Happily looking forward | TSLN.com

Happily looking forward

For the Nov. 28, 2009 edition of Tri-State Livestock News.

Since Thanksgiving officially ushered in the 2009 holiday season, lets focus on happy things and exciting prospects to look forward to! Did’ja know they’re making a movie about Secretariat?

Those of us who loved the great horse racing film “Seabiscuit” are surely anxious for the release of this one! According to an Associated Press article written by Steve Szkotak, appearing in the November issue of Mid-Atlantic Horse, “In an era defined by a dispiriting war and a surreal Washington scandal, Secretariat gave Americans and their bruised psyche something to cheer about when the big Thoroughbred captured the Triple Crown in 1973.”

“The racehorse considered by many to be the best ever and the housewife-turned-breeder who soared in a male-dominated sport are now coming to the big screen,” Szkotak says.

Mayhem Pictures, backed by Walt Disney Pictures, has already begun filming in Kentucky. According to Secretariat’s website, Randall Wallace (screenwriter for “Braveheart”) is directing, Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray are producing; with Diane Lane starring as owner Penny Chenery and John Malkovich portraying trainer Lucien Laurin. Other actors involved will be Dylan Walsh, Dylan Baker, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis, Fred Thompson, Scott Glenn, A. J. Michalka, Kevin Connolly, Eric Lange, and James Cromwell. Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte will be portrayed by Otto Thorwarth, who’s a jockey in real life with more than 1,300 wins to his credit through mid-July of this year.

Reportedly, “Secretariat” will focus on “Chenery’s improbable success in the old money, bourbon-sipping world of horse breeding and the chestnut stallion’s stirring, record-shattering run for the Triple Crown… the nation’s mood… is key to the storytelling.”

Of course you readers are most interested in the horses starring in this film, and we understand several equines are cast (by the same horse wrangler who worked on “Seabiscuit”) to play Secretariat.

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Ciardi reports “not nearly as much” money is budgeted for this film as “Seabiscuit.” Once filming is wrapped up in Kentucky, the action will move to Evangeline Downs in Louisiana, “to reproduce the Triple Crown infields.” So far there’s no word on the projected release date, but in my book it’s definitely something to look forward to!

On the subject of horse racing – you may recall mention was made here, at the time of the 2009 running of the Preakness Stakes at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, that the facility’s owner Magna Entertainment Corporation was facing bankruptcy. The state of Maryland has been extremely concerned these financial problems could result in moving the race away from the state; a concern which resulted in legislation instating the right of eminent domain to the state for purchase of the race if necessary.

Magna has, however, insisted in bankruptcy court filings it “will not consider bids at auction that would move the Preakness Stakes from Maryland…” The race has been held at Pimlico since 1909, without interruption. The 135th running of the Preakness is scheduled for May 15, 2010.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo action is barely around the corner! Many communities have saluted Tri-State country’s representatives who’ll battle against the best in rodeo to carry World Championship titles home during the 10-go-around arena marathon. We tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to those cowboys and cowgirls, with wishes for safe and enjoyable competition and the best draws in the lot!

To those of you planning to venture out to Las Vegas and take in the show up close and personal, we say travel safely! My cowboy and I will again be enjoying the action from the comfortable front row seats provided in our living room through the miracle of television.

Keeping up our tradition of Christmas shopping hints, here’s a couple books you might want’a put in the stockings of someone special. Jane Smiley is a best-selling author who won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with “A Thousand Acres” and her latest efforts are focused on young readers. “The Georges and the Jewels” is first in a trilogy of books about 12-year-old Abby Lovitt, whose father insisted she collectively call the geldings they own “Georges” and the mares “Jewels” to avoid personal attachment to any of them. The book of 240 pages is published by Knopf, and the second book of the trilogy, “A Good Horse” was supposed to be released in September.

“The Georges and the Jewels” is available on the usual book websites… but I’ve been unable to find “A Good Horse” so perhaps it’s a bit late getting out. At any rate, Jane’s books appear to be great reads for the youngsters on your list.

