Monday, January 24, 2011

Farewell: Sierra Fadrazal +/



Monday January 24 2011

There's one less set of hoofprints on the endurance trails.

Jackie Bumgardner's horse Sierra Fadrazal+/ , aka Ross, was put down Friday at home in Ridgecrest, California at 33 years of age. Jackie bought him as a youngster shortly after buying his sire Sierra Fadwah (who lived to 31 years of age); and Ross and Jackie spent more than 20 years on the endurance trails together.

He carried 24 different riders over his career, and was always eager to go down the trail. His ears would prick forward, his head would go up in the air and his long legs would fly into overdrive as he ate up the miles.

Never lame, his record speaks volumes: 8430 AERC miles, 145 starts and 145 finishes, 14 hundred mile finishes, including 4 consecutive Tevis buckles (1985-6-7-8) and three straight Virginia City buckles (1985-6-7), 9 Best Condition awards.

He completed his last 50 mile ride in 2002, but he continued to carry riders on LDs until his last one in 2005 on his home summer turf of Bridgeport, California in Jackie's Eastern High Sierra Classic ride. After that, he continued his work as 'Uncle Ross', breaking new horses to the trails by ponying them. Most memorably, he was Zayante's best friend since 1995 - the two of them were inseparable for 16 years.

I saw Ross the week before he died. We'd spent a lot of training miles together, summers in Bridgeport, winters in Ridgecrest. Ross stopped eating to come up to me. He sniffed and sniffed my hands, Hi, my old friend, and he stood there while I scratched his back and sides, and he lifted his neck so I could scratch beneath it.

He left for the next world on Friday.

Goodbye, my Old Friend.










20 comments:

  1. Impressive in memoriam. Great to read that health, long life and sport can go hand in hand. Hope the grass tastes great in that next life.

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  2. Thirty-three years is a wonderful life for a horse and it sounds as if Ross enjoyed every one of them. He was doing something he loved and because of the always gave his best. What an amazing record!

    RIP, Ross. Heaven is blessed with your presence.

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  3. It's sad to see a good horse go to the big pasture in the sky, but your memoriam shows he had a wonderful and productive life.

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  4. What a remarkable horse! Jackie is so lucky to have had him in her life, and I know she'll miss him terribly. Thanks for telling us about him.

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  5. What a special horse. Hugs. ~E.G.

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  6. Quite a horse, and quite a testiment to endurance as a path to health and well-being too, I would say.

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  7. Merri - you did a wonderful job of sending Ross off to the Rainbow Ridge. He was indeed a special horse. At Christmas it was clear that Jackie still beamed when she talked about him.

    What a touching tribute. Sad, sad, sad...my condolences to all that loved that special horse.

    Karen

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  8. What an amazing horse. He & Jackie were lucky to have each other. Trot on down the trail Ross.

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  9. Bye bye Ross, hope the grass tastes great over there

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  10. I can't belive in heaven if horses are not there. So I belive Ross will great you when its time.

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  11. I bet those pictures are so special to her.

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  12. They are both fortunate to have a great friend for so long.

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  13. So hard to lose such a special horse. He is definitely waiting for all his human and horse friends, you will see him again.

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  14. Jackie gave him a long and happy life and Ross gave her many memories. What a great team! He lives in her heart forever. Hugs Jackie!

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  15. Ross gave me the best ride I've ever had. Thanks to Jackie for letting me borrow him when my mare came up lame at Bridgeport. He REALLY knew his job and was just amazing to ride.... so kind and strong.

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  16. ross gave me my first endurance ride ,thak you ross ,i think you were 25 on that LD

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  17. I've ridden many miles side by side with Jackie 'n Ross......when I was riding Mustang Lady. What an amazing horse!!!

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  18. Sounds like he was a wonderful horse - and sounds like he was very well loved. The photos of him with his best bud Zayante are priceless. I think my heart goes out most to him -- he doesn't know why he is gone. My condolences to everyone.

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