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Farewell to a Friend

HannahVentiUEEGPJanuary 23, 2014

"There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man"  -Winston Churchill

It was a crisp Friday afternoon in December.  That kind of chilly where the whole world seems fresh.  You could feel the cold on your cheeks, but the sun was shining and the wind was absent.  A recent dusting of snow had fallen adding a nice winter color to Quail Run.  The horses were happy to be out and about after being kept in due to the weather earlier in the week.  It was a beautiful winter day.

The Quail Run team had recently returned from a very successful horse show in St. Louis.  All who had competed at the show had an excellent week including several blue ribbons and some great rides in the Welcome Stake.  However, one pair shone above the rest that week.  Hannah DeLano and her mount Venti were having an excellent year.  The team had made significant progress throughout the season and had even competed in their first and second Grand Prixs! Both of which were excellent rides.  But, it was in the High Junior/Amateur Owner Classic held on Sunday of the 2nd week of the December Queenie Productions show where the pair hit a high note.  A beautiful ride secured the pair a win against some very tough competition and in addition solidified their qualification for the North American Young Riders Championship.  A very HannahVentiFlyingprestigious competition, and a serious goal for this horse and rider combination.  Hannah and Venti no doubt had a blast, and everyone that supported her couldn't be more proud!

After such an excellent week, both horse and rider were awarded a well deserved break.  While Hannah had to attend to some scholastic duties before winter break, Venti enjoyed a few days of eating, resting, and hanging out with his buddies.  On that beautiful winter day in December Venti could likely be heard squealing enthusiastically as he and his pasture mates were let outside into the cool morning air. 

As the day was winding down and the sun was setting lower in the sky, the horses were gathered and returned to their stalls.  But not Venti.  A terrible accident had forced him to stay.  This magnificent athlete remained out in the farthest corner of the field, amongst the trees in one of the most beautiful locations at Quail Run.  As the sun sank below the horizon, and as the cold crept deeper into the air, Venti took his final breath.  But not before those that cared the most about him gathered to say goodbye. 

It was a terribly tragic end to a story that was filled with so much success.  And though the cold penetrated our bones, and the darkness surrounded our hearts, we HannahSittingOnVenticould eventually take comfort and warmth in the fond memories of a horse who lived, and loved, his life to the fullest. 

This tragedy affected many.  But, not one person could fathom how deeply it could affect the other member of this dynamic duo.  Our hearts go out to this brave young girl, who has shown tremendous strength through this ordeal.  She had this to say:

"Venti was not only my best friend, my partner in crime and my number 1, he was the best horse in the world.  We had the exact same personality, a special connection, and losing him feels like losing myself.  I can go on knowing that he is in a better place and hopefully going crazy squealing up there in Heaven.  He is and forever will be the best horse I will ever own.  I will never forget him because he has a part of my heart.  I love you so much Venti, and I can't wait to see you again one day. RIP".

Hannah DeLano

Thankfully, this is not the end.  This is a chance to move on, and cherish the memories of this wonderful horse and the beautiful relationship he had with his rider.  This is a farewell to a friend. 

Rest in peace Venti.  You were lost, but you will never be forgotten. 



Their final ride: