On Sunday of the Spruce Meadows National, I was given the opportunity to go on a date with one of my favourite boys in show jumping. No, it wasn’t Kent or Daniel…. this fellow is a little bigger and a little greyer…. and has hooves. That’s right, it wasn’t a “normal person” date, but rather one that only a Horse Junkie would be thrilled for (and let me tell you, thrilled is a horrific understatement!). Before I go any farther I want to send my absolute thank yous to both Alex and Denise at Kent Farrington LLC for taking time out of their day to not only allow me to meet my favourite horse, but also provide us with the scoop on him.
Okay, enough stalling, here are all the details from my Uceko-date!!!!!!!
Show Name: Uceko
Barn Name: Monkey
- Treats – carrots and apples (he’s a natural guy – always watching his figure!)
- Napping – he takes nap time very seriously and always lays flat out in his stall! He also dreams a lot, jumping fences in his sleep.
- Shoes- ie. the ones that you are wearing!
- He is the itchiest horse you’ll ever meet, which makes clipping and grooming and all those general things “interesting”
- He can be very stubborn and will happily drag you around, but overall is great to look after and is, as we know, fantastic at his job
- He is very, very flexible
- He doesn’t know he is so small, he thinks that he is a big guy. His massive stride in the ring comes from his super long legs in proportion to his body.
- A typical day at Spruce Meadows: fed, mucked out, morning nap, ridden, another nap, go out for some grass, another nap, dinner. Can you see a trend?!
- He knows that he is the king of the barn, and really doesn’t like the other horses. For example, when Willow won the big class a few months ago the attention he got drove Monkey crazy, and he gave him a solid bite the first chance he got. Even as we were talking, he was not impressed when other horses walked by or popped their heads up in neighboring stalls.
- Interestingly, the one horse that would put Monkey in his place was Up Chiqui, Kent’s now retired superstar partner. Due to this, he is still “respectful” of chestnut horses!
- He is one of the only horses to be permanently banned from Spruce Meadows award ceremonies- bad Monkey!
- He loves being dirty. It seemed that around the time of the last Pan Am games he came to this conclusion, and doesn’t like being brushed.
- An absolute attention hog!
- Will bow for treats!
Now for the burning question- we haven’t seen him in the ring for what seems to be a long time! Is he okay?
He is fine! At this time, Kent has a very exciting and talented string of horses. There are a number of them with the ability and potential to jump the big classes, and it is simply time for them to start stepping up and performing. Uceko has never really had a nice break – he was always going and going as Kent’s main horse. Therefore, now with the others, he has been given the time off to relax and regenerate. Looking at the summer series and WEG, it is all a matter of “seeing how things go”, and bringing him back nice and slowly. There is no rush – the other horses need the experience.
Here are some more photos from back in the barn. He is quite the ham and sure knows how to pose for the camera!
After having met Monkey, I think I have figured out another reason for why I’m so drawn to him – he really reminds me of my Traveller! They both bow for treats, look somewhat alike in colour and size, and seem to be along the same lines in personality. Now, if only Trav had some of that jump 😉
Once again, a huge thank you to Alex and Denise for having me, and all the best to the entire team this season!