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RIP RF Smoke on the Water

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  • RIP RF Smoke on the Water

    This just in from Marilyn Little



    "It is with incredible difficulty that I relate news of the tragic passing of my cherished partner RF Smoke on the Water.

    Along with four other RF Eventers including his close stablemate RF Demeter, "Smoke" had just returned to our summer base at Raylyn Farms in Maryland to begin a well deserved holiday following a brilliant weekend at Rolex, where he produced two double clear performances in cross country and show jumping. Two days after his arrival, during a late-morning habitual roll in the new bedding that had just been placed in his stall before he went out for the day, Smoke became cast against the wall and was struggling. Though Raylyn staff and his longtime caretaker Emily Dufort were immediately in his stall to assist Smoke in righting himself, it became clear that Smoke had sustained an injury during his struggle. At the recommendation of Dr. Richard Forfa who was quickly on the scene at Raylyn to evaluate Smoke's condition, an emergency equine rescue service was contacted to transport Smoke to The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, where he has since been under the care of Dr. Martin Furr and his team. Based on examinations, imaging, system chemistry panels and consultations with other veterinarians, Dr. Furr suggests that Smoke had sustained undefined traumatic injury to his central nervous system while he was cast, possibly due to damage to the cervical or lumbar spine sustained during the ordeal.

    The tragedy of this day for myself and all of those that have been involved with this incredible horse that touched so many with his heart and live-loving outlook is indescribable. For me, Smoke was the most elegant of partners, a loyal teammate, and a truly wonderful friend. For others, he was a magnetic presence that you sensed was sure of himself in every way; his charismatic persona, can-do attitude, super-sized talent, thorough self confidence, prankster character, and acute awareness of his own stunningly good looks couldn't help but make you smile. Whether he was mischievously kicking up his heels in a dressage test, attacking cross country (his favorite pastime) at age 7 with the skill and wisdom of a 12 year old, or making light work of the show jumping phase in his debut 4*, Smoke squeezed every ounce of fun out of every day and put everything he had into every moment. Though I am so thankful for the time that I had with him and feel so blessed to have been a part of his journey, I am stunned by his sudden loss, and devastated for the many people surrounding him whose hearts he had captured.

    My deepest condolences to Phoebe and Michael Manders, who bravely partnered with me on a horse they had never seen, who was going to compete in a sport they knew nothing about (but have since come to love); I cannot thank you enough for your support and friendship. My endless gratitude to the team around Smoke that have tirelessly poured their hearts and time into this incredible horse, to help him reach for the stars, and ensure that his happiness, health, and spirit were all they could be: Karen O'Connor, David O'Connor, Haynes Stevens, Nikki Stokes, Chuck Jones, Roger Scullin, and Edwin Enzerink. A special thank you to Emily Dufort, who devotes her life to our wonderful team of horses and stands behind each and every success, and to my parents Ray and Lynne Little, who have jumped every jump with me and made it possible to have had Smoke in my life.

    Finally, my greatest thanks to RF Smoke On The Water, the mightiest champion with the wings on his feet; You were the littlest horse with the biggest of names. Thank you for your heart, may you always know that you have captured mine. You are forever loved, and you will always be missed my friend."


    I am absolutely gutted for her. What a tragic loss.
    A horse may be coaxed to drink, but a pencil must be lead.

  • #2
    That is just so sad! and right after their wonderful Rolex.


    • #3
      Oh my gosh. How absolutely terrible for her and her team.
      They were my favorites during Rolex.

      Sending all my jingles her way.


      • #4
        I have no words. What a lovely animal he was. My heart hurts for all of his connections. RIP Smoke.


        • #5
          Devastating. What a heartbreaking and tragic loss for Marilyn and US Eventing. He had so much talent and was just at the beginning of a brilliant career. Godspeed, Smoke.


          • #6
            Absolutely heartbreaking. What a shame. They are so strong yet so fragile. Godspeed Smoke, you will be sorely missed.
            No Trouble
            2/2/05 - 7/29/13
            Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.


            • #7


              • #8
                So heartbreaking. Godspeed Smoke.

                Another reason I hate hearing kicking in the stable anytime but specially waking up to it late at night.

                A Wandering Albertan - NEW Africa travel blog!


                • #9
                  God that's just awful

                  After having one of my horses seriously injure his back and cauda equina in a horrific casting accident 2 years ago this makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

                  My thoughts go out to all of his connections.
                  As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                  • #10
                    Oh god no! What a terrible thing, My heart is broken for Marilyn and all Smokes people. I have no words.


                    • #11
                      So sad. Sometimes, horses seem tough and resilient. Then, we are suddenly reminded of their fragility.

                      RIP Smoke.


                      • #12
                        I saw that FHI posted that on Facebook and it made me so upset. He was so young and had so much ahead of him, but also so much to be proud of in his short life.

                        Did she breed him? I know most of the horses have the RF surname but i wasn't sure.
                        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                        • #13
                          This makes my heart hurt. Condolences to all who knew him. I know I am not the only one who was looking forward to watching their partnership grow after an amazing Rolex.


                          • #14
                            He was one of my favorite horses to watch at Rolex.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                              I saw that FHI posted that on Facebook and it made me so upset. He was so young and had so much ahead of him, but also so much to be proud of in his short life.

                              Did she breed him? I know most of the horses have the RF surname but i wasn't sure.
                              I believe Lucinda Fredericks brought that horse through 1*. I think Marilyn just gives all her horses the RF prefix. Such a sad loss, that horse had a big future.


                              • #16
                                Absolutely crushing. I don't tend to cry and I can't stop tearing up.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                                  Did she breed him? I know most of the horses have the RF surname but i wasn't sure.
                                  All of her horses go under the Raylyn Farm prefix, which is a homage to her parents' names.


                                  • #18
                                    I can only think of one word: heartbreaking.
                                    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                    • #19
                                      Such a tragedy. He was a gorgeous, talented boy with a bright future ahead of him. Gallop on, sweet Smoke.
                                      Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!


                                      • #20
                                        Terrible news, such a brilliant horse.
                                        Beth Davidson
                                        Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
                                        visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com