We never know when a special challenge or situation is going to happen. And we never know who is going to rise to the occasion.
We had just that kind of situation on Saturday and a certain person showed a lot of courage in dealing with it.
My father, Master James Wilson, used to tell us that we could do anything if we had enough "wants to." Perry Hicks demonstrated that particular brand of Belle Meade Spirit on Saturday. "Wants to" is determination, courage, persistence, energy and initiative all rolled into one.
Perry had already shown in two classes when her good horse, Tramore, started acting sick. They suspected colic which can make a healthy horse very sick in a big hurry. Chip Pritchard, DVM, was at Foxboro with his wife and daughter. He began treating Tramore right away. Of course, Perry was very concerned about her horse. She and her mother, Dr. Julie Hicks, thought they might have to rush their horse to University of Georgia Vet School.
But they had a team jumping class to ride in.
Dr. Chip was doing all that could be done for Tramore at the moment. So, Dr. Julie got on her horse and Victor Burroughs, our trainer at Foxboro, lent Perry his good horse and Perry rode a fine course on Kasbah. This is a horse she had never ridden before in her life.
It is remarkable that she rode a horse she had never ridden before in a jumping class. It is even more remarkable that she rode it while under the duress of her horse being sick.
Tramore did end up having to go to UGA Vet School immediately after the class. She is very sick, but expected to recover over the next 10 days.
Once the trophies and ribbons were given out, Belle Meade Hunt Masters Charlie Lewis and myself commended Perry for her "wants to spirit" in front of the assembled crowd.
Perry is a very accomplished rider and a third generation foxhunter. Her grandparents, Jim and Julia Hicks, both rode and had important staff positions in the Hunt. Her Dad, Jim Hicks, Jr., is a fine whipper-in and member of the Hunt Committee. Her mom hunts with her and is not only a gifted rider, she is an angel of mercy when someone needs medical attention in the field. Perry won Belle Meade's Most Improved Junior Award in 2008.
The riding programs at Foxboro and Belle Meade Hunt are like Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts on horses. The kids learn leadership and responsibility and self reliance and many more good things - just like in the scouting programs. Perry is an excellent example of this.
We appreciate the support of the community and are glad to have been able to help raise some funds for the Ferst Foundation in the process.
Editor's note: For more on the event at Foxboro, please see Page 1D of this week's edition.