Girls Horse Club Blog

Shattered

Published by • Nov 29th, 2009 • Category: Fiction

by Zanzibar The Great, age 15

“This is it, Audrey. Dear Lord, I’ve waited thirty-eight long years for this moment! And, here I am!” Dust Cavare, a gaunt and ancient trainer in the field of horse racing, bubbled enthusiastically as the young, female jockey approached. Eighteen year-old Audrey Davis had sauntered over from the jockeys’ room along with nineteen other jockeys, all professional and accustomed to these sorts of races.

The teenager grinned broadly, shaking like a leaf from all of the apprehension. She shuttered softly, looking intently at the striking chestnut horse circling the walking ring, adorned with her light racing tack. Underneath the feather-light racing saddle, a black saddle cloth with the golden number 6 flapped in the soft wind that battered the Saturday afternoon.

Sunlight glinted off of the horse’s polished copper coat with great radiance. The day had dawned bright and clear, perfect for any day at Churchill Downs. Today was more than important for horse racing personnel and fans. With the calendars declaring the first Saturday in May, the whole nation was frothing about the Kentucky Derby. The race would be going off in less than thirty minutes.

The horse, regal and proud, tossed her finely-sculpted head and eyed the thick crowd around the walking ring. The viscosity was low as many tried to catch early glimpses of the twenty horses who would eventually head to the track for the race. Everyone wanted to see the potential winner and many were making belated decisions for bets.

“You know Vigilante the best, Audrey. The surface will be to her liking and the weather is picture perfect,” Mr. Cavare began to instruct, staring out of the saddling stall and into the paddock with Audrey. His spine straightened with ecstasy at the sight of his brawny filly.

Vigilante had been perceptively bred to the smallest point; champions like Secretariat marred the beautiful pedigree to perfection. Best of all, Vigilant was equally beautiful, a tall Thoroughbred with barely any flaws to blemish her suave, charming stature. Mr. Cavare and Audrey had worked tireless days to mold Vigilante into a flourishing racehorse; the only thing that could ever burden them was the filly’s rank and malicious nature.

The copper-colored filly frisked beside her groom, lowering her head and flinging her hind hooves into the air. Her dark eyes were alight with a sadistic glow and her ears fell parallel with her skull. But once all hooves touched the ground once more, Vigilante was prancing happily alongside her grim-faced groom, her nature now lighthearted and jubilant.

Audrey was grinning madly now, her green eyes flickering like flames against her heavily tan face. If there was anyone who understood and could explain why Vigilante was so arrogant, yet so unperturbed, it was the girl who had raised and jockeyed the filly. The horse and girl knew one another from the inside out.

“You ready, Audrey?” Mr. Cavare questioned, resting a firm, wrinkled hand on the young jockey’s shoulder. He looked less composed than the jockey or the horse, his face down with worry. Even a smile and shining eyes could not obscure his worry.

“More than anything, sir,” Audrey replied boldly, narrowing her eyes and biting her lower lip with grim determination. She could not elude the anxiety attacking her, but her natural arrogance was strong and concealed the fear of the race to come. “Me and Vigil can, and will, romp all nineteen of these colts. It’s gonna be a piece of cake.”

Mr. Cavare grinned. “I’ll hold you up to that…but, really, I’m happy if she finishes strongly. First or twentieth.”

Grooms began to lead the horses to the saddling stalls and eventually the famous last words of “Riders Up!” echoed in Audrey’s eardrums as she mounted into the saddle. Vigilante pranced and swung her hips out towards Mr. Cavare, who sidestepped in a waltz-like manner to avoid any violent antics from his filly.

The filly was raring to go.

They began to walk towards the track. There, red-coated riders on their lead ponies would take the horses for the post parade.

Audrey perched forward in the saddle so excess weight was off of Vigilante’s back. Also, she was able to whisper soft, soothing words to her Thoroughbred. But, perhaps, the soft talking was more to appease the young woman’s heart instead of the filly’s.

“Hey, baby. We’ve been here before, remember? Last summer, we won by a mile. This is the same conditions, just a longer distance,” Audrey began softly, entwining her fingers in a clump of sorrel mane. Circulation was lost in her index finger for a while until she unraveled. “This is the greatest distance for us to travel. We’ll need to live on a wish and a prayer in that final furlong.”

It was true. This race was the biggest test of the three-year-old Thoroughbreds, who had never ran at the distance of a mile and a quarter. Each horse needed stamina and the late-run speed. They also needed the ability to outrun nineteen other talented horses to claim the roses.

