Yes, Fuzzy Punch has one of the cutest names ever! It suits him well and you sure can come up with a lot of nicknames. So far he is known as Fuzzy, Fuzzman, The Fuzz, and Gwen the farrier morphed that one into The Fonz (from the TV show “Happy Days”). I’m sure we’ll come up with many more but we haven’t had a lot of time with him yet. Our conversations about and with Fuzzy Punch go something along these lines:
“Fuzzman is ready to eat.”
“I’m going to put The Fuzz out in the paddock.”
“Fuzzy is hanging out with The Don (the rooster)”
“I’m going to hang out with Fuzzy Punch.”
How can you not smile as you say these routine things?
Fuzzy Punch hanging out at the Germantown Charity Horse Show (Germantown, TN)
Fuzzy is a 19 year old thoroughbred, and he is also a tall guy checking in at 17.3 hands. Fuzzy and his mom met eat other in 1995 when he was four years old. Fuzzy’s previous owners sold him to the owner of the barn where she road after his racing career did not take off as hoped. Fuzzy was started in the hunters with her trainer ultimately hoping he would have a career in the jumper ring. Fuzzy was a gentle giant, definitely not the stereotype of the hot thoroughbred off the track, so the trainer allowed his mom to ride and school him some for her.
His mom had recently outgrown her horse and was looking for a new partner to move up to the Children’s Hunters with. She and Fuzzy clicked right away when she started riding him for her trainer. A few months after she had been riding him her Dad came to the barn and saw her riding the handsome gelding that she had been talking so much about. Her Dad became as smitten with Fuzzy as she was and Fuzzy soon became a family member.
Fuzzy says “why is there a teeter totter in here?” Because two fainting goats like to play on it Fuzzy.
They started off showing on the local Alabama circuit in the 2’6″ classes while Fuzzy learned the ropes, and soon they moved up to the A shows and the 3′ division. She showed Fuzzy in the Children’s Hunters, and then when she aged out of the juniors in the Adult Hunters.
At their first A show together at Brownland Farm (Franklin, TN), she and Fuzzy were both really exhausted by their last class on the last day. Their last line of the show was an in and out, and Fuzzy was tired and his mom said she had no leg left. Somehow 17.3 hand Fuzzy managed to add a stride, he came to a near halt and then they crashed through the last fence. She said everyone around the ring went completely silent until they realized that she and Fuzzy were perfectly ok. And that was when she learned that no matter what happened, Fuzzy would always get her safely to the other side of the fence. And he always did.
Another funny Fuzzy story happened when they were showing a few years later at the International Horse Park in Conyers, Georgia. Fuzzy’s owner and her mom had been ringside cheering on some other riders from their barn, and when they returned to Fuzzy’s stall they were greeted with horrible screaming noises and Fuzzy making a racket. Somehow all the other horses on his row had ended up being gone either showing, getting groomed, etc. and he was the only one left. Fuzzy did not take this well. Apparently he did so much damage to his stall the horse park made them replace the stall. So somewhere in Conyers there is a stall with Fuzzy’s name on it!
Fuzzy is a true family member as he also took his mom’s sister-in-law from the long stirrup division to the 3′ ring. She said her trainer described Fuzzy as making you learn how to ride with “all 4 corners,” meaning both legs and both hands all the time. I asked his mom how she would sum up with Fuzzy and this is what she told me:
“Fuzzy is one of the good ones that turns lucky people like me and my sister-in-law into avid horse lovers. He is the kind of horse that you compare every horse you ride to him for the rest of your life. That’s why I could never sell him and had to make sure he had the best life possible because he contributed so much to my happiness.”
What a wonderful horse!
Fuzzy and Bella the dog hanging out and enjoying some down time