Sunday, April 27, 2014

Elvis and Horses

Elvis was a real horse lover and his ex-wife Priscilla carries on the tradition even today.  Not being a big Elvis fan, I knew little about his love for horses and have never been to Graceland.  There are four horses stabled today at Graceland and three are rescues.  You can take a stable tour there as well.

Elvis loved Tennessee Walking Horses and also owned Quarter Horses.  Priscilla Presley recounts a story about Elvis' love for equines.  He wanted a golden palomino and he'd get up at 3:00 am and go to certain farms and ask if they had golden palomino horses. He found one and named it Rising Sun and the barn was soon referred to as "House of the Rising Sun."  

(Rising Sun at Graceland, unknown provenance)

He bought Priscilla a black Quarter Horse for her birthday, Domino.

Elvis bought more horses including trucks and trailers for his friends and bodyguards.  But the herd outgrew the grounds and in February1967 Elvis purchased a 163-acre cattle ranch just across the state line in Mississippi. The ranch was named Circle-G in honor of Graceland.  Eight trailers were brought in to house friends and family while Elvis and Priscilla used a small brick house on the property.  The trailers are now gone but the brick house is still there, in very bad repair and a road has been put right in front of the house.

 (House at Circle-G Ranch)

(House at Circle-G Today)

The ranch was only 10-minutes from Graceland and Elvis only owned it until May 1968 but reportedly, some of his happiest times were spent there. His father was worried that Elvis was spending too much money on the ranch and eventually his interest in the place waned.  It was sold in May 1968 for $440,000 ($2.9M in today's dollars) and all of the items were auctioned. He kept horses at Graceland though.

 (BBQ Pit at Circle-G)

The farm is for sale for $1M and a foundation has been set up to raise funds to buy and restore the farm.  The Foundation has a Facebook site.

Here is a picture of Elvis and Priscilla by a bridge Elvis built on the farm.

Here's what it looks like now, or at least in more recent times as I am not sure when this was taken.

Another photo of the farm in more recent times:

It's funny how popular culture commercializes things.  Breyer made a jewel box with Elvis and Rising Sun on the outside.  How cool is that?

Let's hope that Circle-G is somehow saved.  Glad to see that even Elvis loved horses. He was "the King" after all.  Happy Sunday.

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