The big mare herd isn’t at all the same without Santona. Chilean champion filly, dam of stakes winners, and boss mare extraordinaire, Santona mattered wherever she went and whatever she did.
When her careers as racehorse, then mom, were done and owner Earle Mack enabled Santona’s retirement to Old Friends, Santona settled in as if the farm was hers. Soon the mares she moved in with were very much hers, and she reigned over them absolutely right up to the end. Being herd animals, horses find security in a consistent social order, and the wise old mare always provided that.
With people, Santona was a bit bossy too, but friendly and kindly, a horse who enjoyed attention and behaved with intelligent, confident benevolence. Her responsiveness and gentleness with her visitors was unfailing.
It’s odd how much smaller her herd seems without her, as if in losing Santona we’d lost not one but several horses. Though a big mare physically, it was in personality that Santona was larger than life.
It’s Miss Hooligan who misses her the most. “Miss Hoolie” was an old timer with us when Santona arrived, and for awhile she couldn’t seem to make up her mind whether she wanted to be Hidden Lake’s friend or Santona’s. Once she chose Santona, she stuck by her faithfully.
As you can see from this photo of her with Euronfire, Miss Hooligan gets along well with the other girls and won’t be without friends (horse and human), but just now it’s a little tough for her I think.
As it is for Carole, Antonio, Laura, and all who had the privilege to know and help care for Santona. She was a truly considerable personality, one of a kind.
photos by Laura
Rick Capone has shared with the blog these four more great photos of Santona. Thank you, Rick!
Rick is, of course, the author of History of Old Friends and the sequel, Celebrating Old Friends, both available through our gift shop.