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Some horses have such a strong spirit and are so confident. Faria Loa "Cricket" (see pedigree) was one of those horses. She was foaled March 21, 1975. Her sire was the beautiful Abu Farwa son, Farlowa, and her dam was our double Abu Farwa bred mare, Flamoniatar. Other than having much less "chrome" (white markings) than we expected, Cricket was everything we had hoped for from this cross.
After the initial warm-up period that Flame seemed to require, being a first time mother and all, the first few months of Cricket's life went very smoothly. However, on the afternoon of October 2 Cricket suffered a compound commuted fracture of her left foreleg (cannon.) I had seen her just moments before it occurred and could hardly believe the person who raced to tell me that something was drastically wrong with her. Our local veterinarian arrived within an hour but Cricket was already going into shock. After stabilizing her and wrapping and splinting her leg several of us picked her up and laid her in the back of our two-horse trailer where I rode with her to keep her quiet and prone. She was taken to Chino Valley Equine Hospital where Dr. Robert Baker set the fractured leg with a steel plate and screws. In the wee hours of October 3 we watched as Cricket came to after surgery in the rubber-covered recovery stall. She remained at the hospital for about a week and upon her return home she had to be stalled away from all of her pasture mates.
The best way for Cricket to be exercised was to be hand walked. The tall cast did not stop her from feeling her age (7 months.) She would grunt, toss her head, and rear while I was walking her. We were so thrilled to have her showing such enthusiasm, we let her perform all the shenanigans she could muster. She continued to thrive and seemed to enjoy all of the special attention, grooming and walks. However, on October 29, the day before she was to return for her first check-up, she managed to roll over and get herself stuck against the wall in her stall. Even though I was there within minutes she managed to fracture her radius immediately above the cast. We hauled her back to the veterinary hospital where Dr. Baker implanted a battery and wires running to the fracture (to stimulate bone repair) and had a welder make a metal arc to keep her left foreleg completely off the ground. Cricket had been on a restricted protein diet of oat hay following the first surgery and this continued as she recuperated from the second fracture. She remained at the hospital for several months, and was finally able to come home in March 1976. Fortunately, we had been able to visit her many times at the hospital, as it was less than 2 hours from home.
Because she had to support all her front-end weight on her right foreleg, her right knee calcified under the stress. It became quite large (about grapefruit size) and through the years that leg was the weaker of the two and would be the cause of great concern.
In April 1978 we took Cricket to Santa Ynez to be bred to Khemosabi. Normally we would not have bred a three year old, but considered her age a positive in relation to her traumatized front legs. She settled right away and we brought her home in June. During this time my grandmother, Rose Kennedy, became quite ill. She passed away in November before Cricket foaled Grandmother's first 2nd generation foal.
Khelauea (pronounced key-luh-WAY-uh) AHR# 185777 was foaled April 30, 1979 in our backyard. Pereira Arabians acquired him as a suckling, and I returned Cricket to Santa Ynez to be rebred to Khemo. Khelauea was very personable and sought attention from me, which caused some conflict with his dam, as she was used to being the center of attention. She may have been "spoiled" but she turned out to be a patient and playful mother.
The Pereira's sold Khelauea in 1980 at The Pereira/Haifa Sale. His buyer was Chuck Ruhr in Minnesota. From there he was sold to Carol Donagin and Brenda Grant, then to Wayne Grooters, then to Crawford Enterprise, then Stonehenge Arabians, and finally to Mardale Burg in Sullivan, Wisconsin. He had been shown to Class A Championships in halter, western pleasure and native costume. After Mardale purchased him, he was shown to additional championships in Country English Pleasure. He sired 24 registered purebred foals, the last in 1991. One of those was Khelly, a multiple halter and performance champion. His last recorded owners were, Allen and Carol Perkins in Wisconsin, who had him competing in dressage. Although he had many owners he started his life loved by me.