This was the Kentucky Derby. Everybody was able-bodied and the reason they were here was because they had proved early on that they were more than ready for the first Saturday in May.

A roar erupted from the crowd as Vigilante stepped onto the track. This was the first time a filly was trying to win the roses since Eight Belles in 2008—a race that had ended with tragedy with the filly’s death after the race. Many people shifted uneasily, wondering if a filly was strong enough to defeat the boys. In the race’s history, dating back to the late 1800s, only three fillies had beaten the boys out of nearly thirty that had attempted the feat.

“We can win, we can win,” Audrey chanted softly to Vigilante, trying to get the best of her own inward doubts. “Girls can be ruffians too, baby. Girls can be ruffians too.”

Vigilante flared her nostrils and tossed her blazed head, her ears pinned back with disapproval of the large, boisterous crowd.

It wasn’t several minutes until they began to load into the huge, metal structure—the gate. Vigilante went in like an angel, poised and ready for the start of the race. Several colts balked or fidgeted, but Vigilante was content in the gate.

Aubrey leaned forward, her stomach a battlefield to the butterflies. She held back a vomiting sensation and took deep, lung-filling breaths. The final gate clattered shut and the crowd became hushed. The only sound was the muffled thud of a horse prancing within the confinements of his stall.

Underneath her, she felt Vigilante coil up and become tense. The filly nearly sat back on her haunches, ready to thrust all of her weight onto her front hooves and sprint out. Vigilante flicked her ears back, lifting her head up and giving a snort with clarity.

The colt far down stopped prancing and a gate attendant shouted the okay. Aubrey glanced over at the man holding Vigilante and smirked slightly. We’re gonna win it, buddy, Aubrey said with her expression.

BRRRR, the bell clanged.

The gates swung wide open and the vast track was inviting.

With her haunches coiled, Vigilante shot out of the gate like she had been prodded with electricity. Audrey nearly lost her balance as the Thoroughbred unraveled underneath her, charging after the other colts that had broken as sharp as knives. The start took Audrey’s breath away—her filly was on fire!

The thunder of twenty horses’ hooves was deafening as they covered ground fast. Dirt stung Audrey’s face and she blinked behind her goggles at the flying pieces of earth. Vigilante was not fazed by being pelted by earth, like some horses were. She just cruised fluently and stuck close to a bay colt along the rail.

“Yeah, baby. This race is nothing! We’ll stalk them, just like we have always, and then we’ll blow by them!” Audrey cried to Vigilante, her body tingling with bliss. Although these horses were totally different than the horses Vigilante had faced months ago, it didn’t matter to the chestnut filly. The only thing that mattered to Vigilante was that by the time she passed the wire, she would be kicking dust into their faces—just like the others.

The voltage of Vigilante’s power was stunning and it made Audrey shiver. Her prowess and audacity could out match any of the colts today. Her speed could leave each of them in her tracks. Although Audrey was biased, Vigilante was the best Thoroughbred running that day.

Everything was numb and blurry to Audrey, even if she forced herself to think clearly and manipulate each move she planned to do. If there could be any mistake in the world Audrey could perform, it could never be now. A life of humiliation and regret would forever haunt Audrey if her rash decisions caused Vigilante’s loss.

Vigilante panted and put her heart into each ground-gobbling stride. Her nostrils were flared as she nearly soared across the ground, striding beside the big bay. The bay was eyeball-to-eyeball with the filly, almost daring Vigilante to pass him. For a heartbeat, they held that devious gaze before Vigilante took an extended stride and put her barrel to his head.

“That’s right, that’s right; don’t let any of them get the best of you!” Audrey praised, letting the tight tension ease in the reins as an indulgence. The biggest worry for Audrey was that Vigilante saw a challenge and spent too much of her bursting energy trying to pass the horses early in the race.

Overhead, they swept into the sunlight as they rounded for the first turn. Vigilante took it acutely, bumping shoulders with the heavy favorite, a dark bay named Fire Dance. The colt pinned his ears back, seeming to turn his head slightly to get a glimpse at Vigilante. The filly almost cocked her head too, but Audrey snapped the whip across her shoulder. Although horses had tough skin, the hit was strong enough to capture her attention.

“No, no, no! We aren’t going to let the colt break our focus! This is a race, Vigil! We don’t have time, whatsoever, to play games with the boys!” Audrey disciplined harshly, tightening the reins softly and putting some pull onto the bit. Vigilante pinned her ears back fully, listening to Audrey’s criticism and softening up.

