Friday, September 13, 2019

Super Sega - One Last Time

My beloved chestnut mare is not doing well.  It's been a long few months with her this summer with repeated episodes of founder (laminitis) even though we are in drought mode here with little to no grass.  She is definitely on a downward spiral that is not going to end well and I just try to manage her and allow her to have the wonderful quality of life she deserves as she winds down her life with us in Virginia. 

 (Sega at the end of her horse show career)

 (early Sega)

(Sega in her prime)

These past few weeks have had me thinking a lot about her and what we achieved together.  It's remarkable that we had the run we did.  She was an inexpensive horse by today's standards, bred to be a dressage mount, bought to be field hunter but turned into a top Adult Amateur Hunter.  And she did not live in a "show barn" except for the first few years of her 12 year run. Who knew?

Sega was special from the very beginning.  Her brain was what you always wanted in any horse - calm, cool, collected, under any circumstances but her greatest strength was her will to win.  She wanted to be the winner every time out - except for one day at Harrisburg. If we messed up it wasn't her fault.  Sure, she'd pull a rail, swap off, miss a lead change, but after she got the hang of it, that rarely happened unless the rider caused the error.  I had 110 percent 99 percent of the time.  How nice was that?  And she was so uncomplicated - not marish, not spooky, not interested in anything going on around her except her job in the ring.  And she was the soundest horse on the planet.  In almost 22 years I can count on one hand the times she has been lame until this summer.  She had a broken bone in her leg and was lame only the very first day of the accident.

She won a lot but we never chased year-end awards.  If we won them it just happened.  We were the top Adult Hunter in Maryland, the top Hanoverian Adult Hunter in the country, the top Adult Hunter in Western Pennsylvania multiple times, the #2 horse  (Older Adult) in Zone 3 (only because we did 1/3 of the shows that the winner did) and we almost always were in the top 10 in the Zone the years we showed.  But she always showed at the least amount of shows of the horses she competed with during those years.  That's why she had a 12 year show career.  We never did warm-ups, the professionals rarely showed her after her Pre-Green year. We had a great routine that worked well for us both.

She won tri-colors at some big shows:  Maryland Horse & Pony, Merrill-Lynch Hunter-Jumper Classic (now called Chagrin Valley Classic), Lexington Spring Encore, Stonewall Country, The Barracks, Culpepper, Ocala, Roanoke Valley, State College, just to mention a few and was the Circuit Champion one year in Ocala.  We made the WCHR Finals three times and placed it in twice - 10th and 4th (one of our greatest accomplishments). She was the Hunter Classic queen and we did the NAL Finals, WISH Finals and Local Day placing in all three.

As she slowed down I showed her for a few months at 2'9 (where she was champion at a AA show her last time out, of course) and I showed her locally in the Pleasure Division a few times where she won every class every time.  She wanted to be the winner even in old age!

And did I say she was as good a field hunter as she was a show horse?  She was!  Everything she did she did well. 

Sega's career is who she was.  She loved every minute of it.  That's what made it so fun with her - it was such a partnership - we just understood each other so well through it all.  That's what makes it so hard now - I understand her now too.  She is almost done with this life.  That I am certain.  Life will never ever be the same without her once she is finally gone, but man what a great ride we've had in more ways than one!


  1. So sorry for you and Sega; no words can ease that sorrow. How lucky you are to have had her, and how lucky she is to have you who respects her dignity at the end of her run.

  2. I’m so sorry about Sega. Losing a beloved animal is one of the hardest things. What a beautiful tribute.

  3. You are fortunate to have enjoyed a partnership with a wonderful horse.

    My family was in your place last year with our kids' first pony - a funny, lazy, but rockstar when it counted, chestnut.

    Sega is lucky to have you caring for her now.

  4. I'm so sorry to hear about Sega.. She's lucky to have someone who loves her while her life is winding down. She's been well cared for, loved and appreciated. You two have been through a lot together. Take care of her and yourself, too.

  5. What a wonderful partnership you have had. You have been lucky to have such a once in a lifetime horse and she has been lucky to have such an appreciative and loving owner.


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