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A Tribute To the Classic Horse-Pride’s Moonlight Gambler



            This column is dedicated to classic horses, horses 15 years of age or older, that have been in the show ring in the past five years. This column will allow walking horse enthusiasts to learn more about the older horses that have made an impact on our industry. If you have a classic horse that you would like included in this column, please email Sarah Smith at the Walking Horse Report at smith@horseworld.net.

 

 

Sarah Smith joined the Walking Horse Report staff and Dabora, Inc., in March 2006 as an advertising and editorial representative. Smith grew up showing horses in 4-H. In 2004, Smith married Walking Horse trainer, Tim Smith, and has become very active in the Walking Horse Business. Smith is looking forward to meeting new people and assisting them with their advertising needs.

 

 

 

 

 

by Sarah Smith

 

            Pride’s Moonlight Gambler and his owner, Kathleen Waltz, have enjoyed a 14-year love affair that is still going strong. The handsome gelding, affectionately called “Sonny” around the barn, was purchased by Waltz when he was only a three-year-old. He is now a mature and very accomplished 17-year-old that is still going strong.

            Sonny and Waltz have been in the show ring together for 13 years and they are a team that has been there and done that. However, they still enjoy it and all the ribbons and recognition that they receive for their accomplishments make their fun even sweeter. Over the years Sonny has been shown in model, lite-shod, trail pleasure, lead line, trail, water glass and reining. In 2006, Pride’s Moonlight Gambler was named the Buckeye Walking Horse Association Trail Pleasure Western Canter High Point Champion and was named reserve in the Trail Pleasure English Canter High Point division. Quite an accomplishment! Sonny is trained by Polly Stout and was once shown in the Amateur Owned and Trained classes with Waltz.

            Over the years Sonny and Waltz have certainly had their share of fun times and memorable moments, so many in fact, that when asked Waltz could not recall just one moment. Instead she expressed a few of their good times. When Sonny earned his Supreme Versatility Champion Award, winning ribbons at the National Celebration, being chosen to represent the Tennessee Walking Horse in the 1999 Horse Classics Calendar and finally brining Sonny home to the barn that Waltz built especially for him when he retires.

            Waltz recalls some of Sonny’s favorite times include pasture time and grooming, during which Sonny will stretch his neck and nose out as far as he can to get you to rub his nose. When Sonny and Waltz do his stretching exercises, Sonny finishes with a bow. Waltz and Sonny also enjoy their playtime in the arena. They chase each other around and Sonny follows her through the cones. Waltz’s grandchildren also enjoy Sonny’s wonderful nature. When they visit they enjoy riding, grooming and feeding him carrots.

            Waltz can’t see a retirement anywhere in the near future for Sonny. As she says, “We truly are companions on the journey.”

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