Dixieland Band

I read this morning that stallion Dixieland Band was euthanized at the age of thirty.

This isn’t strictly CANTER related, but it made me a little sad, as some of my favorite lower-level racehorses, including some in our program are related to him.  Dixieland Band was not the very best racehorse in the world, but a good solid one, winning 8 times in 24 starts (graded stakes and some handicaps at 4) and earning just over $400,000.  The relatives of Dixieland Band that I know personally have shared a couple traits that I just love – things the average buyer perhaps doesn’t appreciate, but things that make my world go round and my heart sing.

While I don’t think this is true of ALL his descendants, the favorites that I know and love share things like…. big ears.  Or extra-long, kind of homely faces.  Or a general sort of honest aura that just makes me indescribably happy. 

The first such horse to worm his way into my heart is named Tyros Beach.  He was a yearling when my horse was a two year old, and they were boarded together.  I called him “Jughead” because he just had such an enormous head.  As a yearling he was taller than 16.2, with a head that looked like it belonged on a Clydesdale.  That made my little heart pitter-pat like crazy.  I don’t know why, perhaps I secretly have a thing for mules, but there was something about that enormous face that just made me super happy.  Jughead is still plodding around at the races – currently he’s getting a layoff at a trainer’s farm near Charles Town but I expect to see him back there eventually…. hoping he gets over the hind end wonkiness I saw the last time he ran, anyway.  Now that he is an adult he is giant – well over 17 hands, and I’m not sure he ever grew into his head, though he looks much more handsome now than he used to.  He’s actually a great-grandson of Dixieland Band so I’m not sure how much of the influence is his, but I’ve met enough others that I assume that’s where it’s rooted.

One of those others is our very own “Leo.”   From here on out, I’m probably going to refer to him as Omen – it’s part of his racing name and now that I know him better, it just seems like a better fit 🙂  (actually, in real life I abbreviate it to “Om”, like the meditative chant. heh).  When I very first met Leo, the thing I liked best was his head and ears.  His head is certainly not huge, but he has a certain floppiness to his ears which I appreciate.  His face and overall demeanor is just so pleasant and honest that he’s become my go-to horse for when I’m having a bad day.  The goofy antics of Mikey, Bid, and Truckee always bring a smile, but sometimes you just need to be around a horse that gives good hugs.  That’s this horse.

Handsome Boy

He is such a kind horse, and will be so amazing when he grows up.  By the book he’s four years old, but his birthday isn’t until June.  I know he doesn’t have the best conformation, but he’s got such a great brain and personality, I think he will outperform his looks for the person who falls in love with him.  It’s been so great to watch him transform – when he arrived he was sore in foot, body, and I think the mind as well.  He has really blossomed since coming to us, and I can’t imagine anyone meeting him and not liking him.

Sorry about that… I sort of morphed my Dixieland Band appreciation post into a sales pitch for my favorite CANTER horse.  Can’t help it!

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One response to “Dixieland Band

  1. I own Tyros Beach! “Ty” is fine and took him off the take after seeing his listing on CANTER. He’s happy and healthy and not forced to work hard anymore…happily cantering around huge fields and working as a field hunter, learning some dressage.

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