember it well.   It was something that you wish you could forget.  Ruffian hit her shoulder on the starting gate coming out.  At the first quarter mile she was ahead by a nose. About a furlong later she was in front by a half length when both sesamoid bones in her right foreleg snapped.  Vasquez tried to pull her up but she would have nothing of it.  She kept running until her bones were like soup.  She tore the ligaments so that her hoof was flopping. She wanted to finish.  

Needless the say, the filly could not be saved. She was operated on but Ruffian was not a good patient and thrashed wildly in her stall when she came out of the operation, tearing off casts, bandages, ripping open her leg again.  She had to be put down immediately.

Leroy Jolley, Foolish Pleasure's trainer has said that he anticipated that Ruffian would beat Foolish Pleasure that day. Her times/splits were better than his and no other horse had ever been allowed to pass her.  

The lovely mare is buried at Belmont Park, a fitting place for a horse that truly wanted to be the winner every time out, no matter what. 

In 1975 Ruffian was posthumously awarded the 1975 Eclipse Award for the Outstanding Three-Year-Old Filly. In 1976 she was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. Sports Illustrated included her as the only non-human on their list of the top 100 female athletes of the century, ranking her 53rd. 

Lucien Lauren, Secretariat's trainer said, "As God as my witness, she may even be better than Secretariat."  We will never know.
~*This is a repost from*~

Most Mares are considered only useful in the purpose of breeding, but Ruffian proves all of those foolish thinking people...  WRONG!!  Don't judge anything by its gender, but instead give it a chance.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Going Home.

We had a fun time in CA while it lasted, but I am so glad to be home again!  Our trip was filled with fun stops and amazing sites...  You can see that all on my mom's blog ;) My favorite part of the trip though was getting to be home...  And guess what I got to do when we got there?!?!?!  I got to round up cattle for a branding!!  I was so fun and nerve wracking (keep in mind that I hadn't been on a horse in over a year), but in the end it turned out amazing!

 Me tacking up my grandparent's horse Rocky.
My little Cowboy Superhero saving the day by giving me a gumball...  Shortly after I stole a kiss for the ride ;)

And after the branding my mom and grandparents gave me my own horse Honey!!  Will show picture in the next post!

Thank you,

Friday, March 8, 2013

John Newton

I read a story about John Newton and here is my narration:

John Newton
Gabrielle Ansolabehere
Written Narration

John Newton had a father that was a sea captain.  His father wasn't home much but his loving, christian mother filled his brain and heart with bible stories and scripture.  When John was not even 8 years-old his caring mother passed away and soon his father remarried.  He hated his new step-mother and his father.  He didn't want to go to school any more and got with kids his age that weren't so nice with their words or actions.  So with their influence he became a cabin-boy  on his fathers ship.  When he got older he went to work for different captains and got flogged and was kicked off ships because of his crude jokes, songs and words.  He ended up with a slave trader and hated it so much that he jumped off the ship at the coast of Africa.  That was a big mistake.  He was enslaved and was put to hard work.  When he wasn't working he was locked in a cold cell.  Meanwhile, his father was worried sick and wondered where his son was.  So he sent men to look for his son.  They found him and headed home.  When they were on the right track a big storm came out of no where.  John started thinking about his spiritual life and noticed that he was horrible.  He thought how his mother would've thought about him.  He asked God for forgiveness and soon became a preacher and sought to end slavery.  He wrote many songs including "Amazing Grace".  He inspired many people including me.

 His last words were sung:
Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound!
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind but now I see!

"My memory is nearly gone; but I remember two things: that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savior."
- John Newton

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My New Blog!

I have been on and off blogs for about 5 years.  I made this one because I am a little bit older and would like to commit to something...  So this was PERFECT.   My blog is going to be about my life (the title gave it away didn't it?!?!(=  ).  I will also have animal facts and care tips, recipes, animal and hunting Q&As, and crochet patterns and tips!!   I will hopefully blog at least once a week, I am not going to promise anything, but I will try!!  So please follow my blog and enjoy the ride!!