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Kennedy funeral - the riderless horse

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  • Kennedy funeral - the riderless horse

    So moving.

    at the 1:00 mark here http://youtu.be/NuJjaOKITn4
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati
  • Original Poster

    #2
    http://youtu.be/yEQSFDd4agc
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for posting Slew.

      Comment


      • #4
        There was also one at Reagan's funeral but with Reagan's own riding boots (brown).

        Comment


        • #5
          I wrote a poem about that horse once, which required me to learn a lot about him. Black Jack was quite a character. Some of his handlers described him as "uncontrollable." He was so awful at his first military funeral that the Army formally apologized to the family of the deceased. The family responded that they had appreciated the horse's behavior and found it "cathartic." That's how a horse who'd flunked out of cavalry school as "unrideable" and "undriveable" secured a 24-year career as a riderless horse. Black Jack equated walking with prancing, didn't believe in halting, and spooked at cannon salutes for his entire 24-year career of 900+ military funerals. In fairness to Black Jack, JFK's funeral caisson got caught on a steel grate in front of the Treasury Department and made a very loud noise. Black Jack spooked so badly that he stepped on his handler's toe--which even for Black Jack was pretty extreme. That happened just moments before the famous video footage was taken.

          Ironically, Sergeant York--the horse made famous in President Reagan's funeral--was the exact opposite of Black Jack. Black Jack was a well-built Morgan cross, attractive, charismatic, and a stall kicker. Sergeant York was an off-track Standardbred, bowlegged, cross eyed, almost bombproof, and a pocket personality in the barn. A few weeks into his military training, the Army did a skirmish simulation that included firing machine guns off Sergeant York's back and setting off mock grenades next to him. Sergeant York didn't care, and that's how he got the job as a riderless horse.

          More about Black Jack:

          http://horseandman.com/people-and-pl...-and-caissons/
          Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I can never look at photos or videos of the riderless horses without tearing up. Thanks for sharing!
            *friend of bar.ka

            "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post

              Ironically, Sergeant York--the horse made famous in President Reagan's funeral--was the exact opposite of Black Jack. Black Jack was a well-built Morgan cross, attractive, charismatic, and a stall kicker. Sergeant York was an off-track Standardbred, bowlegged, cross eyed, almost bombproof, and a pocket personality in the barn. A few weeks into his military training, the Army did a skirmish simulation that included firing machine guns off Sergeant York's back and setting off mock grenades next to him. Sergeant York didn't care, and that's how he got the job as a riderless horse.

              rl]
              This is a shining example of the standardbreds heart and mind. I love this breed. I haven't met a standie yet that I haven't liked, morgans on the other hand........ not so much.
              Hillary Rodham Clinton - the peoples choice for president.

              Comment


              • #8
                I vividly remember watching the funeral and being fascinated with Black Jack's antics. I was 12 at the time and had only been riding a few years.

                11/22/63 was a very surreal day. The entire country was in shock and disbelief.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by BasqueMom View Post
                  There was also one at Reagan's funeral but with Reagan's own riding boots (brown).
                  This is indeed a mighty curious post. I have no idea what this poster thinks she is talking about. So I ponder. And ponder some more.

                  I picture a solemn riderless black horse with two empty, probably flat (unless there is a boot form in them), brown cowboy boots dangling from the stirrups. No...tied to the stirrup leathers? Hmm. Strung together and slung across the saddle! Or, >snap!< - the riderless horse is wearing Regan's cowboy boots!
                  Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                    This is indeed a mighty curious post. I have no idea what this poster thinks she is talking about. So I ponder. And ponder some more.

                    I picture a solemn riderless black horse with two empty brown cowboy boots dangling from the stirrups. No...tied to the stirrup leathers? Hmm. Strung together and slung across the saddle! Or, >snap!< - the riderless horse is wearing Regan's cowboy boots!
                    Huh???
                    *friend of bar.ka

                    "Evidently, I am an unrepentant b*tch, possible trouble maker, and all around super villian"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                      This is indeed a mighty curious post. I have no idea what this poster thinks she is talking about. So I ponder. And ponder some more.

                      I picture a solemn riderless black horse with two empty, probably flat (unless there is a boot form in them), brown cowboy boots dangling from the stirrups. No...tied to the stirrup leathers? Hmm. Strung together and slung across the saddle! Or, >snap!< - the riderless horse is wearing Regan's cowboy boots!
                      Why would you assume he wore cowboy boots? Ronald Reagan rode English most of the time. His lovely tall Brown boots were used on his riderless horse at his funeral.
                      http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...ed=0CDcQ9QEwBA
                      "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                        This is indeed a mighty curious post. I have no idea what this poster thinks she is talking about. So I ponder. And ponder some more.

                        I picture a solemn riderless black horse with two empty, probably flat (unless there is a boot form in them), brown cowboy boots dangling from the stirrups. No...tied to the stirrup leathers? Hmm. Strung together and slung across the saddle! Or, >snap!< - the riderless horse is wearing Regan's cowboy boots!
                        If she's never seen a caparisoned horse, it can be genuinely hard to picture how the boots get attached to the horse.

