Has anyone read the latest Jackie Kennedy book "Mrs. Kennedy and Me - An Intimate Memoir" by former Secret Service Agent Clint Hill? I downloaded the ebook the other day. Just finished reading the foxhunting section, and was pleasantly surprised by how well he grasped the entire sport and described it...down to the correct verbage.
Apparently, the First Lady made dead sure her non-riding SS agent fully grasped the tradition and structure of the sport, and his knowledge, even years later, was very well presented in the book.
Lots of little tidbits and stuff I'd never heard before in any other books on Jackie, especially her love of her horse(s) as seen through this gentleman's eyes. I think it was funny that none of the agents rode well enough to keep up with her, and had to follow her (in the hunt) via cars on the local roads. I can imagine that was a nightmare - Orange County and Piedmont Hunts have far more massive unbroken land than roads!
And it was really funny to read how much the press HATED Middleburg because "there was nothing to do there".
Post presidency and post-Onassis, she was a member of Essex, Piedmont and Orange County and hunted down in VA every weekend- including hunting around a fair bit. W/O Secret Service which she gave up when she married Onassis.
Reagan of course also needed Secret Service who could ride, and often rode with the head of the Park Police who was also a foxhunter. And one of my hunting buddies also in Secret Service rode with him from time to time, in D.C. and on his ranch.
Marilyn Quayle hunted with Casanova when her husband was VP. I could tell you about where secret coops were installed so Secret Service could practice, in fact it would be interesting to see if they are still there all these years later...but I was sworn to secrecy and ya just never know who is reading and how the thing was accomplished could be useful in the future...
That sounds really interesting. Vicky Moon's book, The Private Passion of Jackie Kennedy Onassis: Portrait of a Rider has some beautiful pictures. Her equitation was idiosyncratic (or at least "different" than what we see today) but she sure could ride. And I can't believe how beautiful she was, at every age.
I remember seeing her only once - at a Piedmont Hunt meet at Mrs. Randolph's old place (where they hold the Upperville Horse Show). She was pointed out to me as I stood with a very small crowd (about 5 people) to watch the hunt go off. I remember the person next to me that pointed her out was surprised to see Jackie there. There was no press, no photographers anywhere in sight. I had elected not to bring my camera that day, too.
I remember she looked quite lovely, even in her advancing age, and that she also looked very relaxed and happy, chatting with the two or three riders around her. I only had a chance to see her for a minute or so, and then the hunt moved off to where we couldn't follow in our cars.
If you read Hill's book, take note of the nasty thing Mamie Eisenhower did to poor Jackie when Mamie invited her to tour the White House only days after Jackie had gotten out of the hospital for the birth of John, Jr. I was astonished, and asked my husband if Mamie was really like that. He assured me she probably didn't do it out of meaness, but out of sheer stupidity. He said she was mind-numbingly dumb. Wow. What history never tells us...
I also didn't know Mrs. Quayle hunted! What a neat piece of trivia!
Last edited by gothedistance; May. 28, 2012 at 12:47 AM.
My husband and I were hunting with Piedmont the last day Jackie ever hunted and and not long before she died. She had a hard fall over a stone wall right in front of my husband, Grosvenor, while we were on a run. Several people stopped to help, and we assumed she would hop right back on, so we jumped a different section of the wall and went on with hounds. It was only later that we found out she had been taken to the hospital.
I've hunted with the rich and famous, Lord, Ladies, Barons and Counts. In the hunt field we are all riders enjoying a sport of which we are all so very passionate.
I had the dubious distinction of riding a horse that had run away with Jackie hunting with her somewhere with the Middleburg hunt. His name was Mirror Mirror and she was trying him out as he was for sale. Why he was out in the hunt field I know not because it was said that he had had a nervous breakdown and ran off with his owner/rider and in Massachusett at an event and was imported for $30,000. He clearly did not like eventing or his owner rider who was rumored to have (done this to several horses) and then was donated to Morven Park where they had to go into the stall with a broom with the poor guy for a while.
All I was told about him was not to put him in trot sets because he "did not like them". He ended up with Lucy Strange renamed as Dakota I think. I really enjoyed him and was glad that I did not take him hunting and did not know his background. He could jump the moon though and was a big, dark bay, what for some strange reason was called an "English Thoroughbred", but looked like some kind of warmblood or draft TB cross.
"Nothing in life is to feared. It is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more and fear less." Marie Curie