From Jennifer's, we went to the OSU equine sciences facility to watch Julie Stock ride her thoroughbred mare Callie in a jumping lesson. It's the second time Viljo has visited "the barn", he likes it there. Before, during, and after the horse agility, Viljo gets to play in the dirt, snatch an old horse turd now and again, and vacuum for bits of sweet feed along the stall doors. He is not intimidated by the horses.
Julie rode for about 90 minutes. She and Callie did a nice job! Viljo and I assisted Christian in moving the jump standards and poles in and out of the building. Made me really appreciate the size and weight of dog agility equipment!
Afterward, we went back to the Stock's house. We watched the ESPN broadcast of six year old thoroughbred super horse Zenyatta in her last race. She lost her second Breeders' Cup Classic by a head. We were not happy.
After dinner, Julie and Christian and I stayed at the table and discussed options of who to breed their bitch Pie to early next year. Unfortunately, the options are very few in number. We will check out one or two possibilities for stud dogs that we need more familiarity with...and we need to do it soon. Pie, Owl's daughter and out of the Stock's last litter, will be five years old in April.
Viljo was very playful with the Stock's dogs - and especially the cats. He turned himself inside out trying to get those cats, Zoe and Nike, to play with him! For brief moments, he actually succeeded. (By the way, the two year old cats are the two reasons why Owl is no longer a welcome guest in the Stock household! Owl is obsessed when it comes to cats - and he does NOT want to play.) I am fairly sure that there was at least one cat in the house when Viljo was a very young puppy.
Other than a few drowsy lifts of his head, Viljo slept all the way home.
Back to the horse race, I find it rather astounding that "Blame" is the name of the only horse ever to beat Zenyatta! It is exactly the same ironic coincidence as "Upset" being the only horse ever to defeat Man o' War! It also happened to a record crowd that came to see Triple Crown Champion Secretariat at Saratoga: "Onion left 'em crying by upsetting Secretariat in the Whitney."
As one article about Secretariat noted, "It’s a funny thing about horses who can’t lose. Sometimes they do."
I am, however, with the multitudes who consider Zenyatta's last race not a blemish but a beauty mark.
The Boston Herald has a well-written article about Zenyatta - and Blame - yesterday .