The Bucking BlondCopyright©2010


Bébé Blond was a Franco-American Thoroughbred. His father was a French sire named Misty. He was a great producer of race horses but also show jumpers. Most of Misty offspring were bay. Instead, Bébé Blond was chestnut with a blond mane and tail. He probably owed his coloring to his mother Blonde Girl. She was a daughter of the American Thoroughbred King of the Tudor. I do not know which parent gave him the bucking skill but he definitively excelled. 

 

While tall and athletic, Bébé Blond was a very elegant horse. He entered the dressage ring at a beautiful collected trot or canter and usually executed a very square halt. The buck occurred sometime after the salute. It was never at the same place during the dressage test and he never did it in training. No need to say that Bébé Blond was a very intelligent horse. During the first year of his three day event career, he executed a magisterial jump in the air coupled with a huge buck as he was flying above the ground. He also accompanied the move with a very high pick whinny. While the big buck was guaranty to happen, it was no warning and no specific pattern. 


Bébé Blond quickly becomes the spectators favored horse because of his big bucks. The judges’ opinion was more divided. Once, a judge with a good sense of humor added a score at the end of the score sheet for the buck. Instead, the large majority of the judges did not share the spectators enthusiasm advising to seriously address the issue at home. They could not believe that Bébé Blond was not even attempting a single buck during training. He was intelligent enough to realize that the show situation was guarantying him some impunity.


During the last three day event of the year, Bébé Blond entered the dressage ring of his first advance three day event competition. He executed the whole test quite well. We ended on the center line at the canter and halted at G in front of the judge. I saluted removing my hat thinking that Bébé Blond was too concentrated on the new test to be thinking about bucking. I was dead wrong. Bébé Blond was kind enough to let me put my hat back. In fact I still had my hand on my hat when he blew up into the best buck of his career. It combined power, elevation, style and even the whinny was higher than ever. I guess, now that he was an advance three day event horse, he had to raise his performance at a more professional level. The next second, I was flat on my back next to his front feet on the sand of the dressage ring. 

 

 

Since it was after the salute, the blowing up and my summersault did not count. However, it influenced the judge’s opinion. On the general notes Bébé Blond had a good score on impulsion but a low score on submission. I got a standing ovation from the spectators and the judge added a note at the bottom of the score sheet, perhaps you should have backed the horse a few times before entering the dressage ring.

Jean Luc Cornille