Frankenstein walking


Next Meeting: November 19, 2014

Board Meets: 5:30 p.m. General
Meeting: 6:15 p.m.
web with spider

Message from our President: Heather Hollandsworth

Happy October folks – I love fall, the colors are just gorgeous…this year in particular. I hope you are all getting out and doing some riding still. For those of you who were not at the October meeting you really missed out on a fantastic program. Mr. Cook from Montana Wild was phenomenal!!! I learned a lot about being in bear country in general … whether I am on horseback or not. Thank you, Cynthia, for getting a great program for our meeting.

Another person that deserves an enormous amount of applause is your maintenance director Sherri Onstott. Sherri put in a full day of painting down at the West Arena and wow does it look nice. She got the bleachers painted, the table tops and benches tops painted. She even got the numbers painted up so during O-Mok-Sees you will be able to know for sure what lane you are in. It looks amazing.

This month is our Chili cook-off and participation buck auction. You guys have done a truly wonderful job participating this past year, so please be sure to come and use those dollars! Bring a pot of chili to enter into the cook-off. If cooking chili isn’t your thing…you are encouraged to bring a side dish or a dessert to share. A couple of things that I need to get out there to the club

tiny spider web with spider 1) Our annual Christmas Party is going to be held December 7th at the Trail Riders clubhouse. We will start at 2pm.
tiny spider web with spider 2) I have not heard from anyone regarding a nominating committee. Please consider either helping us find folks who are willing to run for office or think about running for office yourself. This is a great organization and we need people to make sure that it continues.
tiny spider web with spider 3) I am looking for a volunteer or volunteers to put together a Christmas basket to be raffled off at our Christmas Party. If you have not been with us before when we do this, the basket includes all of (or most of) the fixings for a Christmas dinner. There are usually some treats for our equine friends included.

If you would like to do this, please let me know. I hope to see you all on Saturday October 18th at 5pm down at the clubhouse. I will have participation bucks for the folks that are still owed dollars. As always, any questions please don’t hesitate to give me a call. 406-461-9339
   Heather

From the Directors

O-Mok-See Director**** Sadly, there's not much to report regarding O Mok Sees, as our season is at a close. There will be a District 2 awards/meeting on Sunday, October 12th. This will be held at the Helena High cafeteria at 3:00.Besides the awards, this is an important meeting because new District officers will be elected. If any of you are interested in becoming an officer or just want to see how the process works, please join us. It's always good to have new ideas/people brought into the mix.

Should you like more information, please feel free to contact me at tovikywho@q.com or 442-1717. Vickie Blixt, O Mok See Director

From our historian **** Want a red T-shirt with the Helena Trail Riders logo? If I can get enough orders (15) we can get the silk screen re-inked for a lesser fee. This makes the cost of individual shirts a lot less. T-shirts are available in long and short sleeve, women, men and children's sizes. I will get a verbal commitment first to find out if there is enough interest then ask for payment when I make the final order. A go or no should be to the company by the end of November, so let me know when you decide. Marcia 443-2679 or jambat@3riversdbs.net

Don’t forget we have use of the West Arena from 6-9 Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as the first Friday of every month.

********* Hi there fellow Trail Riders!

Hope that you all have been able to enjoy these golden days of fall. We had a great speaker from Montana Wild at our last meeting. Bill Cook came and filled us in on being "Bear, and Cat Aware" on the trail. First and foremost, we learned to make noise! If the animal can hear you, chances are that they will go in the opposite direction. It might make you feel silly, but it is a good idea to call out every now and then, or sing as you travel along. Bear bells are good, but the human voice is better.

Bears are always on the lookout for food, and eat a lot of berries and insects, and are usually nonthreatening, unless you get between a mom and her cubs. If per chance, you do encounter a bear, and it charges toward you, the best thing to do is to tuck yourself into a ball, and cover the back of your neck with your arms. While this may not seem fun at the time, it will probably ensure that you will be able to attend the next meeting of the Trail Riders!! It might bat you around a bit, but usually they will leave when they figure out that you are not a threat.

Mountain lions are a different story. Instead of trying to appear nonthreatening, it is best to make yourself as BIG as you can. If a cat is eyeing you, he has lunch on his mind!

NEVER run from either bear or cat, as that causes the "chase instinct" to kick in, and that is the last thing you want, unless you are tired of this life!

