Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Branch County

When I was little, Branch County was my dream horse. Or at least one of them. So many horses. So little time!

It's hard to find information about him now, but here are a few fun facts:

  •  He cleared 7'2" to win the puissance class at the Royal Winter Fair one year to carry his rider, Robin Hahn, to victory.
  • He was picked up by Michel Vaillancourt in February of 1976, after Hahn decided he could not afford the $10,000 price tag, and opted to compete on L'Esprit in the Olympic Three-Day Event instead.
  • Branch County and Michel Vaillancourt won the first ever individual medal in show jumping for Canada at the 1976 Olympics in Bromont, Quebec.
  • Branch County was only seven at the time, and Vaillancourt set a record for being the youngest show jumping rider to win an individual medal (two babies, as Vaillancourt has said).
  • Branch County was a failed race horse. 
Branch County joins the ranks of another favourite thoroughbred, Snowbound (gratuitous Snowbound photo here):

A reminder that the thoroughbred is a fantastic and courageous sport horse. Two great show jumpers, two great reasons to consider an OTTB!

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