A month ago yesterday I had to say goodbye to my beloved Arabian mare, Lace. She had just turned 29 years old, eight days past and it was her time to cross over the Rainbow Bridge. Lace came into my life when I was 13 years old (she was 16). (Photo above is her first day home). We bought her from a lady who had her as a pet but from the story she told, Lacey had quite the past. According to who we bought her from, she had extensive training, and had many glory days in the show ring with many different riders. We never did quite get the full story on her, but one day in 2005 I got curious enough to write her very first owner (I found her name on Lace’s registration papers). I was absolutely delighted to hear back from her, and to learn about Lace’s first few years of life.
Lace was born of an Arabian mare, “Chantillee” who was bay with a strip down her face and one white sock. Her sire was “Count Damien,” a grey Arabian. [MY RESEARCH: That means, Lace’s paternal Great Grandfather would be “Desert Sands” who was a halter champion and performance western pleasure show horse. Desert Sands’ sire was “Naborr” who was bred by Tersk Stud in Russia. In 1954 Naborr was the Reserve National Champion at the All Union Agricultural Fair in Moscow, Russia being beat out by his own sire, “Negatiw.” Nabor was 25% Crabbet.] Lace was born on a cold, smoggy morning at dawn and was covered with dew. Her owner rushed down to the barnyard in her nightgown and robe, saw this brand new chestnut filly (with a star, strip, snip, two socks, & one stocking) trying to stand, whipped off her robe and rubbed her down with it. This is how Lace got her registered name of “Dawn Dewdrop Lace.” The “lace” part came from when she would ride her dam Chantillee, and used to sing the song “Chantillee lace, a pretty face, a pony tail hanging down…”
So, Lace came home with us September 2000, and from her I learned so much. She was the first horse to live at my house (the other horses lived at my Grandparents’ Farm) so I had the responsibility of caring for her, cleaning up after her, exercising her, and loving her- and I did just that. A strong bond formed between us and she was my best friend. I don’t want to make it sound like everything was peachy keen at all times. We had our battles. Lace could be quite stubborn and crotchety at times, not to mention moody. But one thing that she never let happen was for me to get hurt. She was a great babysitter and took good care of me. Perhaps too good (or just plain lazy to go too fast.) I don’t remember ever taking a spill off her. She was a good girl.
My father, sister, Lace and I getting ready on a horse show morning.
We rode all winter long learning about each other, and my first show (our first show together) was on May 27, 2001. That date is forever ingrained in my brain. I was so proud to be a new horse owner and so ecstatic to finally be showing- a dream of mine. The above photo is of her and I and my cousin and her leased pony before the riding classes started. I don’t remember too awful much from this day, all the shows kind of blur together over the years but one thing I will never forget is our first place blue ribbon we won in our first class ever showed in: Fitting and Showmanship (at a 4-H Schooling Show). All the effort I used to have to put into getting her to TROT in showmanship classes, turn on her haunches, and not eat the grass paid off. HERE IS A LINK TO THE VIDEO OF THIS CLASS.
This is us patiently (or not so much) waiting for our next go at Wild Bill’s Rodeo in Prattsburg, NY.
These are some more photos of us having fun at horse shows. Clockwise from upper left: Ready for showmanship @ Steuben County Fair 2001; Posing with 1st and 2nd place ribbons @ June 4-H Qualifying Show 2001; Warming up for classes @ NY State Fair August 2002; Competing in Showmanship @ NY State Fair August 2002; Pole Bending @ Steuben County Fair 2002; Hunter Hack 1st Place @ July 4-H Qualifying Show 2002. After the 2002 show season, Lacey retired from the show ring and her successor “Magic” took over for her. But she went out with a bang. At the 2002 Steuben County Fair, Magic and Lace split a tie for FIRST PLACE in the Senior Fitting and Showmanship class. Lace and I qualified to go to the New York State Fair and compete that year. We did not win any ribbons, but instead took home many memories.
I am so thankful that I asked my sister to take these beautiful photos of Lace and I a few summers back. I thought that her time was ending soon, but to my surprise she lived for 3 more winters. These photos really captured the love that we shared for each other and they are certainly timeless. I will always look back on them and remember what a great horse she was, the things we learned together, and the life that she had with our time together. She is and forever will be, missed.