|Posted by Emerald Hills Stable on November 7, 2011 at 11:55 AM|
The moment you heard the news I bet your heart missed a beat, just like mine did.
No, way. I must of heard you wrong.
Hickstead has passed.
Shock and disbelief is all I can register. How can I feel this much sorrow for a man and his horse who I have never met. Yes I've seen him in passing and even waved to him at The Royal. But why do the tears sting my eyes as I write this?
Becasue like you I am passionate about horses and horses are my life. I sat and cheered for Eric and Hickstead every Spruce Meadows event, at the Olympics, everytime the pair came on screen I got a little excited to witness such a union that is only ever read about in stories.
Hickstead brought Eric back to the forefront of Show Jumping and their bond was incredible, their heart and drive untouchable by anyone. I grew up watching Big Ben and Ian Miller, dreaming of being just like Ian and having a great horse who I was lucky enough to ride and share my victories with. Than later I felt the same childhood fascination with Hickstead and Eric Lamaze. What an amazing rider, with an amazing horse, such an amzing team.
I am so filled with Sympathy for Eric at this time, and as the letters and cards pour in from all generations sending any advice and well wishes I can only hope that Eric will get comfort in knowing that people who have never met him are reaching out to offer support and sympathy in his time of sorrow and loss. Strangers to him but these people have all watched and cheered for these two athletes and though we may not feel the pain that Eric does we are stunned and saddened by Hicksteads passing and the end to a partnership that will be remembered throughout history, I know I willl tell the stories of Hickstead and Eric to my grandchildren just as I tell the stories of Ian and Big Ben to my daughter.
Who knows maybe Hickstead was meant to bring Eric back to the spotlight where he had fallen from before. Maybe Hickstead was here on Earth just for that reason and having done his job he was called away earning his place in a heaven we can only imagine.
I've heard people take the negative and argue that the travelling, practices and competitions could have worn him out sooner than he should have been and his schedule and lack of rest in a paddock being able to do nothing but graze is what maight have caused his death or contributed to it.
Now, I don't know becasue I do not work with Hickstead or know his exact schedule, but I can tell you having seen him jump he loved it. That horse would tackle anything put infront of him. Hickstead was also an athlete. Athlete's train and compete, it's their life and if that horse didn't enjoy it he wouldn't do it, he wouldn't jump a pole if he didn't want to jump. You can train the hell out of a horse for the discipline that you want to pursue but if your horse doesn't enjoy it, doesn't want to run the track, take on the triple combination than your horse won't. Hickstead jumped everything put infront of him because he loved it.
My thoughts and prayers are for Eric today and probably for tomorrow as well. I hope that he can find comfort in remembering that he has been blessed in having had a rare and special bond with such an extrodinary equine partner. How terribly sorry I am for the loss of your friend.
I found this poem which I think is appropriate, I hope you enjoy it and share in my sympathy for the loss of a truly amazing equine.
Don't Cry For The Horses
Don't cry for the horses that life has set free.
A million white horses forever to be.
Don't cry for the horses now in God's hand.
As they dance and they prance in a heavenly band.
They were ours as a gift, but never to keep.
As they close their eyes forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound. On silver wings they fly.
A million white horses against the blue sky.
Look up into heaven, you'll see them above.
The horses we lost, the horses we loved.
Manes and tails flowing, they gallop through time.
They were never yours, they were never mine.
Don't cry for the horses. They'll be back someday.
When our time is gone, they will show us the way.
Do you hear that soft nicker? Close to your ear?
Don't cry for the horses. Love the ones that are here.