Thursday, November 10, 2016

In Memory of Murphy

We had a sad loss a few days ago when we suddenly had to say our goodbyes to Murphy. Despite the fact he was almost 29 years old we weren't expecting to say our goodbyes to Murphy, but sometimes life likes to remind you that anything can happen at any time.

Murphy


Murphy and his mom met each other in 1999. Murphy is a thoroughbred and was destined to race, complete with a lip tattoo. For unknown reasons Murphy never actually made it to a race and found himself searching for a second career before his first career every got started. But for a twist of fate Murphy might have been a show hunter, however he crossed his mom's path when she was looking for a future eventer for herself.

Murphy and his mom on cross country


Murphy's mom had received a small inheritance when one of her aunts passed, and her parents had told her she could use the money to buy a horse. She ended up trying Murphy and she knew he was the horse for her. The only problem was that Murphy's asking price was twice as much as her inheritance.

Happy and Murphy enjoying a carefree day in retirement

Murphy and Mick

Murphy


Murphy's mom offered his owners everything she had, and then waited for a response. While she was waiting she instructed her mom not to wash the t-shirt she had been wearing when she was around Murphy. She said the t-shirt smelled like Murphy and had some of his hair on it, and she was going to keep the unwashed shirt to remember him forever. Luckily for all, the sellers decided to accept her offer. Murphy had a new mom and the t-shirt was washed.

Dutch and Murphy

Johnny and Murphy

Sebastian and Murphy

Murphy and Chili


Murphy and his mom proceeded to move up the eventing ranks with each other during their years together. She and Murphy started at the beginner novice level on their journey together, and ended up competing all the way through the two-star level in eventing. Their biggest accomplishment together was making the Young Riders' team for their area and competing at the North American Young Riders' Championships. For those who are not familiar, it is not easy to make a team, and the courses at the NAYRC are not to be taken lightly.

Murphy and Alex

Murphy on the run

Murphy and Dutch

As often happens, life and school began to get in the way of riding for Murphy's mom as she went to graduate school and then became a doctoral candidate. Murphy had started to slow down at that time, and when his mom moved from Louisiana to New England for school, she decided not to take him north and retire him in the harder winters. We were the lucky beneficiaries of that decision, and Murphy made the move to our farm from Louisiana a little over six years ago.

Happy and Murphy

grooming with Sebastian

Murphy, Johnny and Happy

After we met Murphy it was easy to see why galloping and jumping big cross country courses was easy for him. He had a beautifully balanced gallop and was naturally very light on his feet. He also had the critical "fifth leg" that upper level eventers need to have. When the other horses would be cautiously cantering downhill, Murphy would be effortlessly galloping along, never losing his footing or sliding an inch. 

Murphy grazing with friends

 Murphy, Dutch, Wiz and Renny

Murphy on the run with Johnny, Dutch and Sam

Sadly, after more than six years of enjoying retirement to the fullest, Murphy passed very unexpectedly a few days ago. He was a few months shy of his 29th birthday. It was the type of passing that we hope each of our residents can have; instant and painless. Through more than a decade of boarding retirees, we have only had this happen five times. Every other time we, along with the owners, have had to "play God" and make a decision about when to let go. Despite dealing with such a sudden shock, I find the instant and unexpected passing to be easier on the horse and the people. 

Murphy and Happy

Nemo, Murphy and Happy

Happy and Murphy

Murphy and his mom were lucky to have 17 years together. Murphy was a consistent presence through many of his mom's biggest life moments. From high school to college, graduate school and then on to a doctoral program, cross country relocations and marriage, Murphy was always his mom's biggest fan.  Although we miss Murphy's crooked blaze and gentle leadership, we feel blessed to have spent over six years with him and can never thank his mom enough for trusting us with his care. 

Rest in peace Murphy, you are greatly missed.

Dutch and Murphy

Lighty and Murphy grooming

Murphy on the run

Happy, Murphy, Taco and Mick

Murphy, B-Rad and Alex

Murphy and Happy

Murphy and Taco

Murphy, Happy and Lighty

Lighty and Murphy

Murphy, Blu, Nemo, Sam and Johnny

Lighty, Mick, Murphy and Happy

Murphy and Sam

Happy and Murphy

Murphy, Dutch, Renny, Sam and Johnny

Murphy and Johnny

Lighty, Johnny, Blu, Happy and Murphy

Happy, Murphy and Blu

Murphy and Johnny

Murphy and Happy

Murphy, B-Rad and Sam

Lighty and Murphy

Dutch and Murphy

Murphy and Happy

Murphy and Dutch

Murphy, Sam, Lighty, Happy and Mick

Taco, Johnny, Nemo and Murphy

Murphy and Mick

Murphy, Sam, Happy and Mick

Murphy, Renny, Taco and Mick

Murphy, Taco, Blu and Sam

Murphy and Lighty

3 comments:

Kate said...

Glad his owners made the wise decision to let him have good years with you and his other horse friends. My condolences to you and to his family.

fullnovembermoon said...

Whenever I read about the passing of one of your charges I always think how lucky the horse is to have responsible and kind owners who ensured a happy retirement. Then I think how it must be so hard for you to lose them. Godspeed Murphy.

Lori Skoog said...

Another horse that was so fortunate to spend quality retirement time with you. Such a beautiful boy.