Foals and front-row seats

Published: April 5, 2009 12:09 am EDT

Some weeks, everything clicks. The universe aligns and no matter where you turn, it’s all Skittles and rainbows.

Like many of the friends we all keep on Facebook, I don’t know Jackie Wimbush of Draconian Farms very well. We’ve never actually met, but we’ve done some business over the years, and I’ve always found her kind, witty and completely bonkers for horses.

She is also one of just two friends who share my adoration for Morrissey. So, when my longtime demigod toured within driving distance (Ann Arbor, MI), we made loose plans via Facebook to make the trek together. I snapped up tickets, but Jackie had a foal due the day of the concert and had to opt out.

In a rather touching message, she described how the ball-and-chain reality of running a breeding farm was outweighed by the incredible end result.

This confirmed two things for me: One, Jackie was every bit the horseperson I thought she was; and two, I’ll never run any operation that involves sleeping in a barn and touching placentas.

My friend Dan and I went instead, and upon arrival, realized I had unwittingly scored front-row centre — literally the best seats in the house! We were so close to Morrissey, that when he leaned down and sang my favourite lyric in my favourite song, his spittle actually landed in the inner corner of my left eye. Magical.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . Jackie got her foal at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday — a handsome and healthy Whosurboy colt, whose race name will be Morrissey. Magical.

The week wrapped up as strangely as it began. Friday, I had to laugh out loud when I unexpectedly found myself bottle-feeding a 30-minute-old foal with Liz Waples. Dressed to shoot an episode of Cribs, I suddenly couldn’t resist the temptation to get covered in blood-and-birth-grossness and help the filly to her feet for the first time. Magical.

So, thanks to Morrissey, Jackie, Liz and that wee Duke Of York filly for a truly incredible week. If I can score snuggle seats with Morrissey AND not pass out at the sight of placenta — all within the span of four days — anything is possible.


I am a Kelly Spencer groupie. I have watched her Tarmac show, heard her speak at the Standardbred Wagering conference in Montreal and watched how dedicated a photographer she is at the O'Brien awards.

Keep it up Kelly. You are a great asset to our industry.

Rick Karper

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