Monday, August 9, 2010

The wind of Heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears........

.............and that is where my equine friend and companion - Jozsef - is now.  Jozsef (aka Siglavy XI-6) was humanely euthanized on August 5th at the age of 18 after a prolonged battle with spinal troubles.  He had spinal fusion surgery in 2003, and led a happy and painfree life until last week, when he started to evidence signs of pain and increased ataxia.  He now rests on a beautiful knoll here on the ranch overlooking his former domain.  His calm and self-assured presence is missed by all here - he surely made his mark on everyone who knew him.

I found Jozsef at the Lipizzan Stud Farm in Hungary in the fall of 1995.  He was a very rare, black Lipizzan stallion - only three years old - who immediately took my breath away with his beauty and swagger.

Hungarian Stud Farm

My first view of Jozsef through the video lens

It took over six months to get him here to Grass Valley, but it turned out to be more than worth the wait.

Jozsef's first day at Blue Fountain Farm

  He was an unstarted colt,  but proved to be a very willing partner in everything we did - right from the beginning.  There was a confidence about him that transferred through to me - I always knew that he could do anything I asked of him - and in our years together we had many adventures.  He loved to jump, herd cows, go on trail rides, do his dressage - anything that was asked of him.  He learned to drive in one easy lesson - which I am finding was a very rare task (maybe it  helps if both of you are ignorant of the possible dangers of a new task).........

Driving for the first time in an antique Dr's buggy

We did many exhibitions at the Draft Horse Classic and the County Fair, where he was a crowd favorite doing his piaffe to music.  Jozsef brought tears to women's eyes and was the object of desire of hundreds of horse-crazy young girls - who wouldn't love a gorgeous, fairy-tale black stallion who danced to the music?

Piaffe at Sunset

Waiting to perform
Jozsef was a very good father who sired over 60 babies, both purebred and crossbred.  He loved his kids, as shown by his interest in his orphan son - Siegfried.....

Jozsef and Siegfried

"Joz" - as we fondly called him - could be regal and commanding, or a total goof - in other words, he had plenty of character.  His life was much too short - most Lipizzans can easily live into their 30s - but he enjoyed his life thoroughly.  One of his favorite things in the world to do was to roll in the muddiest or dustiest spot he could find - he really didn't like it when he had to get all "Fru-fru'd" for his shows or exhibitions.  Strange as it may sound, I can only think that he is happy in his new home ..........

I want to thank everyone who has sent their sympathy and support my way after they have found out about Jozsef's passing, and I leave you with a few images - which can never do him justice - of this magnificent being.  I will miss you.............

Joz with his best friend, Calvin.

Piaffe by the lake

Good-bye..... and thanks.


  1. What a wonderful Horse, I had the privilege to ride him, a memory I will always remember him by. Thank You Jozsef.

  2. I have the privilege of owning his filly. I love her with all my heart and am sadden by the great loss of Jozsef.

  3. I am blessed to have the opportunity to say I knew a magnificient horse. I truly enjoyed watching him develope and grow. I will miss him and his greatness.

  4. Hey Les, we were all shocked to hear of Jozsef's passing, we know how much he meant to you and everyone there... He was truly magnificent and he couldn't have asked for a better life than the years he spent at Blue Fountain Farm. RIP Joz.

  5. Oh Lesley, I am so sorry to hear this. We have so many memories of Jozsef. Much sympathy and many prayers are with you.

  6. Joz was such a pleasure to look after. We had many conversations and he was a great listener.

  7. I hope he finds Ace and they are having some fun! My heart is with you Lesley.


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