Wyoming’s Red Desert offers an especially colorful and unique landscape, and the book “Wild Hoofbeats” by photographer/author Carol Walker photographically immortalizes and showcases the Adobe Town herd of horses against that backdrop. The book won the nature photography category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards sponsored by USA Book News. A blurp I found about the project says, “The combination of powerful photographs and moving prose gives the reader a sense of individual acquaintance with these graceful, intelligent animals.”

This book, along with a DVD, calendars, art prints, etc related to author Carol Walker’s project are available from her website, http://www.wildhoofbeats.com.

Have you ever heard of a “Nokota horse”? I had not, until my attention was drawn to a bitter legal battle between North Dakota-based Nokota Horse Conservancy and the Minnesota-based Nokota Horse Association. The former has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the latter, alleging “the conservancy coined the Nokota name and has a longer history of promoting and protecting the breed.”

The Nokota Horse Association claims “it owns the legal trademark for the name, and says it is not in competition with the conservancy.”

The horses in question range in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and are said to be descended from stock of the Plains Indians and frontier ranches, bred as war horses, buffalo runners and saddle horses. The conservancy claims its registry “tracks about 1,000 Nokota horses” and has been involved in efforts “to save and preserve the Nokota horse” since the 1980’s. As much as a million dollars in damages is sought in the lawsuit, which came up shortly before some 80 head of the Theodore Roosevelt National park horses were auctioned off in Dickinson, in an effort to control the size of the park’s herd.

Websites carrying information from both sides of this discussion are http://www.nokotahorse.org/cms/; http://www.nokotahorseassociation.com/ and http://www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm.

And finally, since we’re talking about possible Indian horses, a fantastic Smithsonian exhibition honoring the large native American horse culture is currently featured at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The display “A Song for the Horse Nation” illustrates “through vivid personal accounts and a spectacular array of objects” the enduring relationship between native people and the horse. The exhibit’s national tour will last for three years, and the exhibits feature art from various Indian nations across the United States and Canada, including objects of hide, cloth, beadwork, feathers and porcupine quillwork from South Dakota and Montana. Learn more about this fascinating exhibit at http://www.americanindian.si.edu/exhibitions/horsenation/.

That’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more… I hope you’re ready for December because it’s coming… ready or not!

Since Thanksgiving officially ushered in the 2009 holiday season, lets focus on happy things and exciting prospects to look forward to! Did’ja know they’re making a movie about Secretariat?

Those of us who loved the great horse racing film “Seabiscuit” are surely anxious for the release of this one! According to an Associated Press article written by Steve Szkotak, appearing in the November issue of Mid-Atlantic Horse, “In an era defined by a dispiriting war and a surreal Washington scandal, Secretariat gave Americans and their bruised psyche something to cheer about when the big Thoroughbred captured the Triple Crown in 1973.”

“The racehorse considered by many to be the best ever and the housewife-turned-breeder who soared in a male-dominated sport are now coming to the big screen,” Szkotak says.

Mayhem Pictures, backed by Walt Disney Pictures, has already begun filming in Kentucky. According to Secretariat’s website, Randall Wallace (screenwriter for “Braveheart”) is directing, Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray are producing; with Diane Lane starring as owner Penny Chenery and John Malkovich portraying trainer Lucien Laurin. Other actors involved will be Dylan Walsh, Dylan Baker, Margo Martindale, Nelsan Ellis, Fred Thompson, Scott Glenn, A. J. Michalka, Kevin Connolly, Eric Lange, and James Cromwell. Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte will be portrayed by Otto Thorwarth, who’s a jockey in real life with more than 1,300 wins to his credit through mid-July of this year.

Reportedly, “Secretariat” will focus on “Chenery’s improbable success in the old money, bourbon-sipping world of horse breeding and the chestnut stallion’s stirring, record-shattering run for the Triple Crown… the nation’s mood… is key to the storytelling.”

Of course you readers are most interested in the horses starring in this film, and we understand several equines are cast (by the same horse wrangler who worked on “Seabiscuit”) to play Secretariat.

Ciardi reports “not nearly as much” money is budgeted for this film as “Seabiscuit.” Once filming is wrapped up in Kentucky, the action will move to Evangeline Downs in Louisiana, “to reproduce the Triple Crown infields.” So far there’s no word on the projected release date, but in my book it’s definitely something to look forward to!

