“Mike Bellah on his horse King won this week’s Barrel Racing in 19 seconds.” The words came from a summer camp newspaper in 1968. My friend Martha discovered a copy of the Hidden Falls Ranch Yucca Times and sent it to me last night.
Zan’s King McCue was the 3rd horse I owned and my favorite. This registered palomino Quarter Horse was tall (nearly 17 hands–over 5′ at the withers) and fast. His best time in barrels was 17 seconds, not as good as competitive horses who can shave two seconds off that but pretty darn good for an amateur.
I only owned King for two years, but we were close. Hours alone on canyon trails will do that.
Had to sell my palomino the following fall. Was getting married, and my college-student budget couldn’t afford feed and stable.
Used the money to buy a wedding ring for Charlotte, which I figured honored both of my loves—she because I wouldn’t get rid of King for anything less, and he, well, for the same reason.
An eastern panhandle rancher bought my horse. Through the years, I’ve imagined King galloping across the wide prairie with his cowboy passenger, chasing errant calves instead of barrels.
Comanche warriors believed their horses would one day follow them to the Happy Hunting Grounds.
I hope they were right. 🙂