Audrey could nearly read Vigilante like a kindergartners’ book. After years of bruises, temper tantrums and hard days with the filly, nothing seemed like a surprise from Vigilante. But time wasn’t the only reason why they knew one another; it was the fact that Vigilante, in basic terms, saved Audrey.

Two years ago, Audrey was nothing but a rebel child growing up in the lower class of Louisville, Kentucky. She was caught up with the gang haywire and her life was taking a dangerous dip. Angry with her lack of performance in school, her father forced her to get a job, so she jokingly applied for the groom position for a trainer at Churchill Downs. That is how she met Dustin Cavare and his newest addition, Vigilante.

Vigilante was vicious. Barely anyone could feed or groom the filly, much less get into the saddle to ride her. But when Audrey saw something other than a hothead filly worth only for her pedigree, a seismic shift began.

Audrey pleaded to work with Vigilante, even though she had barely been around horses all of her life. She worked hard to connect with Vigilante and she also discovered her desire to become a jockey. Finally, Audrey was promised to ride the Thoroughbred in her first race. Audrey had been scraping up a few long-shot rides as an apprentice jockey but never had she ridden the winning horse. That was, until Vigilante pulled off a stunning victory in her maiden debut.

Through the thick and thin, Audrey and Vigilante had been there. From Audrey’s suffering of losing a brother to suicide to Vigilante’s injury last winter, they had stuck like glue. Both of their lives had careened into a new light for the better.

The duo had even managed to qualify and were accepted into the most prestigious race in all of America. The Kentucky Derby, the run for the roses.

They were going strong as they swept into the backstretch. It was silent, other than the soft roar across the infield over to the grandstands. Audrey could hear the gasping breaths of the Thoroughbreds and the rapid thunder of their hooves. Wind brushed against her tan cheeks as she enjoyed the swift moments of blithe. It wasn’t until the burden of the race awakened in her mind did she become concerned about the task on hand.

I gotta keep myself focused. I can’t be dilly-dallying! Audrey scoffed herself, gritting her teeth hard and thinking of Vigilante’s movements. She knew she had a ton of horse underneath her, more than what any other jockeys did. But with that gift was a burden itself, Vigilante was hard to manage and it took all of Aubrey’s surplus muscle-power and concentration to keep her managed.

“Uh-huh, baby! Thatta girl! Keep it up! We’ll school them like we did every race! Keep the perfect streak goin’ Vigil!” Audrey cried, jarring her arms and encouraging the filly to speed up.

Vigilante gladly accepted the invitation. She switched leads to her own pleasure and pirouetted by Fire Dance. There were four other horses in front of them, and three of them were running side-by-side in nearly the same stride. The trio was straining to reel in the blazing pace setter, Willoughby Chase.

“We’ll pounce on them, Vigil. They’ll be dead tired in the turn, and we’ll just put them away,” Audrey promised, a smug grin spread across her face. For such a young and undisciplined jockey, she was dead set on winning.

The heavens were singing as they went into the far turn. They were just furlongs from the homestretch and Audrey could feel her blood thinning. She prodded Vigilante once or twice, asking the filly to slip through a hole along the rail where the trio of colts ahead had opened after swinging wide. Vigilante knew what it meant when there was only one horse ahead of her: they were en route to victory.

Vigilante dug deep into the earth and churned the track as she bounded for the lead colt, Willoughby Chase. In a matter of strides, she was up against his shoulder and gaining. Without even passing the other horse or jockey a meek glance, Vigilante and Audrey had stuck their head out in front. Heartbeats later, it was clear as crystal that the filly had the lead and was extending it.

The mile pole flashed by and Vigilante was in front with Fire Dance gaining rapidly. He was reeling her in just as she had done with Willoughby Chase. Audrey, out of instinct, wanted to release the demon within Vigilante and let her sprint the rest of the way, but her conscious quickly declared no. The idea was foolish and could cost Vigilante the race.

“He’s coming to challenge you, Vigil. You just stare him in the eye and tell him to back off, this is your win, babe! No games this time,” Audrey spoke to Vigilante, glancing under her arm to look at the rest of the field. No one but Fire Dance had come to play games with the filly.

Fire Dance stuck to the right of Vigilante, hugging her so closely that their shoulders could’ve brushed. They seemed to have a stare down, but no one was backing out in submission. Audrey whipped her head to stare at Fire Dance’s jockey, her eyes widening as she received a manic grin from the older, more matured jockey. Did he think he had the filly beat?

