Tag: history

Sgt. Reckless, what a Horse, what a Marine!

Here’s a story that will make you proud!

Sgt Reckless Sgt Joe Latham MCRD, SDMHS 2 of 4 sar reckless-blog480

RECKLESS

The story of Reckless is not only remarkable – it is unusual. And once you learn about her, you will see why the Marine Corps not only fell in love with her – but honored her and promoted her every chance they got. And it wasn’t just the Marines that served with her in the trenches that honored her – her last promotion to Staff Sergeant was by Gen. Randolph McC Pate – the Commandant of the entire Marine Corps. You can’t get higher than that in the Marines.

Reckless joined the Marines to carry ammunition to the front lines for the 75mm Recoilless Rifle Platoon of the 5th Marines – and she quickly earned the love and respect of all of the Marines that served with her. Lt. Eric Pedersen paid $250 of his own money to a young Korean boy, Kim Huk Moon, for her. The only reason Kim sold his beloved horse was so he could buy an artificial leg for his older sister, Chung Soon, who lost her leg in a land mine accident.

Kim’s loss was the Marines’ gain.

It was not only Reckless’ heroics that endeared the Marines to her – it was her incredible antics off of the battlefield. You will not believe her antics when she was being ignored, or if she was hungry – let’s just say you never wanted to leave your food unattended. As legendary as she was for her heroics – her appetite became even more legendary. This horse had a mind of her own – not to mention, being very determined.

Reckless had a voracious appetite. She would eat anything and everything – but especially scrambled eggs and pancakes in the morning with her morning cup of coffee. She also loved cake, Hershey bars, candy from the C rations, and Coca Cola – even poker chips, blankets and hats when she was being ignored – or if she was trying to just prove a point.

One of Reckless’ finest hours came during the Battle of Outpost Vegas in March of 1953. At the time of this battle it was written that, “The savagery of the battle for the so-called Nevada Complex has never been equaled in Marine Corps history.” This particular battle “was to bring a cannonading and bombing seldom experienced in warfare … twenty-eight tons of bombs and hundreds of the largest shells turned the crest of Vegas into a smoking, death-pocked rubble.” And Reckless was in the middle of all of it.

Enemy soldiers could see her as she made her way across the deadly “no man’s land” rice paddies and up the steep 45-degree mountain trails that led to the firing sites. “It’s difficult to describe the elation and the boost in morale that little white-faced mare gave Marines as she outfoxed the enemy bringing vitally needed ammunition up the mountain,” Sgt. Maj. James E. Bobbitt recalled.

During this five-day battle, on one day alone she made 51 trips from the Ammunition Supply Point to the firing sites, 95% of the time by herself. She carried 386 rounds of ammunition (over 9,000 pounds – almost FIVE TONS! — of ammunition), walked over 35 miles through open rice paddies and up steep mountains with enemy fire coming in at the rate of 500 rounds per minute. And as she so often did, she would carry wounded soldiers down the mountain to safety, unload them, get reloaded with ammo, and off she would go back up to the guns. She also provided a shield for several Marines who were trapped trying to make their way up to the front line. Wounded twice, she didn’t let that stop or slow her down.

What she did in this battle not only earned her the respect of all that served with her, but it got her promoted to Sergeant. Her heroics defined the word “Marine.” She was BELOVED by the Marines. They took care of her better than they took care of themselves – throwing their flak jackets over her to protect her when incoming was heavy, risking their own safety.

Her Military Decorations include two Purple Hearts, Good Conduct Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with star, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, and Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, all of which she wore proudly on her red and gold blanket, along with a French Fourragere that the 5th Marines earned in WW1.

There has never been a horse like Reckless, and her story deserves every honor and recognition she can receive.

She wasn’t a horse –

She was a Marine!

Get the book HERE!!

Reckless’ website!!

Thanks for reading and visit us soon!  Tim & Pam Farley

 

 

Racing The Black

… and now the rest of the story!

dad writing

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b&w Rearing web
Hi!
Thought you might like these questions and answers from some students in the Horse Tales Literacy Program.
www.HorseTales.org
Enjoy your Sunday Ride.
And stop at the Ranch on your way home:-}

Subject: 4th grade questions

Message Body:
Dear Mr. Farley,
My name is Mr. Dan Range and I co- teach 4th grade vocabulary with Mrs. Garcia
in the Gadsden Elementary school district. We are located in San Luis, Arizona.
During our class time for the last month Mrs. Garcia and I have been reading
your fathers book “The Black Stallion” to the students as a read aloud. We just
finished this morning and the students have some questions that they would like
to ask of you in regards to your father’s book.
1. How did your father develop the character of Alec. Was he based on people he
knew in school or was there a particular family member that resembled his
personality.
2. Is the “Black Stallion based on actual events”
3. What made you and you brother decide to continue your father’s legacy in
regards to writing and literacy?
The students enjoyed the story of the Black stallion, so much so that we are
going to show the movie on Friday. Thank you for your commitment to literacy and
for writing and preserving such great American literature. The students look
forward to hearing from you.
Sincerely,
Mr. Range and Mrs. Garcia
Arizona Deserts 4th grade class.

