Thursday, April 3, 2008


In 1988, my dad purchased for me a 3 year old thoroughbred filly named Raspilla (Spanish for the Forget-Me-Not flower I would come to find out later). With sales tax, he paid a little over $1,000 for her at the auction. Probably not the smartest match in history, but our trainer at the time was more concerned about movement, size, and attractiveness than safety. Like many of our greyhounds, she was a racetrack reject.

I learned a lot. I fell off Raspilla more times than I can begin to remember. In 1993, we moved to GA, bringing her along. Eventually, it was time to move onto a new horse. She had some soundness issues and I had found her a great home where she'd be used for light trail riding, but would basically be out to pasture. I would visit her periodically. A few years later, I ran into her new owner at the store and asked how she was. She explained that she has sold her. I was not happy at all. I had given her this horse and at the very least expected a courtesy call and the first right to take her back. Unfortunately, it was out of my hands. I visited her at the new barn periodically. She was being used mostly for riding lessons. Eventually, I learned that she had been sold and moved to Ohio.

Fast forward to last summer..... I started searching for her. I Googled her name and found results to a horse show. The rider's name was included, so I Googled the rider's name and found it in a caption under a photo at a riding stables' website. I emailed the stable and asked if they knew Stephanie Wilson and Raspilla. They did and forwarded my email to Stephanie who quickly emailed me back. Now, when you search for an old horse, you don't always have a happy ending. You never know if they ended up at another auction. Or sold as an over used lesson horse. Or even slaughter. Part of me didn't want to know which is why it took me so long to even do a search.

Happily, Stephanie explained that Raspilla was living in Kentucky on her uncle's little farm. Retired, fat, and happy. This past August, Stephen, Denise (sister), and Matt (Denise's boyfriend) went to Kentucky and visited with Raspilla. It was so good to see her again. She looked good.
Today, Raspilla is 23 years old. I emailed her a happy birthday wish and Edward (Stephanie's uncle) sent me this recent picture of her running with Summer, a 3 year old quarter horse he purchased last summer.