“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Ranch Manager

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Two of the good ones, Silent Cash Dasher and Gary Earp.

Every once in a while I read something that really has an impact on me. Sometimes this is something annoying. Sometimes it’s something tragic. This time it’s an article about a horse and a man I wish I could meet. I am not sure where to “put” this column, featured articles, someone you should know, Monday opinion column, or……. So I think I will file it under “how cool is that?” And let you decide.
The timing couldn't be better. The racing industry and the AQHA have both been under a lot of fire in the disposable horse debate.
I read about Gary Earp, a retired heavy equipment operator and Silent Cash Dasher in America’s Horse. I started writing this and trying to find a photo to post. I typed Silent Cash Dasher into the search engines. Seems the betting, racing, and even general sports Internet have all noticed them. I wanted the picture because it looks to me like this horse could have been useful in many events had he not loved being a racehorse.
I have a feeling Gary Earp and Silent Cash Dasher don’t give much thought to proving a point, timing, or anything other than doing what they do. They have been doing it since 1997. Silent Cash Dasher is a 16-year-old gelding still racing sound in Oklahoma after 12 years of campaigning. His owner Gary Earp trains him right there on his farm. He tried to retire him when he was ten but the horse moped around the pasture until Gary decided to bring him back to the track as a pony horse. Silent Cash Dasher didn’t like that either. Statistics say he is the oldest Quarter Horse to ever start on a pari-mutuel track in the U.S. Last year, at 15, he was the oldest quarter horse to win a race. He actually won three. Statistically the old horse has had 83 starts, 18 wins, 11 seconds, and 11 thirds to earn $160,255.
“Bubby’s as nice a horse as you’ll ever fool with. He’s got a good disposition; your grandkids could fool with him. The older he gets the better he runs. He acts like a 4 year old, playin’ and broncin’ around. He’s never had nothing done to him, never bled, never operated on. I think that’s because we didn’t start him too early. We didn’t start him until he was 4 years old,” that’s how his owner describes his horse in the interview quoted in the article. He also says he will never run him for a tag (claiming race).
The horse is a nice horse, not a run-away winner that set the racing world on fire, but a nice honest hard working racehorse whom keeps paying his way. Allowance and grade 3 stakes races or as his owner puts it “he run out $160,000 and he’s done it the hard way”. This horse/owner combination is a perfect example of the good horses/good people you can’t pass laws to produce.
We don’t hear about these individuals often enough. We seem to live in a culture of extremes. We read about cloning Royal Blue Boon and Scamper. We are lectured morally by “Friends of Barboro”. The couching staff rings their hands and debates on whether Eight Belles jockey could have saved her. We speculate on if there will be a Triple Crown Winner. We rush to buy sons and daughters of world champions for more than Silent Cash Dasher has earned in his lifetime. The only reason Gary Earp and Silent Cash Dasher are of any note to the public is the horse’s age. I think that dismisses how special being good at what you do and being consistent can really be. They were probably a pretty good team even when they were both eight years younger. It’s good to have them in the spotlight, whatever the reason.
How cool is that?



  1. horses and owners like these two are what we need to hear more of....the owners willing to do the right thing by the horse by not starting him out too young, and the horse rewarding the owner's good sense by doing the job he's bred to do happily and well. true, silent cash dasher may not reach barbaro's or eight belles' legendary status, but thanks to gary earp's horse sense and dedication, he's still racing.....very cool, indeed:)

  2. "true, silent cash dasher may not reach barbaro's or eight belles' legendary status, but thanks to gary earp's horse sense and dedication, he's still racing.....very cool, indeed:)"_______________________________________________________________________________________
    And really would Barboro or Eight Belles have "kept" their legendary status for long had their careers and lives not been cut short? I love that Gary and "Bubby" are in it for the long haul and that Gary made that wise choice years ago when his horse was a colt. Yep......VERY COOL!