From July 2017 “Tips & Tales”

I married my vet, and as a result I was able to get a few very good horses at a bargain price. One thoroughbred named Jordan was in training for the Kentucky Derby, but got sick and had to be  withdrawn. Then he came home to Middleburg to recover, but did not get over his problem.

So the following spring, the owner called my husband and said to "put him down." John said "I will give you a dollar for him." The owner answered, "Let me consult with my partner, Mr. Firestone, and get back to you." He did, and asked for ten dollars to close the deal. So I took his nice leather halter with brass name tab.

I finally cured Jordan with yogurt, following advice from Mr. Mellon's old groom "Boony." I retrained Jordan, taught him to jump, showed him some, then started to fox hunt with him. He was by Damascus, so was very fast. Sometimes I would pass the Master! A big no-no.

After a few years, I wanted to go out on my own as an environmental consultant, but I needed some money to set up my office, so decided to sell Jordan. I did for $20,000 and off he went with the Treptows.

They showed him at Upperville and steeple-chased too; he won the Middleburg Cup. They let the Middleburg Hunt Master ride him for a year. That horse could do anything!

Then there was some financial deal I was not privy to, but Firestone was moving into the farm being vacated by Treptow. The Treptows saw me at a party, and they asked me if I wanted Jordan back. You bet! "OK, but you have to come get him tomorrow, as we have to vacate the farm by Monday". So I got this beautiful horse back for free and kept him until he died at 25. Quite a good deal, I would say!

--Sharon Saari

Jordan was perhaps the best “deal” Sharon ever made with a horse, but it was just one of many horses she owned over the years. Diagnosed with polio at the age of two, she couldn’t join in many of the activities of other kids, but she learned to ride horses when she was eight years old. “My whole world changed when I was on horseback,” she says.

Over some 55 years, she learned to show, train and jump horses. “It was my life,” she says of having lived in Middleburg and Culpeper with her veterinarian husband, who was able to get fine thoroughbred horses whose wealthy owners no longer wanted them.

“Horses have served me well and made me a stronger person,” she says. “I still love them,” though now she mostly watches races and other equestrian events on television.

--Galen Moses