Be sure to attend the November meeting, when we will have another interesting speaker!! Happy Trails!

Cynthia Warner, Programs Director

UPCOMING EVENTS

*District 2 Awards Meeting and District Officer elections, Sunday, October 12, 3:00 PM, Helena High cafeteria. Potluck: Bring desserts and salads; district will pick up the chicken, pizza or OTHER.

*Chili Cook-off and Participation Buck Auction, Saturday, October 18, 5:00 PM, Trail Riders Clubhouse.

*General Meeting, Wednesday, November 19, Board Meets 5:30 pm, General Meeting 6:15 pm Helena Trail Riders Clubhouse.

*Christmas Party, Sunday, December 7, 2:00 PM, Trail Riders Clubhouse.

Beautiful orange long haired barn cat for absolutely free!!! Neutered male, about year old. Just not happy being a city cat in an apartment. He is longing for the great outdoors, and has dreams of becoming the best mouser around! If you would like to help his dreams become reality, please contact Cynthia Warner, at 439-8250.

horror movie for horses

Subject: TRAIL DIRECTOR REPORT

Good afternoon fellow HTR members. I know that for the season our scheduled rides have come to a close as I/we need to get our home(s) ready for winter and oh boy have we been working at our home.

I want to thank everyone who attended the trail rides and I sincerely hope that you all enjoyed the rides as well.

We had a couple mishaps from what I have been informed on our Crow Creek ride. I know we had 3 riders that had major tire issues coming out of Crow Creek this year and had a very late night as did their horses.

The road was the worst I have seen it, and we also had another set of riders get lost getting to the trail head. How, I am not entirely sure, but we were sad to hear that they missed the ride and hope they will be able to attend next year if the ride is done again.

I know we had a record number that showed up for this ride and Scott Stoner had a very eventful ride out of the falls, but all was ok, thank goodness.

Our next ride was Blackfoot meadows, which also had a wonderful turn out, and we all had a very nice visit as well at our lunch and with no incidents along the way.

I will get a disk over to Ms. Cheryl to upload to the website as should anyone else who may have pictures of our rides.

Please let me know if you would like to get out for a jaunt as I am always looking for a reason to get out of chores and on my horse.

Thank you again for allowing me the pleasure to lead your trail rides this year and thank you Pete Warren for helping me and my young horse do this job as well. Questions regarding trail rides please contact Chris Warren chris.warren@fib.com or dizzywarrenusa@yahoo.com or 406-461-6257.

These pictures are from our maintenance director. She spent most of one day down at the west arena doing this.

West Arena West Arena
West Arena West Arena


Helena Trail Riders October Chili Cook-off and Auction

Where: Trail Rider’s Clubhouse, Fairgrounds

When: Saturday October 18, 2014 @5pm

Who: All members & Guests

Please bring a pot of your favorite chili to enter into the cook-off. If you do not want to participate in the cook-off, please bring a dessert or a side dish share.

We will be holding the participation bucks auction on this night. Be sure to bring your dollars with you!!! Come and enjoy tasting chili made by fellow members and bid on items with the bucks you earned!!! (If you have not received all of your bucks, I will have them at this activity.)

traperado


TAPADERO HOODED STIRRUP

By Keith Herrin Jr.
traperado


From Wikepedia and Webster’s Dictionary – A tapadero, sometimes called a "hooded stirrup," is leather cover over the front of a stirrup on a saddle that closes each stirrup from the front. It comes from the spanish word to cover.

A tapedero was used to prevent the rider's boot from slipping through and also prevents brush encountered while working cattle on the open range from poking through the stirrup, injuring or impeding the horse or rider. Some designs can also provide protection in cold weather. They are also frequently used with young riders, as many parents and riding instructors feel they are a safety precaution. Most commonly seen today on a western saddle, particularly certain types of children's saddles and parade horse saddles, the tapedero is not common in modern times and is not allowed in most show competition other than Parade Horse competition and children's leadline.

I grew up riding in my first saddles with tapederos and have always felt it is a very good safety item for young riders. I have trained over 100 people for the National Guard and as Indian War re-enactors since 2002 to use Military Saddles with tapederos that were in use on the Frontier. The US Military used stirrups with tapederos from before 1859 till the 1940s; sometimes they ran short of leather or used metal stirrups; but mostly wooden stirrups with tapederos in this timeframe. My Cavalry student’s feet can range from a size 5 women’s to extra wide size 13 in men’s; having proper footwear, a wide enough stirrups with tapederos that won’t hinder the rider’s foot in the stirrup; especially new riders, is a major issue in successful riding training. I have to say that proper size stirrups and tapederos are one of my first safety concerns that I can mitigate for these riders.

