Beloved “Old Bones”
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