with Horse and Hound

Pink Gin—The Beer-Swilling Timber Horse

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 III of their adventures, which have included Part I: “How to Bridle a Green Field Hunter,” and Part II: “The Witch With Warts.”

pink gin2.coatesIllustration by Rosemary Coates

We 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!”

Pink Gin (not his real name) was a timber horse with a record of wins. Since most timber racing is in the spring, pre-season training often means blizzards and temperatures averaging ten degrees Fahrenheit. This was one of the reasons for the high-calorie diet that included beer and eggs.

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