1963-Voice Of The Tennessee Walking Horse 1963 October Voice - Page 13
TENNQS e Y^ILKING H0RSE
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.
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
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
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.