Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Myriad Punchinello, aka Punk.

 When Sarah asked me to do a portrait of her very wonderful Punk, I wasn't expecting to see such amazing markings, nor had I anticipated quite how difficult they'd be to get right! I'm always delighted to to do horses that have such individual markings, as the finished piece is (if I get it right!) unmistakably 'them'. The downside is that halfway through, I become cross-eyed at making sure every spot and dot and change of colour is in the right place. (The photo of the piece isn't good, as I still hadn't got my camera, so it's a phone photo)
Punk (or Myriad Punchinello, to give him his full title) has an interesting past. He's out of a TB mare, by the gypsy Appaloosa Stallion, Skywalker. Bred at a small private stud - the Myriad Stud, he was sold as a foal to a young girl as a pet. She kept him as a colt and he became too much to handle once fully grown - there are rumours he may have some illicit offspring! 😳😳😳 
He was luckily bought by Jane Wilson, gelded, and sent away to be professionally broken. He impressed the various trainers who progressed his training, in both SJ and dressage, and during his time with Jane was National Appaloosa Champion 3 times running. 
Sarah then bought Punk as a rising 9 yr old who had done no real eventing. Her daughter Vanessa was then 14 and took him from Pre Novice (back in the day when eventing started at that level)) through to Weston Park JRN champs - the last long format 3-day - where he was double clear and team 3rd.
Punk unfortunately picked up an injury the next season and was off for 18 months. Then Suz, the next daughter in line, evented him, qualifying both for Weston and PC open champs. She took Punk to PC champs and came 3rd and the pair won the Urky Newton scholarship for the best x-c round.
The next bit is a direct quote from Sarah, because it puts the horse into words better than I can! 
"I also did bits of competing on him over the years. Such an amazingly talented horse who was so light in the mouth and 'off the leg' it was such fun to ride him. In more professional hands he would have gone to the to the top (as Ian Stark, David Gatherer and others who sat on him would testify) but I like to think he had a wonderful happy life with us from 8 yrs to 24 years. 
Such a character too - not so much into cuddles but always friendly and cheerful, and up for anything! Latterly he was a great companion horse, but also helped me to get fit to ride out 5 hrs a day in Botswana - he was so happy to be hacked out again for a few months while I got my muscles into shape!! Sorry this is so long - but a horse of a lifetime he really was - and we all miss him so much."
As ever, I feel very privileged to be given the responsibility for portraying a horse of a lifetime, and I'm thankful I met him as he heartbreakingly went to the pastures in the sky last year.  
Wouldn't it be lovely if every horse was so cherished?

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