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Murphy's Law

continued by Brenda Zeigenbein
continuation of previous story entitled, Sibling Rivalry

In the winter prior to the 1997 show season, Clarence broke and trained a little two year old black gelding for Julie Christiansen. Julie had paid up the horse in the Two Year Old Futurity. The pretty black gelding's name is Grand National. Nash's sire is Perfection's Charming Lad B. Nash was really gentle and always easy to work with. He was also pretty natural and square going. Clarence had him looking good and Julie made regular trips to our barn from where she lived in St. Louis to learn to ride her horse. Time for the Futurity came and we headed for the arena in Nixa, Missouri. Julie had Nash working good in practice and Clarence said he thought she had a good chance of doing very well. He had sized up the competition. The announcer called for the class to come in at a foxtrot and from that moment on, it was sheer disaster. Nash completely fell apart and went around the arena with his head down and in a spine jarring hard trot. As Julie circled the arena, she looked to us for help. We just shook our heads - we had never seen the horse look so bad! Finally, Julie gave up and asked to be excused.

The next morning on our way back to our home in Waynesville, MO we all stopped for breakfast. During our meal the conversation turned to Nash's escapade the evening before and Julie asked Clarence, "What do you have to trade?". Clarence asked her which of her horses she wanted to trade and she replied, "All of them". Julie had a mare with a colt by her side and Nash. Clarence told her he would trade for them but that she needed to cool off and think about things a bit. Nothing doing, Julie persisted until she and Clarence finally came up with a trade that suited both of them. Julie was to get a big, gray mare named Perfection's April Starlight (originally Lad's April Starlight Z.) and a black yearling filly named, Lad's Roubidoux Ruby Z. Julie followed us to our place, left Nash with us, and took her two new horses home. She was to deliver our mare and colt the next time she was down. 

A day or two later, the phone rang and it was Julie. She said her husband, Mike, was mad at her because of the trade she had made. She wanted to know if she could trade back. Clarence told her that would be okay and asked her to bring our two horses back home. A few days passed and we didn't hear any more from Julie. One evening the phone rang and it was Julie again - this time calling from the Hillsboro Horse Show where she had just won two blue ribbons with Perfection's April Starlight. When she went home that night and showed her husband the blue ribbons and the money she had won, they decided they didn't want to trade back afterall. Again, Clarence told Julie that would be fine - whatever she wanted to do. For awhile there, we didn't know which horses belonged to us but we were patient and let Julie decide what she wanted to do. 

Just a week after trading for Grand National, I contacted a man who had been looking for a show horse. Brocke Laws came down and looked at Nash and rode him. He liked him and decided he would buy him. The next Saturday night he took Nash to West Plains and with twelve in the class, he won the Amateur Two Year Old class. That was the beginning of a long list of wins for Brocke and Nash. 

I knew Julie was going to find out she had traded off a horse that was now winning blue ribbons and decided it would probably be better for her to hear about it from me. I worried and fretted about how to tell Julie and finally decided I would tell her in an E-Mail. Julie's response was pretty typical of her, "That's normal" and that old song she always sings about "Murphy's Law". I think she was consumed by the thought that she had made a very serious mistake. It soon became apparent, however, that Julie had not done too badly with her trade. She had a lot of fun showing April in performance classes (almost always placing). Soon she had the yearling filly fat, slick and black and began modeling her and did quite well. The winter before Ruby was three, we broke and trained her. Julie began showing her in performance classes as a three year old . She has since sold April but still owns Ruby and vows she is going to keep her forever - she is her very favorite horse. 

Julie's temper tantrum trade turned out okay this time but I think she learned a very valuable lesson. We never have understood why Nash showed so badly that night. The only thing we can think of is that Julie got nervous and tightened his girth too much. Nash had never performed like that before and never did again after that night at the Two Year Old Futurity.

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