The small but powerful Rhythmical died yesterday, leaving behind a legacy that helped send rider Nona Garson into a league of her own. The 15.2 hand Budyonny gelding was 10 when she got him in 1995 and while he was not an easy ride they were perfect for each other. He had been traded with two other horses for 150 used washing machines (no, I am not making this up) which added to his "rags to riches" story. And don't we all love those?
He was a Russian-bred cavalry horse who went on to win some of the top prizes in international show jumping. Garson spotted him in a class for young riders in Sweden. He had been sold for $10,000 to a Finn along with the washing machines. This was after the collapse of the Soviet Union and washing machines were more valuable than money. The horse had scars and tattoo and who knows what must had happened to him before he became a legendary show jumper.
A facebook posting yesterday announced the news:
Nona Garson lost her Beautiful Magic Horse Today, after almost 18 years together. Rhythmical left this world today..the world will never be the same without him... "a Braver Better Partner I will Never Know...GodSpeed Rhyth..." Everyone will always love you. ~ My Flying Horse, Rhythmical.
The chestnut gelding even made it to the Sydney Olympics in 2000 but had problems with the footing and was out of medal contention. We will always miss the great ones. RIP little red boy.