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What Happened to Christopher Reeve's Horse?

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  • What Happened to Christopher Reeve's Horse?

    I am reading Christopher Reeve's autobiography "Still Me" and wondered what happened to his event horse. I am assuming he was sold. Did he ever compete again with a different rider?
    Last edited by HappyTalk; Jul. 21, 2010, 02:29 PM.

  • #2
    For some reason I thought I'd read that the horse had been sold, the name changed, and continued with her career...
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

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    • #3
      I'm currently reading a racing book, "Not By A Long Shot", and there's a brief mention of his horse in it. Whoever bought him after the accident was boarding him at the same barn where Thornton's (the author) wife boarded. That was in MA. and I'm guessing 5 or 6 yrs. ago?

      BTW, this is one of the best racing books I've ever read. Well written, and very entertaining.
      "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

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      • #4
        Is "Still Me" any good? Does it talk much about his riding career and his accident?

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I think the book is really good. He talks about his whole life before (how he grew up and got into acting) and after the accident. He trained with a lot of BNTs like Lendon Gray. He is very candid about what life is like as a quadriplegic. He and his wife Dana were a class act in my opinion.

          I wonder if anyone can do a look up on the horse?

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          • #6
            I just did a quick lookup of Eastern Express. He is/was a 1983 model, so he'd be very old now if still alive.

            USEA database still lists him as active with Christoper Reeve as owner/primary rider. No competition results returned, however.

            As a side note, when looking at the details of the horse in the USEA database, he has a past name of "Bucket". That is a strange name for a horse.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              In the book, Reeve refers to him as Buck (barn name).

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              • #8
                Good thread ~ enjoying this information ~ sounds like a couple of good books to be read ....
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                • #9
                  My friend's sister rode him in an IDA show years ago! I forget which school she was competing at though.
                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Toadie's mom View Post
                    I'm currently reading a racing book, "Not By A Long Shot", and there's a brief mention of his horse in it. Whoever bought him after the accident was boarding him at the same barn where Thornton's (the author) wife boarded. That was in MA. and I'm guessing 5 or 6 yrs. ago?

                    BTW, this is one of the best racing books I've ever read. Well written, and very entertaining.
                    Not By a Long Shot was written around 2000, but not published until 2007. A great read and a real insight. Highly recommended.
                    www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                    www.pegasusridge.com

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                    • #11
                      I rode the horse before Chris bought him, during my freshman year of college (1992-1993). He had competed successfully at the Intermediate level, and yes, when I rode him, his barn name was Bucket. The then-owner told me the person he'd bought him from had called him "Old Buckethead" so he'd shortened it to Bucket. Apparently the name kept shortening from there, as Chris called him Buck.

                      He was a real gentleman/wise old warrior type of horse, but he didn't have the typiest of heads, so I assume that's where the name came from, as I have a hard time imagining it was behavior related.

                      He was a lovely horse, and Chris (I only met Dana once) was a real class act and a real horse lover. When he was getting ready to buy the horse he took time to seek me out and ask my about my experiences with him and what I thought of him. Heady stuff for a starstruck 20-something.
                      Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
                      Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
                      www.phoenixsporthorses.com
                      Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com

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                      • #12
                        I still have a "Go Forward" tag on my keychain from the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Sometimes it is still hard to believe the way things ended up.
                        We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                        www.dleestudio.com

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                        • #13
                          I did eventing for a while, and just walking a Priliminary course is insane.

                          To do Int. and Adv. you need to be on some like crazy anit-phsycotics...
                          I'm totally kidding, but I just think things like that are bound to happen when you compete at such a high level.

                          I'm glad they have new rules and regualtions so the fences fall out cross country, I hope that helps save some lives.
                          My Thoroughbreds are my Therapy.
                          -Rescue an Off the Track Thoroughbred.

