Dedicated to Paul Nicholls, Clifford Baker, Rose Loxton, Ruby Walsh, Clive Smith and all those who loved Kauto Star.
The thing about losing a legend is that you can’t.
And the other thing is that words fall far short of the mark, because the loss is as organic as the horse himself.
It’s about the scent of him, the feel of him, the wordless way he talks to you.
It’s about the courage that beats in a great heart, the goofiness when he plays with you, the powerful, undulating motion on a morning gallop in Somerset.
It’s about the hope in your heart as he enters the fray still again and the joy that bubbles up in the solar plexus, even as your throat tightens with wonderment and emotion.
And it’s about the interspecies love affair between the people and their great horse.
In the folklore of the British Isles in times so ancient that even the Romans had yet to arrive, the horse was given its own goddess, Epona, or Rhiannon.
As the scarce recounts of Epona tell, she was accompanied by three birds from the Otherworld, who held the power to restore the dead to life and to heal sadness and pain.
Most importantly, Epona held the power to leap from this world into the “Otherworld,” often carrying the souls of the departed, as well as heroes, heroines and mystics on her broad back. The mighty Horse Goddess travelled between the worlds of life and death, reminding all that the gap between was both chasm and veil.
So great was her power that she was inducted by the Romans into their pantheon of gods, the only British mythical figure to be so honoured. In Rome, Epona was associated with sovereignty, with that divine essence that separates those chosen to lead from the rest of humanity.
Together with re-memorying all of Kauto Star’s greatest triumphs, there will always be a lasting image: while galloping in his paddock, Kauto suddenly took a leap between the worlds, carrying us with him.
Our turn, today, to bring him home.
1) Tribute by Alistair Down:
2) Paul Nicholls’ remembers the champion he loved:
3) Ruby Walsh on Kauto Star:
4) Features Danielle Baker, daughter of Clifford, who interviews those closest to Kauto after his retirement:
5) Tribute from British teenager, Aanisah Chaudry, shortly after learning of Kauto’s passing. Just beautiful:
NOTE: THE VAULT is a non-profit website. (Any advertising that appears on THE VAULT is placed there by WordPress and the profit, if any, goes to WordPress.) We make every effort to honour copyright for the photographs used in our articles. It is not our policy to use the property of any photographer without his/her permission, although the task of sourcing photographs is hugely compromised by the social media, where many photographs prove impossible to trace. Please do not hesitate to contact THE VAULT regarding any copyright concerns. Thank you.