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Alvarez Race Horse

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Manuell Alvarez

Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:08 pm    Post subject: Alvarez Race Horse Reply with quote

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Manuell Alvarez

Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:52 pm    Post subject: Up and Away Reply with quote

By Manuell Alvarez
October 26, 2008

I find it very hard to write this story because this horse led to my father’s demise in 1975. Up and Away was bought on what Dad referred to as on the cuff. Essentially, the owners would agree in writing to lease the horse/s to another person and that the purchased price would be subtracted from any winnings the horse might have. I am not sure exactly how it worked with Up and Away since the horse had leg defects that could not be cured even by Dad. At my insistence, Dad had its legs x-rayed. There were long bone spurs growing from the ankle bone structure. Up and Away was unfit to race, however, rather than give this horse back to the owners, Dad somehow managed to keep the horse outright. This horse had some good breeding so Dad decided to have Up and Away bred because of its good lineage and it was his desire and dream to own a West Virginia bred horse.
A year before the breeding took place by local breeders in Jefferson County, Dad’s exercise rider did not did not show up and at the age of 72, he got up on this horse and proceeded to gallop it himself. According to an eye witness, he made it around ok the first time; however, the second time around, Up and Away threw him off and he struck his head on a rail post. He had a knot on his head. He refused and avoided medical treatment. Later our sister would implore Dad to go to a doctor to which he replied, “I have been to see Dr. Warden”.
Suspecting that he had not been, our sister called Dr. Warden and he told her that he had not seen Albert for fifteen years which had been the last time he painted his office. Dad was among other things was a painter and plasterer who trained in New York City and worked at that craft sporadically to earn extra money for our family.
Dad did not feel that he should go to the doctor. He believed that what was good for horses was good enough for him. He refused medical treatment. This sentiment killed Dad; although, I am not sure that medical science could have prevented and cured the blood clot that formed in his head and killed him in 1975.
During the fall of 1975, Up and Away gave birth to a colt, died at birth, and due to the lack of a mare to nurse, the colt died like its mother. In December, 1975, Daddy did not show up to take care of his horse and sensing something was wrong a trainer stabled next to him went looking for Daddy and took him to the hospital and a week later on December 23, 1975, Dad passed away with a stroke caused by a blood clot on the brain. The knot on his head was gone but so was he.
Our sister took care of Dad’s estate, he had another horse he was fooling with and she sold it to a friend and trainer that Daddy sometimes horse traded with. Up and Away proved to be the worst investment our father ever made because it cost him his life.
During the night of his wake, rain turned to sleet and freezing rain. The next morning, all the trees were glazed over with ice. It was a winter wonderland highlighted by the sun. As we pulled away from the cemetery, and started up the hill, all the ice fell from the trees all at the same time in one spectacular show of God’s beautiful glory. Dad would have liked that dramatic finish because it was specular. He liked watching horse racing with me and would conclude that horse racing was just a race to watch unless you had something riding on it, then it was really a horse race. His philosophy of life was that things were not always for the best, nor were they for the worst. I am still trying to make sense out of his demise by the very thing that he loved doing.
During Dad’s coma, a day before he died, he talked about having to take two horses to the post.
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Site Admin

Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4515
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2021 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that beautiful, if disturbing story of your father, Manny. It sounds like your father was a very independent, proud man. He'd be proud of you, too!
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Manuell Alvarez

Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 243

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Art. I miss my parents very much.
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