Baxter Black: TANGO SED | TSLN.com

Baxter Black: TANGO SED

It doesn't make much difference how fast a horse can run if the jockey doesn't cross the finish line with him.

Annie is a jockey and horse trainer of good reputation. She passed along this story about a horse we'll call TANGO SED.

Clyde, a local horseman who ran horses frequently at the ol' San Juan Downs Race Track in Farmington, New Mexico spotted TANGO in a pasture. He watched him over a few days, liked him, and bought the four-year old stud. Problem was, nobody could ride him. The local cowboys all tried. As did the trainers, retired jockeys, weekend buckaroos, electricians, rough necks, silversmiths, auctioneers and parolees. But nobody could stay on the bucker.

Finally some out of town bronc busters were summoned. They eared him down, mounted up and got bucked off like all the rest. It was disappointing for Clyde but he bit the bullet and sold TANGO to a Navajo man from the reservation.

Six months went by and one day TANGO showed up at the race track. Not only that, he smoked the competition! He won the 250, the 330, the 400 and the quarter mile races he entered. Clyde's judgment was redeemed. He knew TANGO could run. After the races he went down to the barns and found the Navajo man.

"Congratulations! That sure is a great horse," said Clyde. "I always believed he could win. But tell me, how did you break him?"

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"Well," explained the Navajo man in his carefully enunciated English, "When we got him home I tried to ride him and he bucked me off. Then my brother tried to ride him and he got bucked off. Then my cousin tried to ride him and he got bucked off.

"On the second day I tried to ride him and I got bucked off. Then my brother tried to ride him and he got bucked off. Then my cousin tried to ride him and he got bucked off.

"On the third day I tried to ride him and I got bucked off. Then my brother tried to ride him and he got bucked off. Then my cousin tried to ride him and he got bucked off.

"On the fourth day I got on him and I rode him. Then my brother got on him and he rode him. Then my cousin got on him and he rode him.

"I guess he was thirsty."