                        The standard caparisons for a riderless horse, which include an officer's dress boots placed backwards in the riderless horse's stirrups--except for Reagan's funeral, they swapped in Reagan's brown riding boots instead of formal dress boots. A picture from Reagan's funeral:
                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ri...-06-14683.JPEG

                        For comparison, a riderless horse decked out with the traditional dress boots:
                        http://fineartamerica.com/featured/r...erry-rowe.html

                        Another trivia fact for the history dorks: Jackie Kennedy became fond of Black Jack and requested to buy him after his retirement. The Army kept him and eventually euth'd him at age 29, but they sent Jackie Kennedy all of Black Jack's ceremonial gear, including the swallowtail pad, saddle, sword, boots, etc.
                        Last edited by jn4jenny; Nov. 22, 2013, 11:47 AM.
                        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                          This is indeed a mighty curious post. I have no idea what this poster thinks she is talking about. So I ponder. And ponder some more.

                          I picture a solemn riderless black horse with two empty, probably flat (unless there is a boot form in them), brown cowboy boots dangling from the stirrups. No...tied to the stirrup leathers? Hmm. Strung together and slung across the saddle! Or, >snap!< - the riderless horse is wearing Regan's cowboy boots!
                          BasqueMom's post makes more sense than yours does.
                          As has been said by others, Reagan's tall boots (english) were used for the riderless horse in his procession.

                          If you google it you can see all kinds of photos of Reagan riding.
                          Linky to one
                          Linky to another

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I remember this time-wish I could stop crying.

                            My father committed suicide two weeks to day of JFK death. My mom said it was the trigger for him, it was such a sad time for this country. I know that others reacted the same way, I just wonder if my life would have been different......

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Dispatcher View Post
                              I vividly remember watching the funeral and being fascinated with Black Jack's antics. I was 12 at the time and had only been riding a few years.

                              11/22/63 was a very surreal day. The entire country was in shock and disbelief.
                              The riderless horse gets me every time.
                              I had just turned 3 when Kennedy died but I remember it well. I remember it as a sad day but I was fascinated by the horses. Even though Reagan was not a sitting president when he died I watched his funeral live on TV and cried though the whole thing.
                              "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I read in our local paper about the cadet that led Black Jack in the procession. He was from Mobile, AL and had never handled a horse until he
                                got in the service. He was commenting on the horse and leading him in the procession. He said he was a Quarter Horse and was not that bad ordinarily, but that loud noise unnerved him and he just didn't get over it. He also said after the procession was over, Mrs. Kennedy requested all the horse equipment be delivered to the White House and it was later put in the Kennedy Museum.
                                PennyG

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Irony, from the Manchester book about the assassination: they picked Black Jack over the other caparison horse, Bob, because he was 'fat, gray,' and not pretty enough. I thought it just like a horse that of course Black Jack decided today was the day to be a butt.

                                  I had a great tour of the stables at Fort Meyer, adjacent to the cemetery, where the caisson platoon is stabled. Learned a lot of neat things from the Spec3 who took me around, like how they don't require a lot of prior experience, you're required to ride bareback in the exercise ring until you come off when they're testing you (he was a farmboy and stayed on so long they finally told him fine, get off), no one wants to be the guy on the wheel horse because you clean your horse's harness afterwards and the wheel horse has more straps, and how it's very hard and they prefer not to recruit from other platoons of the Old Guard because of the different uniform standards. An example: Officer to him at a funeral: "Specialist, WHY is your uniform covered in white hairs?" Spec3: [pointing to seven big winter-fuzzy Percherons behind him] "Sir, they're shedding, sir!" Apparently caparison horses often like to use their handler as a kleenex. I think this is equine genetics-old OTTB would wait until i had my coat on to feel like wiping his nose on me....
                                  Author Page
                                  Like Omens In the Night on Facebook
                                  Steampunk Sweethearts

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We aired a really good program at work a few years ago on the Old Guard unit, that I just saw again this weekend. You can watch the whole thing online, but if you're just interested in a bit about Black Jack, then the story of using Reagan's boots, scroll in to about the 6:30 mark. The saddlemaker interviewed for the piece is actually the one who arranged the boots for Reagan's funeral.
                                    A Year In the Saddle

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      thank you for the nice link, JenEM, though I cried when I saw John-John's salute again.

                                      Riderless horses can go western as well. When 9 Prineville Hot Shot firefighters died at Storm King, they were brought home just before the annual Crooked River Roundup rodeo. Organizers toyed with cancelling the entire event, but it was decided to continue, with the addition of 9 riderless horses in the parade, each led by a Forest Service employee in fire shirts and pants. The horses were all wearing western tack, and in the case of one or two, may have been the property of the lost firefighter. I don't remember if they put cowboy boots in the stirrups or fire boots (heavy duty lace-up work boots), but it was a poignant memorial.
                                      "I couldn't fix your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Wow pat, that surely was a powerful spectacle, I am certain. I am eating up all imformation about black jack. I was in 3rd grade and will never forget it.

                                        Comment

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