Friday, February 26, 2010

The Misplaced Horse, by Connie Downes

Connie Downes was my 'almost' older sister, she was a fixture of my childhood – even though she wasn't a blood relation. So, it is with great pleasure that I picked up this book.

"The Misplaced Horse" is a well-written mystery about the world of horse shows. A woman buys a horse at a show, but doesn't have room for him in her trailer – so she arranges to have the horse transported to a different horse show a few weeks later. But the horse doesn't arrive, so the mystery begins.

There is a lot of back story to this book. On the show circuit horses are bought and sold – a lot. They are swapped, sent to trainers, leased, borrowed, traded and shown by an army of people whose names rarely make it to any horse fancier magazine. This army is divided by breed, within the breed by use – therefore it is no surprise to one in the 'know' that someone would ask a stranger "Hey, can you help me transport this horse from point A to point B?"

What amazes me is that 99% of the time – the horse arrives safely. This story is about one horse that went astray.

Connie was a long time trainer and her horses carried many kids to show after show – consistent performers in a very risky business. I have two of her horses in my barn – my beloved old mare was a drop out – a bucker in a barn full of kid-safe horses. My old black gelding was her prize, until infirmities made him retire – when I fell in love with him Connie was generous enough to give him up. He is my rock – steady and faultlessly trained though arthritis has made him stiff and a bit cranky. Connie gave us his papers as a wedding present.

Connie died February 15th this year, so there won't be any more novels. But, I will always remember her.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

THERE IS CURRENTLY A HOLE IN MY HEART YOU COULD DRIVE HER FIVE HORSE TRAILER THROUGH. AT HER MEMORIAL SERVICE, I WAS SPEECHLESS. AND I KNEW IT WAS COMING. I SAW HER TWO DAYS BEFORE SHE DIED. I USED TO TAKE HER TO BREAKFAST AT KHARDOLY'S GREASY SPOON. WITH HAIR AND WITHOUT HAIR. PUFFED UP ON STEROIDS AND SKINNY AS A RAIL. GOOD SENSE OF HUMOUR AND I MADE HER LAUGH AS WELL AS BREATHE HARD. I SAT AND TALKED TO HER IN HER BARN UNTIL THE LAST DOG WAS DEAD. BOARDED A HORSE WITH HER, I DID. THEN I TOOK HIM OUT TO CONNEAUT AND TAUGHT HIM WHAT IT WAS TO BE A REAL HORSE AND LIVE IN A SMALL HERD. HE LIKE TO SHIT HIMSELF WHEN HE FOUND OUT HE WOULD BE LIVING OUT OF DOORS. CONNIE JUST ROLLED HER EYES. I WILL MISS HER THE REST OF MY LIFE.
WRIS