Dear Mr. Range, Mrs Garcia and students,
My dad started writing” the Black Stallion” on his parent’s kitchen table when he was only a bit older than your students, sixteen. He had never owned a pony or a horse but had the opportunity to work with his Uncle Bill at a farm in upstate NY. There was plenty of work and many tall tales about horses of all kinds from his uncle. One that was repeated often was about Uncle Bill’s experience in World War 1;
Bill served as a veterinarian in the Army Equestrian Corps, there were many horses used in battles at that time. If you have seen the movie “War Horse” it shows the pain and tragedy of that war, and Uncle Bill’s job was to keep the horses sound and fit.
One evening a cry went up that the base camp was being attacked and Bill jumped out of his tent to see a lone man on a huge black horse charging toward him, bomb in hand!! Bill knew that if the solider managed to throw the bomb many of his friends would die and he had to do something NOW. He raised his pistol and fired without hesitation. The shot killed the rider instantly, before he had a moment to react, and he and his bomb fell to the ground harmlessly. Uncle Bill had saved the camp, his friends and officers, he was a hero!
The Captain of the base was so impressed by Bill’s swift action he asked him what he wanted as a reward. Uncle Bill knew exactly what he wanted – that Huge Black Stallion!
From then on the German horse and Bill were inseparable – traveling all over Europe as war raged and, like Alexander The Great’s horse Bucephalus, he saved Uncle Bill’s life more than once. Finally the war finished and it was time to go home. Like thousands of other soldiers Bill made his way to France where he was to board a ship back to America. When he arrived he soon learned there was no room for his most important possession, his horse. He had to make a painful decision – his family or his stallion.
Bill found a farmer in a nearby town who would take his beautiful black stallion and with tears in his eyes he left Black with the farmer, promising to return soon.
It was years later before Bill could get the money to go back but that big horse was a treasure he wasn’t going to lose! His big stallion became the sire of many fine race horses for Uncle Bill, who treated him with love and care for the rest of his life.
This is the way the story was told to me.

I believe this family tale and Dad’s wish to be an adventurer created Alec Ramsay. Often as my father would run on the beach, he was a track runner in school, and I would wonder who he was – Alec or the Black? He seemed to be both of them at different times but his fascination with horses of all types and that special feeling of connection between human and animal was a constant. Dad didn’t want sad stories about horses, books like “Black Beauty” and later “King of the Wind”, he wanted exciting adventure and wild horses! The Black Stallion gave him the ability to meet people in all walks of life from jockeys and trainers to presidents, kings and movie stars. He was able to ride the Black Stallion around the world doing what he like best – having adventures and writing about horses.
You never know where your dreams might take you!

I grew up with my dad’s closest friend, the Black Stallion, and he was a real part of the family. Dad was able to own a few horses later in life but that special mystery horse was the BIG brother of the family. When I was just out of college I started working on the Black Stallion films as a photographer (attached pix). That was an fantastic adventure that took me from the race tracks of California to the Sahara desert in Africa. I worked with many exciting people and saw magic come to life – like the rainbow scenes at the end of the Black Stallion film.
We started our literacy program with family friend Mark Miller and Al-Marah Arabians. Mark was best friends with my sister Pam and she is the inspiration for the books “Black Stallion and the Girl” and “Black Stallion Legend”.
Mark had a wonderful horse theater, Arabian Nights, in Orlando, Florida and I always hoped we could do something together. Horse Tales started as a small idea that used my dad’s books and his horses to tell a story that made reading fun. It was hard at the beginning but after the first year we knew we couldn’t stop – too many teachers and students enjoyed the program. We’ve now had over a million students participate in ten states and three countries.

