“Hello, Pam,” said the kindly voice on the other end of the line, “My name is Andy from Aaron Racing Stables and I used to own Forrest and we’re so pleased that he’s with you and has a great home. He has an amazing backstory that you might like to hear…”
Well how can anyone’s ears not prick to that?
It seems, I was then told, that when Forrest was born, not only could he not find the teat to nurse, but began rapidly to decline. No one, not even the vet team at Rhinebeck were optimistic of his survival as his kidneys began to fail. However, after several days and a hefty bill, the chestnut colt began to recover but was so terribly over-in-the-knee, in part from a difficult delivery, that it was decided that he be fit with special front splints/braces that he wore for the first six months of his life.
“When we had them removed he reminded all of us of the young Forrest Gump,” Andy went on to explain, “and I wanted to call him ‘Run Forrest Run’ but that was taken and we chose ‘Go Forrest Go’ instead.”
I went on to learn, listening rapturously, that Forrest had become quite the low man on the totem pole when finally turned out with the other youngsters and seemed to feel much more comfortable around people, as he had had so much intense interaction with them since birth.
That certainly explained his intensely affectionate “in your pocket” nature.
We all love an “under-dog” story, don’t we? Well, I certainly do and I have to admit that I had flirted with the idea of changing Forrest’s name to something more European and dressage-friendly, but now that I know what he’s been through just to survive and later, thrive, I’m pretty proud to keep his racing name. Besides, as the whole point of this project is to see how far one can go with a thousand bucks, why try to pretend to be something you’re not? Forrest isn’t a Hanoverian or a Dutch Warmblood. He’s an OTTB. So go, Forrest, go!