Living With A Fox

PART 1 -The story of Lauralee Foxy Man
Preamble: I never imagined that I would soon be writing an obituary with this story, but sadly I fear this may be true. The old patriot of the Morgan world has suffered a debilitating illness that has robbed him of his balance and cat-like maneuvers. Rather than put the grand old man through any more suffering and possible serious injury, I have had to come to terms with the inevitable. For now, we hope to give him one last summer. After twenty-five years of companionship, and I say that with all reverence, how does one ever have the courage to say goodbye. For a quarter of a century, Foxy has owned me; not the other way around. Foxy and I have been through so much together that it defies all logistics of such a final farewell. But in my heart, I know I must. Perhaps writing his life story on these next few pages will ease the burden I must face one day soon. I can only scarcely summarize our times together, for to tell it all would take volumes. But for the record, here is Foxyís abridged story, as glorious a celebration of life as I can tell.

The Beginning
Lauralee Foxy Man was the first Morgan I had ever owned. He had become the realization of a dream and aspiration I had as a child to own one of his kind after reading about them in an all breeds book. I loved all horses that had a mane and tail, even those without tails and I still do. But there was something extraordinary, even magical about the Morgan that still sets my heart aglow. Everything about the breed appealed to me as I turned the dog-eared pages of the library book, even though I had never seen one in the flesh. However, I kept the mental image of the Morgan tucked away dormant for years until I met Foxy. Today, he represents the Trillium Morgan Horse Farm as its founding sire. He is responsible for the farmís existence and outward success spanning 25 years. Many of his kids, grand kids and great grand kids live at the farm today. Foxy has given many others a pure sense of devotion to the Morgan breed, through his deeds and example.

It all began when I saw a sign from the highway that read "Morgan Horses". I was curious and eager to visit the farm, remembering that book of long ago. I was surprised that the horses were so small. I had been used to 16 hand horses or better, so when the 14 hand plus or minus Morgan was shown to me, I hate to admit that I was a little disappointed. Itís amazing how oneís impression can change. But as Morgans do so well, it was the personality and grandiose stance that won me over, especially that of the stallion, Cordon Marksman, a son of Bro-Rock March On by Vigilmarch. He was literally bigger than life and never thought of himself as anything less, yet gentle and kind. Other factors I assessed were the conformation of symmetry and strength. Everything fit well in this nice tidy package. It was apparent that my initial faith in this breed was now reborn and it would be a Morgan that I would have at long last.

On a second visit to the breeder, I was shown the mares that were then in foal. It was at that time that I decidedto choose my future Morgan before it was even born. The sire and dam I had selected were Skipper Boy and the maiden mare Lauralee Delia Rose, a daughter of Cordon Marksman, who would later come to live with us for a spell in her later life. This was to be Deliaís very first foal. The sire had recently been acclaimed the Ontario High Point Champion and was a sweetheart to handle and very pleasing to behold. Now the waiting game began in earnest.

In the wee early morning hours when daybreak was rising, a spunky colt squirmed his way into the world and immediately made his presence known. His bright red coat glistening from its embryonic bath, quickly dried and repelled the moisture. A tiny star fixed in the centre of his forehead would become a trademark for future generations. The breeder had already decided on a name for the little fellow when the phone call was made to inform me of the birth.

It didnít matter to me the sex of the foal, as long as it was healthy. I can still remember, as clearly as if I was there at that very moment, when I first peaked into the stall and saw my perfect miniature Justin Morgan and knew that I would see ownership on paper within weeks.

The breeder asked me how I liked the name she had chosen for the colt, a combination of names from his pedigree Ė Foxy for Foxfire and Man for Cordon Marksman. Little did she know how foxy the "Foxy" would be in later life. So at two weeks old, the deal had been made and Foxy would come to live with me upon weaning. His future as a stallion would not be determined until his late yearling year.