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[RC] Rest in peace, old friend - heidi

Today I laid to rest one of my best friends.  Abu Ben Surrabu (better
known as "Junior") reached a point where his life was no longer
pleasant.  He has been blind for several years, and had compensated for
it very well, until the past few months.  His comfortable world became
his prison.  I brought him into this world, and to me fell the
difficult task of taking him from it.

Junior carried 11 different riders down the trail over 2680 endurance
miles.  He was the PNER mileage champion in 1995, and was twice 3rd in
the AERC Jim Jones standings.  He has left us with many nice foals,
including two sons to carry on for him and several mares in foal for
next year.  He carried junior riders without putting a whisker wrong. 
He gave me my most memorable 100-miler ever, marching the last 12 miles
of Santiam Cascade over Cash Mountain in the dark in 2 hours and 5
minutes, without ever breaking a walk--such a beautiful night, such a
high.  He was my heart, my companion, and my friend.

They say that you are blessed to have one special horse in a lifetime--I
have had two.  First Junior's dad, Surrabu, and then Junior.  So I am
truly blessed.  

To paraphrase Garth Brooks, I could have missed the pain, but I would
have had to miss the dance.  No matter how hard I cry today, no matter
how difficult it is to walk past that empty paddock, every step of the
dance was worth it.

Ride on, Junior....



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