Recent news from the American Quarter Horse Association piqued my interest in a runner named Refrigerator. He was the first Quarter horse to break the $2 million earnings ceiling and his owners recently set up a fund in his memory to raise money for traumatic head injuries in horses. I'm not sure exactly how the gelding died, but apparently it was some sort of an accident.
Trying to find out how he died led me to one of my journalist colleagues. Sally Harrison covers the western performance scene the same way I cover the hoof scene, and I knew she would have the scoop on Refrigerator.
Little did I know what I had stumbled upon! It turns out that this icon of Quarter horse racing was bred and raised by farrier Sonny Vaughn of Oklahoma. He bartered his farrier services for the stud fee. Sally has resurrected some of her archive on Sonny and Refrigerator and created a new Refrigerator post on her excellent blog so that the farrier angle on the new AQHA fund could be known, once and for all.