1963-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1963 October Voice - Page 13

TENNQS e Y^ILKING H0RSE October Joan Crawford Rides Tennessee Walking Horse In ‘Route 66’ Sequence Joan Crawford, star of stage, screen and Television appeared on the CBS Network Television program “Route 66” on September 27 riding a 4 year old walking horse owned by Mr. Don Trafford of Poland Springs, Maine. The program, entitled “Same Pic­ ture, Different Frame” was photo­ graphed around a riding stable and was directed by Miss Crawford. The plot was murder! In one scene a 12 gauge shotgun was fired several times at a distance of 50 feet without caus­ ing excessive excitement in the animal. Trafford said the scene was “shot” by movie cameramen without faking any part of the sequence. A telegram was sent to Miss Craw­ ford by the Voice Editor congratulat­ ing her on her performance. The horse, “THE GAY RANCHERO” is a 4 year old stallion sired by Merry Gay Boy out of Reycliffs Midnight Lady. Running Walk At 20 M.P.H.?? Question: “Please tell me how fast a Walking Horse can go in the Running Walk gait. Believe it or not I’ve got one that can stay beside an automobile going 20 miles and hour. Does this seem to be stretching the blanket? One trainer said he had never seen one go as fast as this one — named Midnight Baby Allen.” From George A. Robbins, 413 Kern St., Taft, Calif. George, your question will probably start a thousand arguments between friends in this U.S.A., and if anybody gets killed in such an argument the Voice may lose a subscriber. So I went to a real good source and got a real good answer. His answer, in brief, is this: “A Tennessee Walking Horse can make from 12 to 15 miles at a true running walk gait and nod his head. If he ran at 20 miles an hour and tried to keep it for any distance he would truly shake himself to pieces in a real running walk. “Remember, the fastest time a race­ horse can make is one mile in 1 minute, 58 seconds. That is a little over 30 mph. And that is a horse trained for speed — and the horse is thoroughly- winded at the end of a mile.” This seems to me a complete answer. And it puts into the fore-front some­ thing that must be understood about the Tennessee Walking Horse. It is that the horse is built and bred for form and endurance. He cannot do the true running walk without nodding his head. It’s a matter of mechanical struc­ ture of the parts of the body, the undershot hind legs, the shoulders, and the swing of the legs in a way entirely different from the usual threc-gaited or five-gaited horse. So when people try to emphasize too much speed in the Tennessee Walk­ ing Horse—and thus sacrifice the true running walking form—they should lose plenty of points in the show ring, and in the end will lose points in plea­ sure riding. Higher speed rapidly exhausts the horse — and a horse that could give a comfortable ride easily for 20 miles in a given day can be cut-back to a sprinting animal that could not last half the distance. And the speed-up is a matter of training also. Just compare the endurance of a three-miler, and that of a sprinter who puts everything he has into the 100- yard dash, the 220 or the quarter-mile. A sprinter becomes a person of an entirely different temperament from that of a three-miler; or it may be the other way around. Maybe the tempera­ ment of the person determines his choice of the track event. Horses also may be better geared for speedy going and some for slower mov­ ing. But if the animal is a Tennessee Walking Horse and is designed to win in the show ring -—he must govern his speed to the form — rather than the other way around. So George — that’s a long-winded answer. You may gets some letters from some folks who will give you a better answer — and, an even more long- winded answer — perhaps.