Come hither... a magical horse beckons.
Gallant Bess, a.k.a. OT as he (yes, he) prefers to be called, has kicked up his hooves in a Rockette lineup of MGM beauties that conjure up five star All American envy.
He's snuggled with Elizabeth Taylor, and gone nose to nose with the nose in the know, Jimmy Durante.
Bess/OT is a gelding who has been dubbed "the horse with the human mind." He shared center stage with legendary movie stars and is the superstar of his own MGM short (The Horse With the Human Mind) co-starring his owner/trainer/confidante/miracle worker, Joe Atkinson.
How did Joe unravel Gallant Bass's real name? It came straight from the horse's hoof.
Joe asked his chestnut Mensa contender what his name was. His response? He hoofed out the letters OT.
Who's to argue with a horse that know over two hundred tricks?
While OT is still with us on the colossal or mini-know-it-all tech screens, he is buried in Okeechobee, Florida. OT lived the life.
One of my polo ponies, Pepper, is buried in Okeechobee. A tree of a different bloom bows beside him. Hurricanes dare not approach.
Perhaps OT and Pepper are trading tale to tale.
Gallant Bess was an MGM superstar with herds of human fans stampeding to get a glimpse, a hair or whinny.
OT entered my life in an epiphany meets serendipity introduction.
My mare, Diosa, who has whispered her own book, is boarded with Bill and Connie Atkinson, in the Southern California desert.
Bill Atkinson was raised with OT. His father, Joe Atkinson, trained OT, just for the fun of it. When it became translucently apparent, Joe realized that he didn't have an ordinary horse.
For that matter, Joe didn't have your average bull.
Joe's bull was the one balancing a cocktail on his head, while teeter tottering on a see saw.
That was the bull that Joe trained.
We might know the bull's name, but no one ever asked him for it.
Bill Atkinson is a former 7 goal polo player, who played polo in India with Maharajahs. When in America, Bill dunked baskets court-side with the Harlem Globe Trotters.
Bill's son, Joe works with raptor birds and has traveled to the Far East to train birds for a falcon festival. Just your extraordinary gene pool of Dr. Doolittle meets the horse whisperer.
It is always the "Year of the Horse.'" Great horse stories mystify and seduce us then rise into an animal gone Biblical fable.
Black Beauty revolutionized the novel, as Anna Sewell narrated the autobiography of Black Beauty in his own voice.
The underwater dancing hoof imprints of The Black Stallion defy the audience to withhold tears.
OT has danced the dance. He is a Hollywood star, a champion of good causes--he was elevator lifted to visit in children in a pediatric ward, and doesn't take nay for a neigh.
No Schwab's pharmacy stool for OT.
Lightning struck. It does that in Okeechobee.
Joe had a movie star of a horse.
Joe packed up Bess, loaded a pitchfork or so of hay, and wandered onto the movie set, of the MGM studio where they were making the movie Gallant Bess.
Followed by crazed guards who wanted to stop this unmasked and uninvited horse, OT was asked to pivot back out, when...one of the writers of the film saw OT and... yes, she fell in love. A star was born.
OT has a myriad of horse meets Hollywood tales he tells through Bill.
I have the honor to be writing OT's book/movie.
The carat of carrots. Publishers and producers, take note.
This is as good as it gets.