Audrey shook her head and narrowed her eyes. “No they don’t, Vigil! Don’t let them think they have us beat! They do not! Fly, baby, fly!”

At that moment, they took a left turn into the homestretch. Audrey’s heart yearned for the finish line, as though her life would be cut short if Vigil even lost this race by a whisker. Nothing mattered more at the moment than winning this race. Even if the president paid Audrey all the riches in the world, she wouldn’t give up Vigil’s glory and pride for anything in the galaxy. It wasn’t the fact of winning for the money or for the fame, it was the fact of achieving the greatest race on her wonder filly. Her mini savior, Vigilante.

She released everything that she had bottled up in Vigilante. The chestnut pricked her delicate ears for a moment, but she was focused just as soon as she had done so. Vigilante dug deep into the ground, her head almost bowing low enough to cause a stumble. Fire Dance was still threatening them and Vigilante, born a competitive creature, was enraged to a point of frustration.

With each stride, Audrey could hear Vigilante grunt with determination. She had her neck ahead of the colt’s, but sooner or later the filly would be fatigued. She was not immortal or empowered with the strength of the god’s chariot steeds. Vigilante was a regular Thoroughbred, but with an extraordinary heart.

“C’mon, Vigil! Here we are, now go!” Audrey implored, going for her whip but her sweaty fingers seized up and the crop slipped out of her fingers. It cascaded to the ground, to be trampled by a dozen hooves of the horses behind them.

Dismay seared through every living fiber within her. If it weren’t for her helmet, her hair would’ve stood on end with fright. Without the whip, there was no gesture other than her voice to encourage Vigilante to soar away. Audrey felt doomed.

Audrey began hollering, clucking and crying out to the filly to get her to run. It seemed to work and Vigilante surged forward as though she was propelled from a mortar, her legs extending and her hooves demolishing the ground underneath them. Gallons of oxygen filled Vigilante’s lungs as she gasped for breath, straining against the leather bridle for the wire. Her eyes were ebbed with white as she nearly ran in fright from Fire Dance.

They were under a furlong to the wire. Vigilante would be the first filly in over a score to win the Kentucky Derby. Fire Dance seemed out of it and, after a swooping gaze over Audrey’s shoulder, no one was charging up from the middle of the track to take a photo finish.

But in a blink of an eye, it all changed. One little twist of fate occurred for millions to see and for thousands to be scarred.

It was a sound like a branch snapping off of a tree trunk. It was vile and deafening, sending millions of chills down Audrey’s spine. Vigilante’s weight was flung forward and she flipped down towards the earth. Audrey was vaulted out of the saddle, nearly impelling into the ground. Everything ran in slow motion, the world spinning round and round as she stared up at the deep blue sky.

For a few seconds, Audrey lay motionless. She couldn’t hear or feel much, other than the raspy breath and the searing sensation of her chest which had taken a blow from her knees in the impact. It wasn’t until the heed of the accident did Audrey stumble up and glanced wildly around. Her mind was in a daze, but she immediately found her filly.

Vigilante stood, slick with sweat and trembling with fear. Audrey rushed to Vigilante’s side, thrusting her shoulder into the filly’s left elbow to help support her weight. The leg dangled and she was favoring it violently, her ears pinned back with agony.

Plunging against Audrey’s restraint, Vigilante fought fervently against Audrey, her broken leg striking the ground once more. She snorted and crow-hopped on three legs, trying to finish the race and claim victory once more. But the horses ran by her, swerving to avoid the broken filly, and finishing the race.

Now, the filly swooped her head over to Audrey. A confused glaze was running over Vigilante’s dark eyes, mixing in with her pain. What? What happened! Help me. Why does it hurt? The filly seemed to ask.

No words in the world could come to Audrey’s mind as she tried to explain to the filly. Her lips moved but nothing came out, not even soothing words found themselves available on her lips. As the final half dozen horses loped by, exhausted and frothing, Vigilante lunged at them once more. Audrey held a firm grip on the reins and her arm kept the big chestnut from moving far.

It was as if that provoked the chestnut.

She reared up, striking at the air out of frustration and fear. Vigilante threw up her head, eyes encircled with white. She screamed and tried to avoid her jockey, swerving slightly on her haunches and coming down ninety-degrees turned from Audrey.

The crowd gasped, their cries mixing in with the pleas from Audrey. She had found her voice once more and was crying out like a hysterical lady, but her pleas had no avail. As Vigilante thundered down, Audrey heard the same vociferous crack and Vigilante stumbled. It was as though the filly had given up, collapsing onto the ground with a revolting thud.

