This post originally appeared on Simcoe.com on July 27, 2018.
Cowboy’s Sports Coupe, Sporty to his friends, had become a bit of landmark to commuters along Mapleview Drive.
He’d lived 25 of his 34 years across from the Cedar Links Golf Centre.
“Secretariat was 19. The most famous horse in the world, with the best of everything,” Krista Hutchinson, Sporty’s owner, said. “He (Sporty) lived to 34, which is almost unheard of.”
At 16 hands high (over five feet), Sporty was a relatively big quarter horse.
“He never realized how big he was,” Hutchinson said. “I loved his calmness, he wasn’t easily spooked.”
Sporty’s even-keeled temperament paid off in competitions.
Hutchinson and her sister showed Sporty in both English and Western style.
“My dream was to show at Quarterama and I got to achieve that with him and place,” Hutchinson said. “To look like you belong there is the goal. It was a dream come true.”
My dream was to show at Quarterama and I got to achieve that with him and place. To look like you belong there is the goal. It was a dream come true.Krista Hutchinson
Sporty and Hutchinson showed several times bringing home two second-place ribbons and a seventh place.
“He was certainly an accomplished show horse. Nobody would know that, though. They just saw a pretty horse in the field.”
Hutchinson purchased Sporty in 1993, for $5,500, when she was 17.
“I used to work part-time at Tim Hortons to pay for him,” she said.
When she first saw Sporty, Hutchinson said she wasn’t overly fond of his colouring.
“He was born a steel grey colour, but as they mature, they lighten up and they get dapples around the flank and forearms.”
In the horse world, the freckles are referred to as “flea-bitten,” and Sporty was uniquely bitten.
Over the years, as Mapleview became a busier street, Sporty grazed in the adjacent field.
“He was a bit of a loner,” Hutchinson said, but she knew he liked her.
One time, when Hutchinson was walking in the 12-acre lot, Sporty followed her into the bush, something he rarely, if ever, did.
In April, at that age of 34, Sporty had to be euthanized due to complications of old age.
“I miss him, but it was a privilege,” Hutchinson said. “It hurts, but the happiness was worth it.”