Khueen (named for the rock band) AHR# 205227 was foaled June 11, 1980 and was to be my "keeper." She was lovely, sweet, and had excellent breeding. Her newborn exam showed her to be healthy. She received the recommended vaccinations and de-wormings. Her blood work and fecals had always been normal. When her healthy appearance changed so radically (rough coat and bloated belly) after weaning I was perplexed. In December she colicked the first time. I pleaded with my vet to find out what was causing Khueen's problems. The next month she had a high grade bacterial infection and then had to deal with the resulting anemia. With aggressive treatment her physical appearance started to improve, but she continued to have bouts of gastritis/colic. In May 1981 I took her to U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine where a battery of tests were run. The fecal sample done there was the first to show positive for parasites (strongyles). The vet recommended deworming Khueen with thiabendazole at 10 times the normal dose for two days. If no improvement was noticed in 6 weeks I was to repeat that treatment. On July 8, 1981 she colicked again, but this time she was not responding to treatment. After many hours and several visits from the vet, Khueen was euthanized at 11:00 p.m. I still cannot understand why this happened to my baby. She was only 13 months old! She is buried on the farm where I worked under a giant oak tree. After all of these years I only have a folder full of paper and a fading memory of her short life.
It was a difficult decision, but ultimately I decided to let Cricket remain in Texas to be sold. If my situation had been different, I would have brought Cricket home after Khueen's death. Bob and Cheryl McCally purchased Cricket in July 1981, and she foaled Khemo Klassic AHR# 230488 on July 16. He was a flashy black bay with a connected star, strip, snip, and four stockings.
In September 1981 I visited Lasma West in Santa Ynez where Cricket was being bred back to Khemo++++. I went there specifically to see her. When I called out to her, she raised her head and whinnied at me! I got so choked up I broke down in tears. After entering her paddock she followed me everywhere and gently nudged me for attention (just like the old days.) To say that she made it difficult for me to pet her colt is an understatement. She wanted me all to herself. I spent quite awhile with them, and it was really tough to say my final good-byes. That was the last time I saw Cricket.
Cheryl showed Khemo Klassic to wins in halter before selling him to Dr. M. A. Aboussie, Jr., and in 1986 he was sold to Marylyn and Gene Asher in Ohio.
Cricket's fourth foal, MC Foxy Lady AHR# 257370, was foaled August 20, 1982. Bob and Cheryl McCally owned her for several years before selling her to Larry & Penny Nace. She was shown and placed in halter and Western Pleasure Amateur Owner classes and had three registered purebred foals. Tragically, she died at 9 years of age on July 17, 1993.
Cricket was then bred to the McCally's stallion, Sir Gazon, an inbred Gazon son. On February 23, 1984 she foaled a bay colt, Sirtainly, who was later gelded.
In 1984 Bob and Cheryl sold Cricket to John & Kim McGrath in Oklahoma. Kim and I wrote back and forth for several years and even spoke on the phone a couple of times. They bred Cricket to the Spanish stallion, *Nilo, and the result was a chestnut colt, Abu Shariik AHR# 361486, foaled April 25, 1985. The next year she produced a bay mare, El Tayara, AHR# 358256, by a stallion named EE Aeri. Cricket's last registered purebred foal was a bay mare by her own son, Abu Shariik, named Farliita who was foaled March 30, 1990.
Throughout her life Cricket's right front hoof required vigilant attention. Her right leg bowed out below the knee and that caused the outside of her hoof to wear down. Kim told me that she had that hoof shod to help prevent such wear, but after being kicked and suffering tendon damage, Cricket's quality of life started to suffer. I can't remember the details, but Kim informed me that she had Cricket euthanized because she could no longer support herself. I believe this was in 1991. Many years have passed but I have very vivid memories of the way she looked, moved, and sounded. At the time I could not think of a way to keep Cricket, but I will probably always wonder how different things would have been had we stayed together.