Audrey fell to the ground, staring at the protruding bone from the opposite leg—the leg that had been fine until Vigilante had come crashing down. She scooped Vigilante’s head in her arms, sobbing and trying to calm the screaming filly. Vigil’s breath was panicky and hoarse, her muscles limp and hot. It is said that if the horse gives up hope, than it is impossible for it to recover.

“Shh, baby. It’s okay,” Audrey found herself lying. An outrider was at Audrey’s side, trying to calm the thrashing filly also. Eventually veterinarians were there, too, and Dustin Cavare was sprinting from the gap near the clubhouse turn and hustling over to see his broken down filly. “Stay brave, my little soldier. You’re strong; you can’t let this overcome you.”

Vigilante lifted her muzzle, blowing softly and dropping her head once more. Pain seized Audrey’s heart and she clutched the mare tighter, pleading vehemently that Vigil was not to give up hope.

“Get the sedatives, we need her calm before we can euthanize her!” The vets were calling, screaming at some men to get the filly settled down.

Audrey gripped Vigilante’s forelock, her jaw clenched at the most wicked word she had just heard: Euthanize.

“Miss, please move,” she heard someone ask softly, grabbing her shoulder.

“No!” Aubrey shouted, embracing Vigilante’s head closer to her chest. Tears ran freely from her eyes as she stared into the glazed over, dark brown eyes of Vigilante. The agony of the filly was conveyed in that soft glance, before Aubrey tore herself away to avoid her own pain.

Blood was pooling from the filly’s wound onto the track. The warm, crimson liquid had an atrocious scent that forced Aubrey to hold back a bubbling feeling in her stomach. The sedatives went to work fleetly and Vigilante was motionless, other than her heaving sides. The veterinarians turned to Dustin Cavare, who was on the phone with Vigilante’s owners.

“I understand, Mr. Milligan. I understand,” Mr. Cavare repetitiously said, the words almost being instant doom to Aubrey. Tears ran from the never-say-die man’s cheeks.

Coldness seized Aubrey as she clutched Vigilante closer. The right canon bone had broken and had been jousted right through her skin, while the left ankle was shattered into who-knows-how-many pieces. Even if the doctors could repair the bones, the recovery wouldn’t be successful. With weight on the hind legs, they’d form laminitis and Vigilante couldn’t live without at least one perfect front leg.

“Please, no!” Aubrey begged Mr. Cavare, her cheeks stained with tears and her eyes puffy and cherry-toned. “I never gave up on her before, I can’t now!”

Mr. Cavare bent down and embraced Aubrey, the strong man sobbing heavily. Around them, a curtain was drawn up to stop the gazes from prying eyes. The crowd was crying along with them, the whole mood of the day immediately subdued with the accident. The joy of so many hopefuls in the biggest race of the year careened into a cement wall of sorrow.

“I’m sorry, Aubrey. We just can’t…”

Aubrey just burst, her throat tight and her eyes still full of fresh tears. They held Vigilante’s head as the veterinarian ejected a liquid into the filly’s neck. Vigilante’s breaths, rapid and quick, began to slow down within several seconds. Aubrey felt her nails dig into the filly as though she could cling onto the horse’s life and not let her go. But the drowning light in the filly’s brown eyes assured her that Vigilante was slowly ebbing away.

“I love you, Vigilante. I love you!” Aubrey sobbed, brushing her hand down the white blaze along the filly’s face and rubbing her velveteen nose. The satin coat felt cold underneath Aubrey’s hands and she sobbed again, wishing that death wasn’t so frigid.

Vigilante’s breaths stopped altogether and her long eyelashes blinked for a second afterward, until her eyelids dropped down one last time. Tears from Mr. Cavare and Aubrey fell onto the filly’s chestnut head, dampening the glorious horse’s soft coat.

Mr. Cavare helped Aubrey up to her feet, embracing her tightly. Aubrey shouldered away, not up to sympathy from the man who had helped turn her life around. She brushed past the curtains, her body numb as she stared at thousands of concerned eyes. Anger suddenly filled her as she saw Fire Dance being led away—no one but his connections happy about the conclusion of the race.

Aubrey tore off the racing silks, balling them up and slamming them into the ground. She began to limp for the exit, her leg sore from where she hit the ground. A reporter rushed up to her, begging for an interview.

She looked at the woman, trying not to be provoked. It was the woman’s job, but Aubrey was in no mood to tolerate her. With a shattered heart, Aubrey was far from wanting to talk about what had happen just moments ago, but the girl mustered up some courage to say something.

