"He was going to shoot the horse!"
We all hear horror stories about horses that get into the wrong situation, with the wrong owners or are asked to compete in the wrong discipline. Many times these horses are one connection or one circumstance away from excellence and a chance to thrive in life. It's a common story in the life of a horse and many times they don't end well. But when the stars align and a horse finds his place magic can happen.
The Fury wins the 2012 Tevis Cup.
The Fury changed hands as a three year old for $100.00 and the sale possibly saved him from a bullet. The $100.00 purchase not only changed his life but started a chain of events that would give him the opportunity to win the most prestigious 100 mile horse event in the world.
In late 2009 I started looking for a new endurance horse. I had taken several years away from the from the sport of long distance racing and was looking for the right horse to help introduce several exciting EasyCare hoof boots. I wanted a horse with presence, with attitude, a horse that loved his job and a horse that people would remember. The horse in many ways would end up being associated with the barefoot movement, the Easyboot Glove and Easyboots in general.
After a bunch of searching I responded to a classified ad placed on www.endurance.net. I contacted Deena MacDonald from New Hampshire and started the process. Fury was described as a teenage boy that needed a job, he was powerful, forward and a bit of a handful. Sounded like my kind of horse. I had a him vetted and the vet quickly knew the horse. "He's the horse that dumped his rider on the hood of the car before the last competitive trail ride and ran off".
The Fury got off the trailer on January 24th 2010 and started working in the mountains surrounding Durango, Colorado shortly after his arrival. The mountains gave him a new focus and helped control his excitement. I continued to be impressed with Fury and Deena and I continued to talk about the horse and his history. His story is interesting and one that could have a much different ending. Deena found him in Pennsylvania and before that he was in Ohio. Angela Mullins found Fury in a field in Ohio and describes how she bought him.
"I am amazed that for whatever reason this horse's owners really keep track of his history – it could have been a ton worse for him…
I was out cruising the new neighborhood sometime after we moved to Southern OH from Columbus- just to take a drive and familiarize myself with the new surroundings- somehow I ended up in Wilkesville – which is about 40 minutes from Racine where I live- driving around a hairpin turn, slammed on the brakes because I saw a field full of "color" – (husband is a real sucker for pintos and spots)
no house right there, so I went across the street and to the nearest farmhouse – which was not all that near – about 14 cats and 5 dogs and 3 kids later- I finally got to talk to the lady and her husband who explained to me the horses belonged to a lady who lives down the road from me- (I have since met her and she has about 70 head of paints)
Anyway, they asked why was I interested- did I want to buy a horse- ? Looked up on their hillside and saw 4 horses- so naturally I said- "what'cha got?"
They told me that they wanted to get rid of the grey horse on the hill- which was the nicest looking horse there- in my opinion- and I asked about history- here is what they told me.
They were somehow related to the former owner- who was female- supposedly she paid big money for him- as a yearling, I believe he was 2 coming 3 when I got him-
she attempted to break him and the description I got from them was psychotic, wild, hell-horse etc.- apparently she had gotten on him- and been dumped – hard- hospital hard- and as I am hearing this, I am thinking – why the heck am I still standing here?
anyway, rest of the story is- the fiance' told the guy I was talking to – that he was going to shoot the horse- the woman who owned him- begged this guy to take him to their house to keep him away from her fiance'- so they did. And that is where he stood – in their 40 acre field- until I pulled in.
So being the psychotic idiot that I am- I asked the guy how much? he said 100.00- I paid him and asked "can you trap him in the small barn in the middle of the field?" he said he thought he could- (I knew by this time these people were absolutely terrified of this horse.
I said I will be back on Thursday to get him-
drove my trailer in the field, husband (who was by this time dying to see just how crazy his new wife was) backed the trailer up to the doors and I grabbed a halter and lead and prepared to do battle with the anti- Christ. (Mind you the whole family won't go near the barn or the field at this time.
I walked in the barn- about 20×20 box – Fury was near the front, I spoke to him- he turned around, looked at me – walked straight to me, put his nose in my hand, ears forward and curious, lowered his head so I could put the halter on him, snapped on the lead and told my husband to open the barn door- which would lead directly to the barn.
That horse did not take a second glance at that trailer- just walked straight on behind me. I left him loose for the ride home and we drove out amidst a very stunned audience who must have thought that I was some kind of wizard by this time.
I bet it took longer for my husband to back the trailer to the barn then it did for me to catch and load this crazy beast."
It changes the way I look at horses in a field. Is the horse you drive by each day a situation away from greatness or the right connection? Stop next time, meet a new neighbor, possibly start a new chain events that will change a life.
With Fury's success I've had many offers to sell him for sums of money that "would change your life". What these buyers don't understand is that Fury has already changed my life in ways that money never will!
Angela Mullins, I'm so glad you stopped and took a chance because you changed several lives when you did!