Close Encounters of a Studly Kind

teri-and-slew-cropped-for-web.jpg

Our group admires the late great Triple Crown winner
Seattle Slew.  I am way down on the far left end.

 “Last fall, we took Teri to a stud farm,” Ginger Stanley, a colleague and friend, once remarked to a luncheon speaker in
Washington, DC.
 

 “This is a G-Rated story,”  I quickly added. 

The speaker was relieved. 

Setting the stage – the story’s on its way:   The Kentucky Derby is always exciting even when you don’t know anything about the horses running or the jockeys riding them.  Yes – we feel an affinity for the beautiful creatures even if we don’t follow the sport. I cheered for each of the horse-and-jockey teams I thought would win this year’s
Derby and was thrilled when Street Sense came from behind to win the roses.
 
In the face of such exciting victories, there are also tragedies. 

The nation mourned when brave Barbaro, last year’s Derby champ, had to be euthanized after complications from a broken leg suffered in last year’s Preakness made him miserable. I shed a few tears when the great Seattle Slew passed away.  Seattle Slew is the only horse to have raced undefeated when he won the Triple Crown in 1977.  I felt a special connection with him after my visit, a few years ago, to Three Chimneys Farm where he was out to pasture and fathering future champions. 

We had a relationship…sort of…well, at least we had a connection. 

Our fated meeting spawned many bawdy jokes and double entendres for months. Well…..  During a small conference in Kentucky, our host took our group on a side trip to Three Chimneys. Slew’s caretaker introduced us to the proud stallion, and we gathered at the fence around the pasture to admire him up close.  I kept a safe distance, but the horse gravitated to me.  Maybe he liked little fillies who play it cool. Finally, when I wasn’t looking, he snuck up to me, opened his mouth, and put his face into my hair.  I was just able to get out of the way before those jaws grabbed a chunk.  Frisky fellow! 

Later, we were gathered around, our backs to the fence, listening to the caretaker tell Slew’s life story.  Suddenly, I felt something nuzzling the back of my head. The caretaker lurched forward, grabbed me by the arm and jerked me away. It was that amorous stallion again. Maybe it was love at first sight.

Maybe he was just flirting.  He WAS a player after all – a most prolific stud horse.  

He da man!  And frankly, he was the best looking thing I had interested in me in a long time. Stallion jokes filled cyberspace in emails for months after. Maybe it’s not so funny.   Who knows? 

Perhaps we could have lived happily ever after. 

He was 28 when he died in 2002. 

Rest in peace Seattle Slew and Barbaro too. 

Stay Tuned:  It’s off to the races again!  From horses to chihuahuas

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