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                          • #14
                            Um...RingosGirl...are you commenting on Christopher Reeve's accident or just making random comments? Christopher Reeve was injured at a lower level (Novice, I believe) when his horse stopped at a fence and he was thrown over the horse's head (something that has happened to all of us at one time or another, although not usually with this ending). It had NOTHING to do with whether the fence could collapse or not and this type of refusal/fall can happen just as easily at a stadium fence (ask me how I know - again, I was much more fortunate in the outcome). You might want to get your facts straight before you make comments about something being "bound to happen".

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                            • #15
                              IIRC, It was training level, and when the horse stopped his hands slid up the neck and caught in the headstall of the bridle as he went over the horse's head. The result was that his arms were pulled back to his sides by the bridle, and weren't freeded for the involuntary response the body would normally do, which is to automatically throw the arms out to protect the head. If his hands hadn't tangled in the bridle, he might have broken an arm or wrist but probably wouldn't have landed on his head as the arm would have broken the fall.
                              Hindsight bad, foresight good.

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                              • #16
                                Thanks you guys. RG, it was training level; the fences are 3'3" and very serious accidents are extremely rare. The horse stopped and the rider didn't. This can happen, as I am sure you know, at a crossrail. Nothing to do with fixed obstacles versus jumps that fall down (and, for what's it worth, the worse near-miss I've ever had in years of eventing was a rotational fall at a simple vertical in the ring. Pole got caught in horse's legs and we both flipped. Fun.).
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man

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                                • #17
                                  Thanks ~ enjoyed your post ~

                                  Originally posted by PhoenixFarm View Post
                                  I rode the horse before Chris bought him, during my freshman year of college (1992-1993). He had competed successfully at the Intermediate level, and yes, when I rode him, his barn name was Bucket. The then-owner told me the person he'd bought him from had called him "Old Buckethead" so he'd shortened it to Bucket. Apparently the name kept shortening from there, as Chris called him Buck.

                                  He was a real gentleman/wise old warrior type of horse, but he didn't have the typiest of heads, so I assume that's where the name came from, as I have a hard time imagining it was behavior related.

                                  He was a lovely horse, and Chris (I only met Dana once) was a real class act and a real horse lover. When he was getting ready to buy the horse he took time to seek me out and ask my about my experiences with him and what I thought of him. Heady stuff for a starstruck 20-something.
                                  Thanks for posting ~ enjoyed reading about your experience with Buck and the Reeves ~
                                  Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    From what I've been told the fence in question was a zig zag. Big round posts with zig zag logs on top. Open underneath and he hit the post straight on. He could have been a millimeter off and been fine.
                                    Even duct tape can't fix stupid

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LisaB View Post
                                      From what I've been told the fence in question was a zig zag. Big round posts with zig zag logs on top. Open underneath and he hit the post straight on. He could have been a millimeter off and been fine.
                                      Not quite.

                                      Yes, it was the zig-zag fence.

                                      No logs.
                                      Rails, such as you would find in a post and rail fence.

                                      No space underneath.

                                      The horse stopped a stride or two out, and he went over the horse's head. He hit the goround. Neither horse nor rider came anywhere near hitting the fence.

                                      In the 5 previous years, the fence never even had a sinlge refusal.

                                      ( I did not see it happen, but I was on the grounds, on the organizing committee, and talked to many people who DID see it happen.)
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LisaB View Post
                                        From what I've been told the fence in question was a zig zag. Big round posts with zig zag logs on top. Open underneath and he hit the post straight on. He could have been a millimeter off and been fine.
                                        Yes, it was the small zig-zag fence at Commonwealth. It's probably still there, if you can find under the waist-high grass.

                                        I was on the grounds that day, and from what I heard from eye witnesses was that he didn't hit the fence; he hit the ground. As a green rider, he had leaned up into jumping position before the forelegs left the ground, and when the horse stopped and put his head down, he just fell forward, landed on his head, and broke his neck.

                                        It was a total freak accident that was probably compounded by Chris Reeve's size and experience level.

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