Becky Hitchens was Better Talk Now’s hotwalker for the time he was in training. She was 75 when she left 5 years ago and she died a couple of weeks ago at 80. She so missed being with the horses but frailty forced her to give them up. It’s a shame I don’t have a good photo of her but we have fond memories of her and “Blackie”. He was tough to walk, even after training as he would push his walkers around and be really bossy! For some reason he listened to Becky. Maybe he realized she was older or maybe he just liked her but they had a great relationship. If he was being a little rough she’d tell him off, he’d look at her as if he was surprised someone had told him off – and off they’d go again! I have to say towards the end though he did knock her over but he stood patiently while she got up and got herself together. I don’t think he was expecting that!
One day in the stall after training, Lisa was trying to take his polos off after riding him, Blackie was throwing his head around with Becky swinging off the end of the shank. The next minute he’d pushed Becky into Lisa and they both fell in a heap underneath him. I don’t know who was more surprised! It was funny to watch though.
We saw Becky almost every week since she left as she had a small farm nearby on which she had heifers to keep it a farm for tax purposes. She used to come by and pick up any spare feed that the horses had left, to supplement their food. She was an amazing woman as she would tell us stories of when she galloped years ago. She’d get on anything and everything. This was way before women were really accepted into racing so she’d go to farms to ride whatever she could – always a tough cookie. We’ll miss you Becky.