When a light suddenly goes out, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to the darkness. When Alfred Patrick “Paddy” Smithwick passed away on Nov. 14, 1973, at the tender age of 46, the steeplechasing world lost one of its brightest stars.
Born in 1927, Smithwick began his career as an amateur in 1945 at the age of 19. He quickly climbed into the professional ranks in 1946, and by 1947 he finished 10th in the National Steeplechase and Hunt standings after winning seven races that year.
Every February, millions of people gather around their televisions to watch two teams battle it out for the Super Bowl title. Some people actually watch it for the game, others for the advertising, but some of us watch it for the Budweiser Clydesdales.
The dictionary defines versatile as: capable of or adapted for turning easily from one to another of various tasks, fields of endeavor, etc. Bold Minstrel was the poster boy of versatile.
Born in 1952 in Camargo, Ohio, Bold Minstrel was by Thoroughbred stallion Bold And Bad out of Wallise Simpson, who was the result of a test breeding of an unknown mare to a young Royal Minstrel. William “Billy” Haggard III purchased Bold Minstrel as a 5-year-old.
“Horses and I have always understood each other,” said Sallie Sexton in a 1996 Chronicle interview. “Which is why I can still take the youngsters in the ring and stand them up. I only shake my bat at them and tell them to behave, and they listen. I listen to them too–we communicate with each other.”
A lot has changed since 1937 at the Chronicle. We’ve moved buildings, switched from typewriters to computers, film to digital cameras, black and white to color, and even dropped some disciplines from our coverage and added new ones. Advertising, despite its own changes in trend and style, has remained an integral part of our magazine since the beginning.
A star was born in 1926. But she didn’t know that one day she’d be regarded as one of the greatest event horses of all time. Back then Jenny Camp was merely concerned with frolicking about in the lush, green fields of the U.S. Army Remount Station in Front Royal, Va.
You can’t deny that there’s something a bit magical about a merry-go-round.
Sure, now that I’ve grown up it’s not as fun to ride one of the dancing horses that seem to plunge and leap as the carousel spins around to outdated organ music, but when I was a kid? Oh man. I always wanted to ride the prettiest horse I could find, preferably on the outside so I could grab the ring as I went flying by and throw it at the opening a few feet further down the track.
I was one of those kids who’d snoop for Christmas presents every year. By the time I was 10, I knew every single hiding place in our house—from my parent’s closet, to the craft room, to the downstairs coat closet way back behind the moving boxes that had been there since before I was born—it was pretty hard to keep a secret from me!
“Many kids would rather ride on the back of a horse… than pilot a spaceship to the moon.” – Walter Farley
I must have read Walter Farley’s Man O’War a million times when I was a kid. I pored over the pages so much that by the time the book finally found a more permanent home on my bookshelf—its spine worn and creased in comparison to the shiny hardbacks that flanked it—it was easy enough to tell which one was my favorite.