Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Horse Whisperer

I'm sure most of you have at least heard of this movie with Robert Redford if you haven't actually seen it. Did you know it was based on a book? Did you know that book is a true story about a real man named John Rarey? Well it was and in case you don't know this story I will share it with you now.

John Rarey was a famous horse trainer. He trained his first horse at the age of 12. By the year 1858 word had spread about Rarey and his great ability to train horse s and he was asked to come to Windsor Castle in England to train a horse for Queen Victoria. After he succeeded in training that horse a call was sent out to find the worst and meanest horse there was.

That horse was found. His name was Cruiser and he once was a great race horse but had become very mean and wild. His owners wanted to breed him but they couldn't do that until the horse could be controlled. Crusier was so mean his owners had an eight pound iron mussel to make it more difficult for him to kill stable boys.

One day Rarey entered Cruisers stable and three hours later came out leading Crusier who no longer had his mussel on. Cruisers owners were so impressed with how Rarey was able to train him that they gave Crusier to Rarey.

Rarey returned back to the states with Cruiser and they lived together until the day he died. Cruiser lived and additional nine years before he died.

What most people do not know about this story is that John Rarey was from Groveport Ohio, my town (well village, it's still to small to be a city). When Rarey returned to the states with Crusier he came back to live here in Groveport. Even after Rarey's death Crusier stayed here in Groveport until the day he died. Our current Elementary School was originally built as a courthouse and jail and it is rumored that Crusier was buried behind in under what is now the Freshman Schools football field, but no one really knows for sure where he was buried. There are records that show he did die here in Groveport though.

When it came time for our schools to choose a mascot they decided on The Groveport Madison Cruiser's after the famous race horse that lived and died in our town. My mom moved us to Groveport when I was in the 6th grade and when I heard this story for the first time I thought it was so cool. How ofter does a schools mascot have a real story behind it and how often is that mascot a real thing.

A few years ago one of my sisters close friends bought a house one street over from ours. Her house is the only house older than ours and the Log House Museum and it belonged to John Rarey. When she purchased the house she was given the original deed so we know this to be true. Shortly after moving into the house she was cleaning out the attic and came across a bunch of different pictures, some of which were of a horse and they were very very very old looking. My sister and I keep telling her that she should take them over to the Log Cabin Museum and have them look into whether or not they are pictures of the real Cruiser.

I hadn't thought much about this story in many years but a few weeks ago Dave and I took the kids to the homecoming football game. When we left the stadium that night we had to pass the large statue of Cruiser. Emma being the inquisitive one that she is asked why there was a horse there so I told her the story. She really seemed to enjoy the story and she thought it was pretty cool that this horse was real.

Now I have a question for you. What was your high school mascot and is it real? Do you have a movie about yours?


Tiffany McCallen said...

So Jen's and I's high school mascot was the the Rocket... The Maplewood Rockets, to be exact. I'm thinking if there's a story behind that mascot, it's a lame one.

Your story, however, is very cool. Interesting stuff!

Emily said...

What a neat story!
Our mascot was the Warrior, high school sucked but the warrior represented.

Lindsay said...

Wow Jess, I knew most of that but not all of it. Impressive! It is a pretty cool story though. Go Cruisers! :)

Insane Mama said...

The book was so much better than the movie. I was a bit dissapointed with the movie.

Kelly said...

What a fantastic story and how cool is it that your "village" is part of that history...Way cool!!

My HS mascot was a Spartan...not very exciting.

Lenora said...

Thanks for writing this.