You can read more about my dad’s life; http://theblackstallion.com/web/author/
Don’t forget to join the forum – you never know who you might meet there; http://theblackstallion.com/web/mb/
We have contests and discussion about horses, writing, movies … all kinds of topics.
Join us on FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/alec.ramsay.96
Check up on the happenings at the Florida farm on FaceBook; https://www.facebook.com/almaraharabianhorses
And in Arizona; http://www.al-marah.com/
Thanks for writing … and reading!
Tim & Pamela Farley
www.theblackstallion.com
www.HorseTales.org

 

Goodbye Mr. Rooney :-{

carrollmickeyscript

 

atbs

MickeyHat

Mickey Rooney passed away yesterday, a sad loss to the entire entertainment world. Mickey started at two years old and was still making movies this year at 93! His legacy will endure as history has already shown. His performance as Henry Dailey, with Kelly Reno as Alec Ramsay, in Carroll Ballard’s classic “The Black Stallion” for MGM /UA brought an Oscar nomination for Mickey, many yeas after he was a an MGM contract actor. His work when he was the young heartthrob for the studio only  brought him a marriage to young Ava Gardner – every inch a classic at 5 foot three!

I had the pleasure and honor to ride to the set every day with Mickey and heard a lot of his wonderful stories as the miles swept by. Sometimes those rides were the highlight of my day … and that’s saying something as those were exciting days. To see him perform, a true entertainer, singer, dancer & actor was a treat not to be forgotten. He had boundless energy that shows in every frame of film.

After his work on “Black Stallion” in 1979 Mickey went on to Broadway with Ann Miller and “Sugar Babies”, a tribute to his song and dance Vaudeville roots. It was a hit running for over three years with rave reviews and awards.

In 1988 we had the pleasure to team up with Mr. Rooney again with the TV show “Adventures of the Black Stallion” for a three year series. Mickey continued his role as Henry Dailey with Richard Cox as Alec.

Here’s a great article on Mickey – good or bad boy – he was a REAL original;

Mickey Rooney Was the Last Old Hollywood Star Standing

He was an astonishing actor, a galvanized entertainer and a star who could never diminish his own glory (though he tried). He was Puck and Baby Face Nelson—only in America. But it is not enough to say that we have lost an actor, a vaudevillian, an artist, and a national treasure. It is the force that is gone, and the sense of that force as part of our history. We know what it is to admit that there is no one left alive who fought in the trenches of the Great War. Soon there will be no one left who existed in a Nazi concentration camp. So Mickey Rooney was the last male left alive who had been a true star and a phenomenon in the 1930s, when Hollywood believed it ran the show and had established the idea of some spunky, brilliant kids doing it. After all, the show was hardly a thing for which one could expect adult participation.

Joseph Yule Jr. was ninety-three at the end; he had been five-feet-two once; and there had been eight wives and nine children, many of whom may have tottered away from the experience in exhaustion and disbelief. He was not easygoing, and not restrained by reality or fact. In the late ’30s, when he was the number 3 champion at the box office (following Clark Gable and Shirley Temple), he let it be known that Mickey Mouse had been named after him. Walt Disney did not recall it that way, but why would anyone attend to his rather grim, clerical manner when the wide eyes and the wider imagination of the Mick were on offer? Years after the death of Judy Garland, Rooney looked back on their screen association. He said their love affair—which had never been an affair—was intense beyond description. It meant, he said, in 1992, that Judy was not really or exactly or simply dead. She lived on in him. Such talk is easily taken as show business hyperbole, and by 1992 that had become an alien language. But the truth is that Mick meant it. He believed. Stranger  things had happened—notably the way he was Andy Hardy in fourteen films at MGM, as well as Judy’s partner in films where the couple put on a show, climaxing in Babes in Arms, which was one of the biggest box-office hits of 1939, even bigger than The Wizard of Oz.

Mickey Rooney

Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Mickey Rooney and Ava Gardner in 1942.

The story of how MGM and its father figure, Louis B. Mayer, tried to keep Mickey and Judy kids forever and out of trouble would make an astonishing movie. There is only one drawback to the plan: No one now can match or understand the ferocious acting-out dynamic of all three parties. Mayer may have hoped that the vast sexual energy in both kids might be married off, but Mickey became a serial marrier. He started with Ava Gardner, who was nowhere near a star yet and was four inches taller than he was. He moved on to Martha Vickers, who is Carmen Sternwood in The Big Sleep, the nymph who tries to sit down in Bogart’s lap while he’s still standing up. The mere idea of Mickey and Martha together (1949-52) tends to eclipse the nuclear testing that was so popular at that time. I know, that’s excessive and vulgar, but we are talking about Mickey Rooney.

Anyone would have anticipated that the Mick would burn out. By about 1950, the generation of child stars he had grown up with were looking for careers in stockbroking and settled marriages. Judy was cracking up, but Shirley Temple, Freddie Bartholomew, Deanna Durbin and Jackie Cooper were all facing up to reality. Rooney went broke—god knows what happened to his money. He should have subsided, or come to a bad end. He never stopped. Only a few years ago, I was driving in rural Oregon and came to a settlement, with a casino and dinner theatre, and there he was doing one of his shows.

