Ralph Nester: A Filly with a Sweet Tooth

At Penowa Farm, we would get yearlings from the sales rings as the owners would buy them.  There was one particular filly we got from Saratoga Sales and she was by one of our farm’s stallions, a horse named Globemaster.  He was a very nice racehorse , he set the pace in the Kentucky Derby, finished second in the Preakness to Carry Back in both.   (Globemaster, pictured below.)


Well, we had to wash the hip numbers off the yearling’s hips as they were glued on, an easy task with a loofah sponge and water.   I worked with a man named Ralph Yellowdy (Ralph Y) at the farm.  We worked on a lot of projects together.  He was a dedicated horseman and good with horses in general.  We were of different skin color, but we didn’t know it, we were inseparable and quite competitive.  We would foot race at the drop of a hat;  I was very fast runner, but a step slower than Ralph Y.

We were going into a stall to take the hip numbers off of this new filly.  Ralph Y went in first and I followed.  It was early in the morning, and bright sunshine was coming through the shedrow into the stalls, a beautiful day.  Ralph Y had a shank and reached for the filly’s halter.  Well, she reared and struck him in his chest.  I said, “Ralph, you have to go very slowly around these babies.  They’re shy and nervous and green to handle. I’ll  show you how to approach a baby.” 

I eased up to her, reached slowly for her halter…ahhh, relief…she just stood there.  Slowly, I reached with my other hand to pet her softly on her muzzle.  I looked at the beautiful star and blaze on her forehead and was admiring how good looking a filly the owners had bought.  Globe Miss was her name.  She was a $40,000 purchase, which was a lot in the sixties.

Well, next thing I knew,  I was flat on my butt with a knot on my head.   She reared so quickly and struck me with her front foot, I didn’t see it coming.  She had whipped both of us. 

 We sure  weren’t getting near her rump to take the hip numbers off, we wanted to live at least one more day. That night I got a call from this lady in New York who  had bred her and she wanted to come see her baby on the weekend.  (By the way, all the Globemasters were very head shy for some reason, Hyperion blood I suppose.)  The weekend came around and up pulls this lady in a big Cadillac.  She jumped out of the car and introduced herself.   She asked, “Where’s my baby?”  I took her into the barn and she walked to the filly’s stall.

 It was then that I knew what we had done wrong.  She reached into her purse and pulled a sugar cube out, and the filly took it and the lady petted her and loved on her. Ralph Y and I looked at each other and knew we had a “spoiled brat”  filly on our hands.  We knew what we had to do.


The next that afternoon the blacksmith was due so we had him look at her feet.  She went ballistic.  So after a 15 minute schooling to let her know she wasn’t getting sugar cubes, she knew we were the boss.   We had to, or she would have killed all the farm help.  At end of day she was trimmed and those hip numbers came

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