Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Trail of Painted Ponies: Bingo

Bingo 1986-2011

Some horses come into our lives for a short time, but can affect us so much. Bingo was one of those special horses. He was a 16h Paint gelding that came to Peggy as a companion for Sonny after the loss of one of her horses. She had been in the right place at the right time. Bingo's owner knew a life unattended in a huge field was not the best for him and had decided to put him down. At 22 years old he needed more. When she made the call to the farm's owner, Peggy was there exercising horses. Since she needed a companion for Sonny, she offered to take him. His owner was so happy.
When I met Bingo, my first thought was "Oh boy he is a Paint." If you have ever been around a Paint, you know they have a special attitude that can mean trouble. My next thought was that he looked like a cartoon horse come to life. The main reason being his lips. They were really short compared to his head, like some cartoon horses. As a retired fox hunter, he had huge knees. We soon found he had a huge heart too. You could not help but smile at Bingo. When Rosemary foaled out at Peggy's, Bingo watched and he really wanted to meet Roscoe. It took Comrade opening the stall door before he got that chance though.
The big guy I thought of as a retired fox hunter, actually had an impressive history with a few gems. This helped me decide on his Painted Pony when Peggy lost him to laminitis September 2011.

"Carved in History"

Through his previous owner, Lucy Moorhead, Bingo kept company with a couple names you all may recognize. Lucy is the wife of a former Congressman. Between raising a family and supporting her husband's political work, she was an avid horsewoman. She fox hunted with the Orange County Hunt and lived near Middleburg.

Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Someone else she knew politically and through hunting also rode with that hunt, Jackie Kennedy Onassis.  Lucy enjoyed her time hunting with Jackie away from political expectations.

Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Later Lucy wanted lessons which at the time was something not many people did. She admired Katie Monahan and after a recommendation from George Morris began taking lessons. After Katie married, Lucy followed her to Wellington to be able to show. Years later Bingo went to Wellington too and competed in the Adult Amateur Division. Katie Prudent even schooled him over fences.

Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Lucy wrote her memoir "In the Town& In the Country: Washington and Virginia" in which she relates her feelings about riding and Bingo.
I talk to him, and he understands--we know each other so well. We have our own language. Riding with Bingo across fields, ... Riding is heaven.

Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Now Bingo waits for Lucy on the other side. Peggy told me she came to visit him a few times and even rode him. She was so elegant in the tack and he always perked up for her.

16yr old Bingo
Photo from In the Time and In the Country

Lucy hung up her spurs at the age of 80. I hope I last that long. Someone once told Lucy she would not find another one like him and I can't help but agree. Bingo was a character, gone too soon. I am glad he had such an awesome relationship with a special lady. Every horse should experience that kind of love. So now you know why he is forever carved in history.

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