On the subject of horse racing – you may recall mention was made here, at the time of the 2009 running of the Preakness Stakes at historic Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, that the facility’s owner Magna Entertainment Corporation was facing bankruptcy. The state of Maryland has been extremely concerned these financial problems could result in moving the race away from the state; a concern which resulted in legislation instating the right of eminent domain to the state for purchase of the race if necessary.

Magna has, however, insisted in bankruptcy court filings it “will not consider bids at auction that would move the Preakness Stakes from Maryland…” The race has been held at Pimlico since 1909, without interruption. The 135th running of the Preakness is scheduled for May 15, 2010.

Wrangler National Finals Rodeo action is barely around the corner! Many communities have saluted Tri-State country’s representatives who’ll battle against the best in rodeo to carry World Championship titles home during the 10-go-around arena marathon. We tip our ol’ Tri-State Stetson to those cowboys and cowgirls, with wishes for safe and enjoyable competition and the best draws in the lot!

To those of you planning to venture out to Las Vegas and take in the show up close and personal, we say travel safely! My cowboy and I will again be enjoying the action from the comfortable front row seats provided in our living room through the miracle of television.

Keeping up our tradition of Christmas shopping hints, here’s a couple books you might want’a put in the stockings of someone special. Jane Smiley is a best-selling author who won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with “A Thousand Acres” and her latest efforts are focused on young readers. “The Georges and the Jewels” is first in a trilogy of books about 12-year-old Abby Lovitt, whose father insisted she collectively call the geldings they own “Georges” and the mares “Jewels” to avoid personal attachment to any of them. The book of 240 pages is published by Knopf, and the second book of the trilogy, “A Good Horse” was supposed to be released in September.

“The Georges and the Jewels” is available on the usual book websites… but I’ve been unable to find “A Good Horse” so perhaps it’s a bit late getting out. At any rate, Jane’s books appear to be great reads for the youngsters on your list.

Wyoming’s Red Desert offers an especially colorful and unique landscape, and the book “Wild Hoofbeats” by photographer/author Carol Walker photographically immortalizes and showcases the Adobe Town herd of horses against that backdrop. The book won the nature photography category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards sponsored by USA Book News. A blurp I found about the project says, “The combination of powerful photographs and moving prose gives the reader a sense of individual acquaintance with these graceful, intelligent animals.”

This book, along with a DVD, calendars, art prints, etc related to author Carol Walker’s project are available from her website, http://www.wildhoofbeats.com.

Have you ever heard of a “Nokota horse”? I had not, until my attention was drawn to a bitter legal battle between North Dakota-based Nokota Horse Conservancy and the Minnesota-based Nokota Horse Association. The former has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the latter, alleging “the conservancy coined the Nokota name and has a longer history of promoting and protecting the breed.”

The Nokota Horse Association claims “it owns the legal trademark for the name, and says it is not in competition with the conservancy.”

The horses in question range in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and are said to be descended from stock of the Plains Indians and frontier ranches, bred as war horses, buffalo runners and saddle horses. The conservancy claims its registry “tracks about 1,000 Nokota horses” and has been involved in efforts “to save and preserve the Nokota horse” since the 1980’s. As much as a million dollars in damages is sought in the lawsuit, which came up shortly before some 80 head of the Theodore Roosevelt National park horses were auctioned off in Dickinson, in an effort to control the size of the park’s herd.

Websites carrying information from both sides of this discussion are http://www.nokotahorse.org/cms/; http://www.nokotahorseassociation.com/ and http://www.nps.gov/thro/index.htm.

And finally, since we’re talking about possible Indian horses, a fantastic Smithsonian exhibition honoring the large native American horse culture is currently featured at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. The display “A Song for the Horse Nation” illustrates “through vivid personal accounts and a spectacular array of objects” the enduring relationship between native people and the horse. The exhibit’s national tour will last for three years, and the exhibits feature art from various Indian nations across the United States and Canada, including objects of hide, cloth, beadwork, feathers and porcupine quillwork from South Dakota and Montana. Learn more about this fascinating exhibit at http://www.americanindian.si.edu/exhibitions/horsenation/.

That’s the end of our ol’ lariat rope once more… I hope you’re ready for December because it’s coming… ready or not!