Most of us know the story of Seabiscuit, the underdog who went on to become a legendary racehorse. No? Then read this first!
One very important character in Seabiscuit’s life was Pumpkin, a palomino gelding who was introduced to Seabiscuit by his trainer, Tom Smith. Pumpkin was an experienced lead pony, having calmed the nerves of countless racehorses on and off the track. He had also been a Montana cow pony in a previous life, so he’d seen a thing or two.
Before Pumpkin, Seabiscuit spent almost all of his time in the stall pacing, nervous and cantankerous. In hopes of calming him, Tom Smith knocked out the wall between two stables and put Pumpkin in with Seabiscuit. After a few minutes of introductions, the two became firm friends.
From that day on, Pumpkin and Seabiscuit went almost everywhere together, stabled either together or in neighbouring stalls. Pumpkin was a steady shoulder to lean on – or knock into – when the trackside commotion got a touch too rowdy, and a friend to return to after sailing past the finish line. It’s very possible that without Pumpkin, Seabiscuit would never have become the legend we remember today.
Image credits: Pinterest, Historic Images, Corbis & Bettmann.