HORSE RIDING EQUIPMENT IRELAND - HORSE RIDING
Horse riding equipment ireland - Goric play equipment.
Horse Riding Equipment Ireland
My father was an immigrant. He came to the States in1950 from Ireland one year before the rest of us. That's stretching it a bit, literally, as I was en utero on the journey—somewhat of a double boiler effect as we made the journey on the Queen Mary.
He came to find work, as so many did from the beautiful island. He had grown up with thoroughbreds working alongside his father in the racing stables in Dublin. He graduated from being just an extra hand to riding. He had some success as a steeplechase jockey until a bad fall and a punctured lung ended that part of his life.
My dad eventually settled in Southern California and went on to some acclaim as a thoroughbred trainer. The name Tommy Doyle was also known throughout the world as someone who could accurately judge yearlings who would go on to be successful distance runners. He was often sent to sales and auctions around the world on behalf of prospective buyers.
One highlight in his career was the 1975 Triple Crown where his horse Avatar came in second in the Derby and went on to win the Belmont, the longest of the three races, proving his strength and foresight once again.
But one of my best memories of him was my last visit to see him before he passed away in 1989 from complications due to Alzheimer's. It was not often that I saw him. My parents divorced when I was only four years old, and he was at best marginally involved in helping us grow up. It wasn't reason enough to stop loving him, but I learned much later how hard everything was for my mother. I loved my mom. I loved my dad.
He had a couple of ranches in the foothills above Pasadena, one of which was a 10 acre avocado farm. We were out looking at some yearlings at his place when he took me aside and said, "Come on, I want to show you something."
We got in his car and drove the short distance to the avocado grove. We got out and walked up to a typical paddock style fence. It was a bit odd to have the avocado trees fenced in like that. It seemed like it would restrict access when it came time for harvesting. It didn't take long to figure things out.
There were a half dozen or so thoroughbreds walking around lazily under the old trees passing from shade to shade sometimes reaching up to grab a low hanging fruit, sometimes stretching down to get one fallen. They were all fat, for all the world looking like they were about to foal, but that would have been a miracle for some because they didn't have the right equipment.
My dad said that he called these guys "his pensioners." They had all provided him with a very comfortable living and he wanted to repay their hard work. A race horse's career doesn't last long, so when the owners instructed my dad to sell them when they began to cost more to keep than to race, he bought them himself. He didn't make a big deal of it, but they were his friends. He gave them a peaceful retirement, with the company of other old horse codgers, to live out their days in contentment, fat and with glossy coats from all the avocados.
Happy Father's Day
Ebony Horse Club reception
The Duchess of Cornwall with TV presenter Claire Balding during a reception at Clarence House in central London for Ebony Horse Club, 21 April 2010. The club helps eight to 19-year-olds experience horse riding and specialises in youngsters with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
© Press Association
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