Highland Ack, or Landy, as he was known to his friends, was a 29 year old grandson of Hall of Fame champion Ack Ack. Landy never won a race, but he won the heart of his exercise rider, Melinda Schreck, with whom he became a successful hunter jumper and dressage competitor. In later life he was admired by Old Friends staff and volunteers for his pluck and decided mind of his own, and he was very fortunate in the love he received from supporters Val Nicholson and Brent Haskell. Val kindly shared these memories of him:
Brent and I started to support and help care for Landy when he came to be with Flip after Francis death in Oct. 2015. After Flip moved to the Christmas Mary stall due to concerns with his heat intolerance, Northern Stone became Landy’s paddock mate in the summer of 2016.
Landy has been with us for almost three years and during that time it has been baby steps of trust. However, Brent and I would like to think that after three years of tiny daily steps of quiet patience, Landy’s trust and love for us is now pretty solid. He certainly has had his health issues this last five years with most over the last two year period. It has been a blessing to see how time and love with quiet patience can grow a loving relationship. I would often see Brent talking quietly to Landy and Landy’s ear cocked toward Brent’s lips as Brent spoke. Although I was only a few feet away from them both I could not really hear what Brent was saying to Landy. When I asked Brent what he and Landy were talking about, Brent would say “that is between Landy and me”.
It took time and patience to work with Landy to put on fly spray……”oh no I don’t think so”, to pick up his feet to pick and have his hooves trimmed “you want me to do what with my feet?” and to take his medicine in a syringe “not likely”….initially he bolted….but every day I was out we worked a little at a time with praise and lots of kindness. He loved being brushed and he would close his eyes in the sunshine and easily breathe with contentment. He was very loving to Brent and I in his very own way.
It has been a privilege to support him….and I want to thank Carol and Antonio so very much who worked tirelessly to care for him and James, Zack and Tammy who delivered hay, mended fences and did all the heavy lifting work in his paddocks.
We love you so Landy.
photos by Laura