Beloved “Old Bones”

EQUUS - - Eq Let­ters -

My heart started pound­ing when I re­ceived my June is­sue (EQUUS 441) and saw one word on the cover: Ex­ter­mi­na­tor! I thought I was the only per­son who still re­mem­bered him--my horse friends have no idea who this great horse was. Al­though I am too young to have ever seen him race, Old Bones has been the hands-down ab­so­lute fa­vorite horse of my life.

I was only 10 when I re­ceived Old Bones: The Won­der Horse as a birth­day present from a girl in my Brownie troop, and I am for­ever grate­ful for her gift that be­came so pre­cious to me. Over the decades since then, I have prob­a­bly read the book 500 times. I still cry for Bones when the grooms try to take away the body of Peanuts 1.

I am now 67 years old, and the pa­per out­side the blue cover of my book is worn and brit­tle. The cover is in­tact, but the cor­ners are frayed and rounded; the spine is still con­nected to the front and back but it is frag­ile. The pages inside, far past yel­low­ing, have turned a light brown­ish tan. I gen­tly open the book and once again I am 10, read­ing Old Bones’ story for the first time.

Thank you so much for telling more of Ex­ter­mi­na­tor’s story and filling in the blanks be­tween the chap­ters of Mil­dred Mastin Pace’s won­der­ful chil­dren’s book. I hope the horsey girls of this gen­er­a­tion love the story as much as I do. Joann VanHorn Colum­bus, Ohio

I very much en­joyed this is­sue of EQUUS, par­tic­u­larly “Ex­ter­mi­na­tor’s Grand Fi­nale.” It was a co­in­ci­dence, too: I read the ar­ti­cle one night after my grand­mother dropped me off at my house after school. She was talk­ing about the race­track in Havre de Grace, where we live.

That night, when I was read­ing the ar­ti­cle, I saw that Ex­ter­mi­na­tor had raced in the Old Do­min­ion Hand­i­cap here at Havre de Grace. I never would have thought that such a fa­mous race­horse would have vis­ited---much less raced in---my home­town. Emma Knight Havre de Grace, Mary­land

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