Riddler's Moon (reg. Rossi Star) "Buffett"
Dkb/Brn Thoroughbred Gelding Pedigree
1987 - 2006
In March 1987 in Illinois, a dark brown colt was born to Pink Supreme. He was by Paristo, by the legendary Buckpasser, and he was the spitting-image of his great-grandsire, Tom Fool. Everything from his high set tail, large whither, expressive eyes & fox-like ears, matched his great-grandsire. However, his race record did not.
Running 30+ starts as a three and four year old with only one win, he was retired from racing and sold as an off-the-track project from Hawthorne Race Course outside Chicago.
He was brought into an eventing barn in the mid- west as a sale project, but no one seemed interested in the scrawny, opinionated little brown thoroughbred. No one except his training rider, Keely, who ended up buying him for herself. Buffett was an acquired taste. He had a jarring trot, he took to head- butting you if he disagreed with where you leading him or what you were trying to do with him, but he also had a confidence and wisdom about him and he saved you when you needed it.
He progressed well enough as an eventer, enjoying the jumping aspects, but he was not as enthusiastic about Dressage. After moving to North Carolina, Keely realized he would never be the eventer she needed for higher levels, but knew he might make a lovely hunter. A high school student, Laura, bought Buffett and sure enough he excelled as a children's hunter with her for two years. Then she was looking at college, and he needed a new home.
About that time I was looking for my first horse. Having started riding as an adult, I found that I wanted more of a partner than the school horses could be. I knew I needed one who was just a little too much horse for me so that he would be enough horse as I advanced. I looked for several months, at countless horses, until I came across the ad for the 13 year old gelding. A little older than I was originally looking for, and a little more expensive, but when I first saw him I knew he was "it". Luckily he was on his best behavior for our trial rides, but I would learn soon enough he could be a handful!
Buffett taught me about patience; that I should never be in a rush or he would make sure we were very late indeed. He taught me about doctoring wounds, as he seemed to always find something to get into. He taught me about listening and trusting and knowing when to push and when to leave well enough alone.
He became my wonderful partner and a fixture in my life. I recognized he was getting older, but didn't believe we would ever be apart. He babysat the youngsters, teaching them their place in the scheme of things, and liked his position as patriarch. He would let us know when it was feeding time by hanging his head over the gate and giving us the "eye" until we brought him his food. He would have a fit if he thought another horse might infringe upon his "herd". He dragged me around on more than one occasion, bucked me off on a couple more, and many people have seen stars after one of his notorious head-buttings.
Buffett's last day started typically for him. After being cooped up in a stall due rain, he was definitely ready to go out. He pranced along next to me as I lead him to the pasture. I warned him as I removed his halter "Buff, don't run - it's slick". I thought he might actually listen as he took a few steps away, but then his rambunctious spirit took over and he just had to run the pony off the best hay pile. In the process he lost his footing and came down hard. Within ten minutes I knew something was very wrong. After a long, frightening day, with him down, then up again, at the clinic, at the vet school, he made up our minds for us. He had ruptured his diaphragm and could no longer fight for each breath. We were told surgery wouldn't save him, and we said goodbye on Thanksgiving Day.
He was a thing of beauty. His sleek seal brown coat glimmered in the summertime and he knew how to strut and revert back to the days before he was gelded - tail held high, neck arched, suspending in the air with each stride. He is the one all others will be measured against. He was loved and will be missed. I am thankful for my time with him.
I choose to believe there is a place in heaven for horses, and that he and Toby are giving each other a welcoming nicker and good whither scratch!
2003 Long Stirrup Hunter Champion
2003 Horse of the Year Reserve Champion
(Took 2004 Off)
2005 3rd Limit Rider Hunter (with minimal showing)
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