I was at an O-Mok-See last year, where I was happy to see a great many of young riders were using tapaderos. I saw a young rider was having trouble keeping his seat, controlling their horse (on turns and stopping; esp at out gate). I noticed that they were riding in the stirrups with just the tips of their boots; basically having only purchase of the stirrup on their tiptoes due to the small tapederos not allowing the feet/boot far enough forward in stirrups. This was throwing them forward and out of balance/a proper seat. I was trying to mention to the adult with the child that the tapederos could be taken off (and was about to mention that tapederos could also be moved forward by resetting the screws, as the boots didn’t fit into the stirrups anymore), when I was told that they had been riding longer than I had been alive and they are going to stay like that. Wow!

Riders/Parents - Please, let’s look at our gear as we close out our riding times before winter for safety: is the leather of our tack (stirrup leathers, cinch/latigo, breast collars, bridle/reins) in good shape (no tears, cracks, excessive wear), and are the stirrups in good shape (most kid stirrups are wooden like the military style-is it cracking, need linseed oil or such). Do things fit; does the child fit the saddle; from the seat to the stirrup leathers, and to the stirrup/tapederos (can they ride on the balls of their feet in the middle of the stirrup at a minimum). As kids grow through the winter; let’s recheck those boots, the saddle, stirrups and tapederos for proper fit in the spring. So, the morale of the story is keep learning and listening for new ways to improve your safety and horsemanship.

Life Experiences by Bev Stiger Memories of My Favorite Horse

To Honor “Koko”, our Friend, Companion, Family Member, as He Turned 34 Years Old

Some of you have read this story since I wrote it a number of years ago, but for those who haven’t, you might enjoy it, and it could be food for thought.

For those of you who have grown up with, or learned to love horses, I hope you have had the privilege of owning and being friends with that “one special horse” that stands out above all others, one you will never forget and never replace. Koko was that horse to me. This is his story and my tribute to him as we saw him into the 34th year of his remarkable lifespan.

I was there the day he was born to a grade mare belonging to a friend of mine in Butte, MT -- May 18, 1967. I cradled his head in my lap before he could stand. I badgered my friend to sell him to me for two years, which she finally did, for the sum of $175.00, the going price for a so-so grade horse in 1969. His mother was half Quarter Horse, ¼ Thoroughbred, and ¼ Arabian; his sire was a registered Quarter Horse.

He turned out to be a pretty good buy! He became worth his weight in gold to us over the years. My husband turned down $2,500 for him in 1975 when he was admired by another rider during a VIP trip through Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado hosted by the U.S. Forest Service for the Roundup Riders of the Rockies. That was a big price back then for a grade horse, but Sonny couldn’t sell him.

The horse was started as a two-year-old in Butte, by a close friend of his owner, and he didn't have more than about 12 hours ridin' on him, as did his 3/4-brother, a black colt named Fleecer, born a week before Koko. We collectively decided it would be "good experience" for the colts to ride them in the 4th of July parade in Butte in 1969. The trainer's daughter was to ride Fleecer and a niece would ride Koko. I was given a flashy Appaloosa stallion to ride and show off in the parade. This might tell you, we all had more guts than brains back then.

As luck would have it, the parade committee had lined us up behind a lady riding a beautiful Palomino mare that was in season. We were all decked out in full parade regalia, silver-mounted saddles and bridles, sequins, fringe and feathers everywhere. I was instructed to watch out for the girls on the colts as the stud was "pretty solid". Yeah, right.

I soon learned I wasn't much help to the girls since I had my hands full when the stud horse got a little woofy from the perfume wafting on the breeze from the Palomino mare just ahead, especially when the parade would slow down or stall a few minutes. But, don't worry, he said the stud was solid, okay, fine, just keep movin'. The Appy stallion put on a great show for the crowd and they loved it, but it was all I could do to keep his four feet pointed at the ground and moving forward instead of straight up. I thought it might be quite embarrassing for me and the lady on the lovely blond mare if the crowd was treated to the next trick that stud had in mind.