That view of his undying thunderstorm could be amused and patronizing, so let me just say to those who hardly knew him and who lack the time to track down everything he did—he has 340 credits on IMDb—try these (going back in time):

Mickey Rooney

Express Newspapers/Getty Images
Rooney in 1971.

Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion is a film that never fails with audiences. One reason why is that after the lyrical stuff on the island with the horse and the boy, the story moves on to horse-racing where Mick is the trainer who teaches the boy to be a jockey on the Black for the big race. It is one of the finest tributes to education in American cinema.

In 1957, for the big screen, he was the lead in Don Siegel’s Baby Face Nelson—brilliant, hilarious, demonic; and in the same year, on the small screen, directed by John Frankenheimer from a Rod Serling script, he did The Comedian for Playhouse 90—monstrous, inspired, terrifying.

Last, let it be first. In the Max Reinhart film of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, made at Warner Brothers in 1936, he was Puck. Many years ago, an English critic said of that performance, “Rooney seems inhuman, he moves like mist or water, his body is burnished by the extraordinary light, and his gurgling laugh is ghostly and enchanting.” Let that stand.

One co-star in the Dream was Olivia de Havilland, and she is still alive and (I hope) very well (she is the last female star from that era). I’m not sure if they met during the filming, but it’s pretty and tempting to picture the two of them together—Mickey sixteen, Olivia nineteen—with her offering him advice to calm down, behave and think of his career, while knowing that he was not going to do one damn thing she told him.

We’ll all miss you Mr. Rooney – but we’ll see you at the movies.
Tim, Kelly, Carroll, Doug, Caleb, Fred, Tom …  and all your Black Stallion friends!

Own your own Black Stallion!

Arabian Nights sale today!

Sixteen horses that were regular performers in the now-closed Arabian Nights dinner show will go on sale Saturday.

Arabian Nights closed Dec. 31 after 25 years of operation in Kissimmee. It had 36 horses in its stable at that point.

Al-Marah Arabians, parent company of Arabian Nights, will hold Saturday’s sale on an 80-acre farm in Clermont.  Breeds available include Al-Marah Arabians, Percherons, Appaloosas, Saddlebreds, Belgians, Irish Sport Horses and Quarter Horses. All horses are broke to ride, the company says.

The full list of horses and prices will be available online Saturday morning at al-marah.com. Buyers will be able to see the horses at the farm and discuss them with Al-Marah Arabians staff, including owner Mark Miller and head trainer Kassie Barteau.

Prices will range from $2,500 to $20,000.

Al-Marah Arabians is located at 11105 Autumn Lane, Clermont, and will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

We recommend coming to the farm to see the horses before bringing a trailer, & that all new buyers schedule a vet exam on the horse being purchased before it’s taken to its new home. The farm will be open Saturday March first from 9am-4pm.
Come see our babies!!
Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction – Orlando, Florida
Al-Marah Arabian Horses
Sales List
Arabian Nights Horses
For Sale, Saturday March 1st

Trained Horses

Brooks and Dunn $6,000 each. $10,00 for the pair.
12-year-old Appaloosa geldings.
These are two of the most versatile horses from the Arabian Nights show. They were a square dance pair, did trick riding, roman teams and were chariot horses. They are strong, sensible, durable and fun. Great for someone who wants to do exhibitions. They like each other and we’d love to sell them as a team.

Al-Marah Jagai $7,500
10/2/02 Grey Arabian Gelding
This is a son of AM Ben Dream+ out of the AM Sea Captain++ daughter DWFS Imajica. He is a good athlete and very versatile. His sire was a winner in both Arabian main ring halter and Western Pleasure. He could easily compete successfully in a variety of different events, and Sport Horse Under Saddle or Dressage would be natural directions for him if he were kept in our barn.

Al-Marah Officer $7,500
2/19/05 Grey Arabian Gelding
Al-Marah Officer is by National Champion Al-Marah Power Raid+++/, who is also the sire of Al-Marah Chance Command++++//, the current Arabian National Champion in 2nd Level Dressage and 2014 Scottsdale winner at both 3rd & 4th Level. Officer is a good minded horse who has very good athletic potential and lots and lots of miles under his girth. Appropriate for any level of rider.

