Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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High Jinks With Pink Gin

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America from post-war Britain, where shortages still prevailed and ration books were in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. Their adventures discovering America, land of plenty, while struggling with a lively collection of foxhunting horses, timber horses, and show horses, were published in five parts on these pages and popularly received. (Use our Search function with the author’s name to find those stories.) What follows is a new installment revisiting “Pink Gin, The Beer Swilling Timber Horse.”

pink gin.coatesIllustration by Rosemary H. Coates

Sarah and I had not been long in the States when Pink Gin arrived at Bryn Mawr Farms. Billy, who mucked out for us, was, as usual, the first to find fault with him.

“He do get drunk, he do. Proper beer-swiller he be. And he eats eggs and molasses with all his feed. Lord, if only I could eat like that!”

The Witch With Warts: Discovering America

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America from post-war Britain, where shortages still prevailed and ration books were in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. The pair's adventures discovering America, land of plenty, while struggling with a lively collection of foxhunting horses, timber horses, and show horses, have been published in these pages. (Use our Search function with the author’s name to find those stories.) What follows is a new installment revisiting “The Witch With Warts.”

witch.rosemary coatesWitch / Rosemary Coates illustration

Soon after our arrival in the States, Sarah and I were left in charge of Bryn Mawr Farms while the rest of the help went with the show horses to the Harrisburg Horse Show for the week. Jamie promised the two of us cubhunting from the farm and cocktail parties at the show as a reward. I took the week off as a break from my office job. This I quickly realized was going to be anything but a vacation.

Purrfec’ Granary

Back in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part IV of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,Part II: “The Witch With Warts,” and Part III: Pink Gin: The Beer Swilling Timber Horse.

purfec granary2 rosemary coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

Sarah and I clearly remember Billy telling us about Purrfec’ Granary. Billy mucked out for us but he also had a way with words. This is how he described her infuriating ability to demolish stone walls and gallop off toward the rising sun.

“She lie down against a wall of stone—it's a trick she learned—and she do gently poosh that darned wall clean over. Then off she go wid ’er tail over herself!”

Stinkum Dinkum and the Christmas Eggnog

dinkum.coatesIllustration by Rosemary CoatesBack in the late 1950s, Deirdre and her friend Sarah, both just nineteen, came to America. The pair had left Britain, where post-war ration books were still in use. Sarah was to train horses and riders for Jamie Kreuz at Bryn Mawr Farms outside Philadelphia. Deirdre was to work for the Insurance Company of North America in Philadelphia and help Sarah on weekends. What follows is Part VI of their adventures. Find the first five in the Horse and Hound drop-down menu, under Humor. 

Dinkum was a hideous black horse with a foul temper. He acquired his stable name, Stinkum, right from the start. Billy, who mucked out for us, warned us about him as soon as we set foot in the barn.