About that time, firecrackers were going off all around us. I glanced back to see how the colts were reacting, and they were a little high-headed and wild-eyed, but still upright. Good sign. When they did panic, they both forged ahead and slammed into the sides of that stallion, one on each side like a sandwich, and that's the way we rode the last five miles down the parade route. Fortunately, the stud was preoccupied enough with trying to keep from being crushed by the colts cuddling up to him like a security blanket, and he forgot all about the charming blonde mare in frontof him, and we all finished the parade intact. Yes, the colts got "experience".

By the time I acquired Koko a few months later, he was all grown up and he seemed all business right from the start and did not seem to exhibit the “colt-silly” traits a lot of our other young horses have. He learned quickly and behaved like a gentleman his whole life. For the 33 years we used him under saddle, he had always been willing, capable, tireless, and he did whatever was asked of him confidently and with style, no arguments, no complaints. Think about it, Ladies, how many of us can say that about the men we have married??

In Colorado, 1973 as I recall, I was president of Jefferson County Horsemen's Association, secretary of the Colorado Horsemen's Council, and I belonged to a saddle club in the town of Golden, just west of Denver. We were the honor guard participating in ceremonies at the gravesite of Buffalo Bill Cody on Lookout Mountain. There were many horse groups represented and this occasion kicked off the Buffalo Bill Days celebration. There were television cameras and reporters and microphones everywhere. Things got exciting when a large group of Indians crashed the party, grabbed the microphones and began protesting what had occurred at Wounded Knee, and their feelings in general about honoring a buffalo hunter. The police broke up the take-over, hustled some protestors away, and the rest of the Indians disappeared. We finished the flag ceremony and were making our way back down the trails, only to be"ambushed" by the Indians who hadn't been arrested. They were whooping and hollering, throwing rocks and sticks, and firing guns into the air. They had riders scattered all over the mountain in various stages of horse wrecks. I had been riding down with a group of Mexicans, the Denver Charros, superb horsemen in the Spanish riding style, and about 20 of them all decked out in traditional Mexican costumes, was very impressive. I maneuvered Koko right in the middle of them, he cocked an ear at the fracus going on all around us, bunched up like a coiled spring, but he cuddled up to a huge white Charros horse with a huge, ominous-looking Mexican on him, and the Indians let us pass on through without incident. We made it to the bottom, Koko spied the horse trailer, and he loaded himself before I could unsaddle. He'd had enough celebrating. Me, too. We were outa there.

The old horse had seen it all, done it all. With Sonny aboard, he had rounded up cattle, roped steers, carried sick calves, dragged elk out during hunting seasons, skidded logs for firewood, pulled downed trees off-side to clear trails, chased coyotes in the moonlight just for fun, and literally walked through fire and hot ash as Sonny did his fire management work with the U.S. Forest Service, and later as a fire consultant in Wilderness areas. Koko dragged home the Christmas tree through heavy snow; carried our Husky, squirming on the front of the saddle, across swollen mountain streams too swift for the dog to swim, and traveled over 2,000 miles in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana, as the lead horse with a packstring behind. On his last two trips into the Wilderness in 1998, he never lost his dignity when he was reduced to the role of packhorse instead of the lead animal.

He carried many novice riders into the Wilderness and gave them a pleasant and safe ride, including a newspaper reporter on a VIP trip with Forest Service personnel. This man carried three cameras, three bags of lenses, film, two tripods, all hanging at various angles off old Koko. Koko stood patiently, untied, perched precariously on rocky knobs where the reporter bailed off when he thought he'd reached Postcard Point. The reporter would crawl back on, poking the horse with his tripods and cameras, we'd all wait on the trail below, shake our heads and let Koko handle it.

Koko had done some barrel racing, somewhat successfully, and made me a little money. He had competed in many other ‘games on horseback’ events, and I have a trophy he won as a three-year-old for high-point horse from the local Fair where I was living at the time in Alberta. He took first in the parade event, first in the barrel race, second in pole-bending, first in the flag race, second in the obstacle course, and third in a "flat race", which was sort of a free-for-all run around the track by anybody and everybody. The chariot racers staged these flat races to entertain the rest of us who didn’t race chariots. Koko got knocked to his knees in that race by a big Quarter Horsethat shouldered into him next to the rail. He recovered, I was still clinging to the saddle with teeth and fingernails, since I wasn’t about to get dumped in front of the riders coming on behind me, and we finished third, the big Quarter Horse ran out ofsteam and was fourth. Proud Kodak moment!

