Something my friend Marissa said this past week as we discussed Hickstead's passing motivated me to finally coalesce my thoughts and blog about them. I even quoted her in my post. Looks like her words had the same profound affect on her as they did on me. If you don't follow Marissa's blog, Tucker the Wunderkind, you may have missed her wonderful post on the loss of Hickstead. I'm going to make life easy for you by re-posting her thoughts here, but I'd also recommend wandering over to Tucker the Wunderkind to read more of her writing. In this blogger's humble opinion, she's that good.
The Wrong Ending
This story had the wrong ending. This wasn't the way it was supposed to go.
You were supposed to have an unprecedented career in showjumping, adored by fans across the nations for years, and continue to amaze us with your talent, agility, strength, and heart. You were supposed to be retired, with that wise old look on your face that teenaged stallions get, and paraded around the ring adorned with a blanket of roses. Crowds of people were supposed to stand and applaud your many, many accomplishments, music playing and riders choking up with pride and esteem. You were supposed to live out your twilight years in some big green pasture, calling out to mares across the fencelines, pinning your ears at geldings walking past, and nickering to grooms for treats and scratches.
You were not supposed to come crashing to the ground in a heartbreaking, violent, tragic way. The crowd was not supposed to look on in horror, hands clapped across mouths and tears streaming down their cheeks. You should have ended this competition with a victory gallop, a ribbon streaming from your bridle. There shouldn't have been a moment of silence. The competition shouldn't have been cancelled. This was definitely not the way the story was supposed to play out.
I haven't been blogging regularly lately because I have some kind of prolonged writer's block and I find myself with no idea what to say these days (but everything is fine, Tucker and I are well). I felt compelled to write something today though, both to honor this great horse and to reflect on how profoundly his passing has affected me. It has left me feeling morose, a little indignant at life, and completely empty.
Go home and hug your horses tonight. Tell them you love them and you're grateful for them. And be honored to be part of a sport that allows us to share in the lives of champions like Hickstead.
Video: Spruce Meadow's Tribute to Hickstead