“If only tears could heal her…” Aubrey uttered, knowing that was all the more she could bear saying out loud. Her throat clenched up, cutting off the remainder of the millions of things she had truly wanted to say.

With that, she left the track with a broken shattered heart and lost confidence. Behind her, the owners of Fire Dance walked to the wire and laid down the blanket of roses, for the filly who rightfully deserved them.

15 Nickers »

  1. You’re an amazing author, Zanzibar… I really felt like crying when Vigilante died. You pictured the scene so well and portrayed it perfectly.
    I can’t wait for your next story… :)

  2. OH…MY…GOODNESS!!! Zanzibar, you are incredible. This story was stunning. I could practically taste Audrey’s grief when her filly was put down. You should think about getting published, this sounded so professional!!! To quote Horsefeathers, CHAMPION!!!
    P.S. You also have a great vocabulary. I like the words you used.

  3. i am at a loss of words to describe how AMAZING that was! Truly stunning, I cant wait for the story you write.

  4. Champion story! ;0) Love the characters, love the drama, love the.. well i love everything! lol You have an excellent writing future if you put your mind to it. As many girls do here at GHC!
    ~HF

  5. I read it again and actually did cry. I felt Aubrey’s pain as Vigilante died, and her words were perfect.
    ‘If only tears could heal her…’
    I bow down to you as the greatest writer I know. Well done yet again

  6. Wow! That isreally good!

  7. Awesome story! Better than I could ever do. You have a really great vocabulary-I didn’t even know what some of those words meant! lol I love the names you gave for the racehorses and i personally think you should make a sequel.

  8. Zanzibar, i have never read a story as great as this. You are the most terrific writer I know or have even heard of. This is brilliant…..I love the “if only tears could heal her…’ quote. I absolutely love your vocabulary, and I really did cry when Vigilante died…..I am very much dreading the day when Emmy (previously referred to as Sassy) dies. She is 19 now, almost 20. I love your writing, and I can’t wait until your next story. You’ve done it…you’ve stunned and captured the hearts and minds of many, if not all, of us at GHC. Brilliant — writing is very much your thing, and this is very much were you belong. If you ever get a book published, write my name down for one of the first copies. :)

  9. This was heart-rendering, moving, passionate, intense, unpredictable, spectacular, and one of the best stories I have ever read. Seriously, Zanzibar, it truly was. Keep at your writing and you will become a great, well-known, admired by all author, I swear it.
    THIS WAS SO AWESOME!

    -Raven

  10. Hello!

    That was a nice but quite a sad story.
    I have a question, your user name is Zanzibar, is that a horse? And if so where is the horse from? Are a lot of horses named that? Sorry for all the questions, I was just wondering.
    God bless!

    Love in Christ
    ~Raechel~

  11. What a wonderful talent you have, especially at your young age. Keep on writing and you’ll be famous one day.

  12. Oh my gosh, Zanzibar, that was amazing! I had tears in my eyes, and I couldn’t speak for the lump in my throat. The emotion was great, and the description was excellent. I almost felt like I was there. This was a very very good story. Have you ever thought about getting it published? This story left me speechless. It was just AMAZING!

  13. Awww, you guys make me blush! I can’t thank you enough, I’ve really been shy about letting people read my work. So this was kinda a leap of faith.
    Raechel, to answer your questions, Zanzibar is a name I’ve loved for quite some time. Some people link it to The Phantom Stallion series or Halo 2 (the video game), but I first remember seeing it while perusing a map of Africa. Zanzibar the Great, however, is the name I’ve always wanted to give to a racehorse. Kind of a dream name, ya know.
    Thanks guys, love always.

  14. I’m glad all agree that Zanzibar is awesome! Because no matter what, I think Zan should try and get it published!!! Go for it! see ya’ll later, and have a great GHC break and I hope ya’ll can get down and dirty (in the show and winter mud) in the barn this winter! And I hope ya can ride horses allll the time! FUN FACT: the first time I rode bareback was at a horse show between night classes and morning classes; the entire ‘troop’ that came with wanted me to CANTER on my FIRST TIME BAREBACK! I actually did, and it was thrilling. Now I <3 bareback, and I ride bareback as often as possible!!!! Kewlness, huh? :P MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL GHC GIRLS, ESPECIALLY LEADMARE!!!!

  15. Zanzibar-you shouldn’t be shy, your work is truly incredible. See if you can get it published in a magazine or something if you want to. You are really inspiring and you know how to write a real heartbreaking story.

    -Raven