That was Koko’s first and last flat race, and from that day forward, no horse ever pushed him around. Also that marked the end of my jockey career.

He helped raise our daughter, Lynnette. She rode him by herself when she was 18 months old, and he was just a four-year-old. All she could say was, “Go, Koko”, and he went. He could hardly feel her up there, but he knew what “Go” meant, and he tip-toed carefully around the corral so as not to spill her. She got her own horse, named Joe, when she was six, and Joe took over her schooling until he got too old and stiff, and we transferred him to a family with two tiny girls he could watch over. Lynnette went back to Koko as a teenager and he continued her schooling in horsemanship like there had never been a break in their relationship.

His next assignment was the grandkids, and he’d walk up and down the driveway or around the corral for hours carrying a two-year-old, hoping they’d get tired and get off, but they didn’t, so he’d just keep going. He carried a nine-year-old grandson on his first cattle drive. Justin sat there and hung on-Koko worked the cows.

Through the years he raised five colts for us. From the day they were weaned from their mothers, he’d take over as their babysitter, their protector, their mentor, their coach. He’d mother them until they were about two years old, then he’d let them know who was in charge, babyhood was over and it was time to quit munching out of his oat pan and sleeping in his hay. He’d make believers out of them in about 30 seconds. When he was in charge of #6, Cody, our buckskin baby, born in 2000, Koko seemed a little more lenient; maybe he sensed this was his last pupil.

He ponied countless young horses on their first ride, since Sonny had a hobby of training colts in his spare time. Koko let them know there would be no nonsense, they couldn’t haul back on the lead rope, or pull sideways, or crowd too close. He has been known to grab a young horse who was out of line or making trouble, by the withers, and slam-dunk him where he belonged. It usually only took just once for them to understand the rules.

Sonny and Koko were among the groomsmen at a local wedding on horseback a few years back. The groomsmen were celebrating this gala event with great enthusiasm, and Sonny and another cowboy decided on a dare to ride into the local saloon. Koko walked in calmly, ears pricked, and very cautious, knowing this might not be the place for him, but he’d climb a tree if Sonny wanted to sit on a limb! He watched the other guy’s horse spin around on the polished floor and back into the jukebox, decided this was an error in judgment on his rider’s part, gracefully backed out the door and parked Sonny at the curb with the gentle nudge to the boot toe, suggesting it was time to get off and stagger back into the dance hall.

The last couple of years of his life, the old horse lost muscle and flesh around the withers and hips, and couldn’t seem to regain it no matter how much Senior Supplement we poured into him, and he had a little arthritis. He went uphill a little more slowly, and downhill very carefully. I think his vision failed a little, and perhaps his hearing, but his teeth were still good, he sleeked off in the spring, and he surprised us now and then kicking up his heels with his younger companions. He still carried himself proudly and he was definitely still “in charge” of the herd. We rode him now and then and he still reminded us, “Now, you are horseback!

Since I was able to be there holding his head when he was born, I hoped I could be there doing the same thing when he passed on, and we hoped we’d get to celebrate his 35th birthday! We retired him with honor to a well-earned rest, and our wish for him was green pastures, good water, soft breezes, and companions as honest as he was to see him through his remaining years. There will never be another quite like him.

As it turned out, I was not there when he passed away. It was a cold, blustery day, October 16, 2001. I had stopped enroute on my mail route to see how the horses were doing on our pasture north of Wolf Creek, MT. Sonny intended to bring them all home prior to hunting season, but they had a week to go, and I was hoping my aging old Koko wasn’t cold. He wasn’t, and when I hollered to them, they all came on the run for a few pellets, Koko bringing up the rear, but he was actually in a trot. He nickered and licked my fingers as usual, and seemed normal. My friend who lived nearby, found him the next morning when she went looking because he didn’t come down for water with the rest. He had chosen a small clearing at the top of a hill overlooking the valley, had evidently just laid down and died. She said the ground was not disturbed, no sign of a struggle, it was just time. He was 34-1/2 years old. I wish our pets and horse friends could live as long as we do, but I know they can’t. My wish for all of them is that they can exit this world with the ease and dignity that Koko did.

