Cigar and My Mom

My mom has been a Thoroughbred racing fan practically forever - since she was a young girl watching Secretariat win the Triple Crown.  She actually hasn't missed seeing a Derby (TV or live) since 1973!  She didn't get to meet Secretariat before he died, but many years later, another Thoroughbred stole her heart: Cigar.

A picture of the blown-up print my aunt and uncle took during the Arlington Million post parade, and gave to my mom for Christmas.  She brought this picture with her in the RV.

When I told my parents I was doing Jump Start, and they decided to bring the RV and come watch, my dad offered to go a day early so my mom could visit all the stud farms, including Claiborne, where Secretariat stood.  I don't have those pictures yet, but let me tell you, they're amazing.  The look on my mom's face as she touched Orb and stood in front of Secretariat's grave was just so cool.

But after the stud farm tours there was one other living horse on her Kentucky Horse Park bucket list: Cigar

All pictures taken by my mom last month.

She snuck away to go see him after Con and I finished show jumping on Saturday, since Cigar, Funny Cide and Go for Gin are right by KHP show stabling.  Unlike the other horses, he was shut up in his stall rather than being allowed into his run.  She posted this to Facebook yesterday, regarding the top picture in this post:

My flashback Friday is a picture of Cigar from 1996. He won his 16th race in a row to tie Citation's record, at Arlington Park, and this picture was taken by my BIL's brother right after he won. The picture is one of my treasures. Cigar died this week and just 10 days before he died, I met him at the Kentucky Horse Park. He was staring outside, and then he turned around and looked right at ME! I will ALWAYS treasure that moment and will ALWAYS remember that horse. RIP Cigar.....

The picture she took when she met him.
He passed away from complications after surgery at Rood & Riddle to repair severe osteoarthritis in his neck.  Rest in peace, big guy.

16 comments:

  1. Your mom sounds like a pretty neat lady! Great post :)

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    1. She is pretty awesome. I wouldn't be in horses if it weren't for her.

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  2. Aw, I love your mom! I'm glad she got to meet him.

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  3. Very very cool to meet an idol and walk in the footsteps of another!

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    1. Absolutely. She had tears in her eyes at Secretariat's grave. Truly her idol.

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  4. Hearing we lost Cigar this week brought tears to my eyes...

    Your mom was lucky to meet him - apparently he really liked people. Jerry Bailey told a sweet story in the NY Times about bringing his then three year old son to visit Cigar at Kentucky Horse Park - Cigar reached over the fence and nuzzled the child ever so gently. Mr. Bailey said that working with Cigar was what made him love horses.

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    1. Awww, what a great story. They were such a good team, Cigar and Bailey.

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  5. Aw this makes me so happy!! Glad she was able to meet him :)

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  6. He was one of my favorites as well. RIP Cigar.

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    1. He was the first "big horse" I remember seeing.

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  7. The stud farms are incredible. Glad your mom got to meet Cigar before he passed away.

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  8. Aww your mom sounds so awesome (AND she takes great pics!) That's cool that she got to see him so soon before he passed away. I remember meeting him (probably back in the early 2000's ish) at KHP - such a magnificent horse. My dad remembers watching him race too and had the same sort of awe for him.

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    Replies
    1. That's a good word for him - magnificent.

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