We lost our beloved 31 year old Gala Spinaway today. He was fine first thing and went downhill quite quickly. Thankfully the vets, assistants and Anita were there and it was all very peaceful for him. He was certainly one of the lucky ones, starting his career with Bernie Bond with Graham taking him on after Bernie’s death, making him one of the first horses he trained, one of his first winners and his first Stake winner – a special horse to start his career. In all he ran 41 times, winning 15 of those races, 10 times second and twice third – made more incredible as he did it all in four short years! 11 were Stake races, 2 of them Graded. His race record is below and is VERY impressive. His papers have an extra sheet to list all his accomplishments.
After his retirement he was given away with the strict instructions that he came back if they no longer wanted him. He could be difficult as Anita will attest with many stories! As so often happens, the intent is there but is not always followed through. A lady in upstate New York got in touch a few years back to say she had been offered Gala. Graham and Anita took him back immediately and as it was around the time Better Talk Now was retiring they spent many happy years together. I remember when they were first together they were turned out in a large paddock at the back of the Fair Hill Equine Therapy Center. When it was time to come in nobody was first in line to get them as they were bad boys!! One would lead through the gate first, wait while whomever was leading the other would turn around to shut the gate. Around that time one of them would buck or squeal, which would set the other off. You then had to lead these jumping jack horses over a small bridge and hope you didn’t get lobbed over the edge! The bridge is wider now and every time I walk over it I think why wasn’t it that wide back then!! They were the best of friends, never leaving each others’ sides and it was a huge blow to Gala a couple of years ago when he lost Blackie. We brought Main Sequence back to live with him and although they were friends, the bond was not the same. It’s comforting to know that they will be together again. He will be buried in Blackie’s garden with him so they will be together always, body and soul.
Miss you Gala and thank you for giving us your friendship and we are proud to have been part of your life.