EPILOGUE

What really prompted me to write this story was a conversation I had with a young girl at a 4-H Horse Show competition we were watching in Great Falls. She had been entered in several events and had done very well. I had complimented her on how well trained and responsive her horse was, and what a great attitude and disposition he had displayed. Her reply was, "Yes, he did pretty well, but he's getting old now and I've got to get myself something younger with a little more fire." I asked her how old the horse was. She said, "He's eight!" I asked her if she was planning to sell the horse, and she said, "Well, I think my dad will probably keep him around a few more years and use him some." Smart man! Maybe she'll wake up before he's sold!

bucking horse I thought of Koko then, and how much he meant to me after thirty-four years, and I couldn't help but wonder, are we teaching our children in this competitive horse world, that competition is all that counts, and "younger" with more "fire" is better?? This young girl will never know the pleasure and satisfaction of keeping this willing and gentle friend into his senior years, and experiencing all the things he can do for her as she grows into adulthood. He might even help her introduce her own children to the pleasures of riding. So, I went home and wrote the story. I hope you have enjoyed it.






From the “WHO KNEW?” department: C.K.G. Billings
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dillon
Legend - Lou Dillon 1:56. 1903

Cornelius Kingsley Garrison Billings (September 17, 1861 in Saratoga, New York – May 6, 1937 in Santa Barbara, California) was a wealthy industrialist, a noted horseman and tycoon. When he retired in 1901 at age 40 he was chairman of the board of Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company of Chicago, and a founder of Union Carbide Company.

A notable eccentric, Billings invested much of his time and money promoting the sport of matinee riding (trotting), a sport that is still popular today in the United States.

Life and career

Billings grew up in Chicago, where his entrepreneurial father was a principal in the Peoples Gas Light and Coke Company during the time when Chicago was largely lit by gaslight. After college he joined his father’s firm, eventually inheriting controlling interest in the company and, at the age of 40, retired from business to devote his time to his growing stable of horses. In 1901 he moved his family and his horses to New York City, and acquired acreage on the largely undeveloped north end of Manhattan. It was near the newly opened and very fashionable Harlem Speedway, an exclusive dirt track along the Harlem River between 155th and Dyckman Streets.

Dinner on horseback

One of the most unique and memorable exhibitions of wealth during the time was a party hosted by Billings. In 1901 Billings had purchased land at Fort Tryon in Washington Heights in New York City where he established a world-class stable for his thoroughbred trotters and pacers. The 25.000-square-foot, $200,000 stable housed 22 carriages, 33 horses, a harness room, a carriage wash, a changing room and living quarters. When it was completed. The New York Times of March 1903 said it was "one of the largest and most palatial private stables ever built in this country."

To celebrate the opening,of his stable at Washington Heights Street Billings invited 36 men to a dinner at the stable, catered by New York's renowned restaurateur Louis Sherry. Word leaked out however, and crowds of reporters gathered by his gates, hoping to see the fabulous stable and glamorous visitors.

Billings decided to quietly move the party, and instead rented the grand ballroom of Sherry's, at Fifth Avenue and 44th. Horses rode the elevators and entered a hall where a canvas backdrop depicted an English country scene, and turf carpeted the dance floor. While the horses, each attended by its own groom, ate from a circle of troughs, white-tie-and-tail-clad guests dined from linen-covered trays attached to their saddles and sipped champagne through rubber tubes from iced bottles in their saddlebags. Waiters, dressed as grooms in scarlet coats and white breeches, served the various courses. The $50,000 bill included a photographer from the celebrated Byron Company to document the event. The photograph of the "Banquet on Horseback" quickly became the iconic image of the excesses of the Gilded Age.

dinner on horseback

Dillon
C.K.G. Billings with his horse Lou Dillon - 1903.
Horses Billings owned some of the nation's finest trotters and pacers, one of which, Lou Dillon, was the first to trot a two-minute mile. In May 1903 Billings spent $12,500 at a dispersal sale in Cleveland for the mare and added her to his stable of matinee horses with the hopes that she could bring him a victory in the next Memphis race. His investment paid off, as she became a phenomenal horse that captured the attention of the nation. By this time Billings was regarded as a "Grand Marshal" of matinee racing. In 1905, however, he sold his stable at Madison Square Garden, stating that he proposed to go abroad for a few years.

Billings moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1917 to more fully indulge his love of fast horses.


The Billings estate and mansion has been immortalized in the Philo Vance mystery The Dragon.

Please feel free to send any items you wish included in the next PONY TALES to trailridershelena@gmail.com.

Reasons riding has ruined my life
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