AM Handsome NGood $7,500
1/28/02 Bay Arabian Gelding
Big, strong Opollo son with lots of athletic ability. He has national talent. Handsome NGood was originally trained at Arabian Nights but subsequently sold to be an endurance horse because of his great forward energy. His buyer never really got started so he was reacquired by Arabian Nights. He is best for a more experienced rider, but has great potential in many areas, including Dressage and Sport Horse Under Saddle. A good chance to buy a horse with great potential to compete at any level.

Nuncho Primero Whiz (AKA Rocky) $7,500
1/4/04 Palomino Quarter Horse Gelding
Rocky was a mainstay or our Native American Tribute at Arabian Nights, and so has a lot of practice time as a reining horse in very busy conditions. He has performed beautifully in black lights with strobes, smoke and fog. He is solid and in the process of changing from a performing horse to a competition horse. He is also a beautiful golden Palomino.

Al-Marah Amazing Ray $10,000
6/13/2007 Chestnut Arabian Gelding
This is definitely one of the trainers’ and senior riders’ favorites at Arabian Nights. He is very athletic, beautiful and charismatic. He’s also a real “people” horse with lots of personality. He could compete in almost anything from reining to Dressage to Hunters. His primary job at Arabian Nights was as a versatile horse in the larger drills, but he’s young and ready for a new career where I’m confident he will shine.

Dark Storm SA $10,000
4/4/97 Black Arabian Stallion
This is a real opportunity to buy one of the horses that played The Black Stallion at Arabian Nights. He is pretty, charismatic and beautifully trained. He is also 100% sound. We do recommend an experienced horseperson for Storm because of his extensive training. He was ridden thousands of times in the Arabian Nights show, bareback with no bridle at a full gallop by a Princess in satin pants. He could still compete, or would be ready to just have fun at home or in exhibitions.

PL Luckys Queen $15,000
5/7/02 Grey ½ Arabian ½ Irish Draft Mare
Lucky was one of our most versatile horses in the show. She could perform in any drill, and eventually became the horse that played the unicorn when the real unicorn didn’t come in from the enchanted forest behind Arabian Nights for the show.
In addition to being well trained as a drill horse, she performed well in the 8-man dressage drill, can bow, kneel, lie down and can be ridden bareback without reins. Very solid, big mare who would be a great show horse.

AM Mozarts Moon $15,000
7/8/1999 Grey Arabian Gelding
This is a true “Bazy” horse. His sire, Al-Marah Seagfried+// was one of Mother’s favorite horses and certainly one of the two best AM Sea Captain++ sons. AM Seagfried+// is out of AM Money Tree who has Mother’s personal riding horse. AM Mozarts Moon is out of Al-Marah Honeymoon who went into the broodmare band as a three year old. He is very, very reliable and an extremely strong and stout athlete. Ideal for a beginner and would be good in many different disciplines.

Payback Top Brass $15,000
5/5/02 Chestnut Arabian Gelding
This is a SHOW HORSE. He is a beautiful chestnut with four high white socks (actually four high white stockings!) and a beautiful way of going. He is super broke and ready to rock in the show ring. He’s beautiful by himself, but will definitely stand out in any crowd in a crowded show ring. Lots of fun… unlimited potential.

AM Silver DreamLA $20,000
5/25/04 Grey Arabian Gelding
The Crown Jewel of the Arabian Nights horses, this son of SDA Silver Legend (who was exported to Australia after being purchased from Al-Marah) goes back to Al-Marah Iron Lady, one of the Arabian breed’s most important mares. His half brother, Al-Marah Silver Charm, was Top 10 Sport Horse Under Saddle at the 2013 Sport Horse Nationals, and Training Level Sweepstakes Champion and Reserve Champion Sport Horse Under Saddle at Scottsdale in 2014. “LA” was next in line to be a Prince Horse at Arabian Nights and has many “extras” including rear, laydown, bow, march and piaffe. This guy is ready to take someone to the top in the Dressage/Sport Horse Under Saddle division of Arabian Class A showing.

Green Horses

RS Shift Work+ $2,500
2/15/08 Grey Anglo Arabian Gelding (3/4 Arabian)
RS Shift Work+ is a big, green gelding who would be an excellent jumper. Could also be good for Sport Horse or Dressage. Pretty Green and needs an experienced rider.

Sonny $3,000
11-year-old Percheron gelding
Sonny has been in the Circus Bareback act for many years. He is big and has a lot of lift. Good for professional or he would be a great back yard pet.

Regency Royal $3,000
5-year-old Belgian gelding
This is probably the prettiest draft horse I have ever seen. He was started for a Big and Little act, then switched over to training for an acrobatic horse. Young, big & strong with a good mind. He is charismatic and would be a great exhibition show horse.