This is a story of long ago,
When the horse was our servant
Our friend and our woe;
When stage coaches glittering
Wet from the snow, came
Rolling and rattling way down the road,
With the coach horns a blowing announcing they’re near.
The horse was our helper, for man carried his pack,
When he had not a horse, on his own back.
When if not the owner of some smart gig,
Then he walked in the mud and the wet like a pig,
But many a rich man had his own rig.
And he rode with his bridle a jangling with cheer,
From the back of his horse there was nothing to fear.
And on high days and bye days the rich with their colts
Set them a course and then let them bolt.
Across heath and highland, downland and hill,
The fast of fastest were running at will.
Then one day a small horse, not tall, but demure
Was born on a day when the sun disappeared.
They called him Eclipse, and his coat like the sun
Was an arrow of gold, it seemed as he ran,
They could not tame him, his energy wild.
They called him a difficult, headstrong child.
He was ridden each day till his rider to drop
But Eclipse was still full of himself and his strop.
With one white sock his identity framed,
“’T is Eclipse!” The people were heard to exclaim.
An Irishman into the story came,
Horses he loved and racing his game.
He saw this bright creature one Saturday night
And bought him right then, well nearly outright.
O’Kelly his name, and Eclipse were to forge
A pathway through history the two of them merge.
O’Kelly saw that this creature was fast,
He tried him one morning and was aghast,
The speed that he flew was so far ahead,
An old woman saw him leaving for dead
All of his rivals, she told of the day
When Eclipse was in front and the rest
Of the fray did struggle to follow him up Walton hill
The sight she had seen was not to be rare
For Eclipse was in front and the rest nowhere.
O’Kelly stepped into the spotlight of fame,
And with him this chestnut whose name
Would sit in the annuals of history forever;
The bright chestnut colt, would be beaten never.
With his body of steel and his will and his heart
Eclipse was to leave his indelible mark.
He came from a line so old and so fast,
For him it was easy to run on the grass.
His genes were to give us a breed so true
From Eclipse to Nearco, the more from the few.
‘T is a child of Eclipse a pure bred, a star
The Thoroughbred horse wherever you are.
Caroline Baldock © 2008