Cecil Orr of Sifton, Manitoba also had a horse named Chester
at one time. Cecil called me after he read a column I wrote in Grainews in
February about a horse named Chester that I had back in the late 70s.
Mine wasn’t much of a tale, other than I owned Chester, rode
him for a few years, and then he had to be put down following an accident. But
Chester, pictured below, was a good horse.
Cecil, who is 89, has lived near Sifton for about 20 years,
but his story about his Chester took place in Creston, B.C., again in the late
70s early 80s and he even wondered if it might be the same animal. The Chester
in my photo looked much like the Chester Cecil owned. Chester was a bit like a
bad penny, Cecil recalls. Despite several horse sales, Chester kept coming
Cecil and his wife owned the Rising Sun Guest Ranch at
Creston for many years. And he had bought this horse Chester to be used by
guests. He said he was a good horse, with one slight defect. Chester hadn’t
been well looked after by a previous owner and was pretty well starved when
his feed. “You didn’t want to try and take his hay away from him, or he’d take
after you,” recalls Cecil. “The horse had decided he wasn’t going to go hungry
Cecil owned him for quite a while and then a young neighbor
girl was looking for a horse and he sold Chester to her. She had him for a
couple years without complaint, but one day decided she needed money, so she
sold the horse back to Cecil.
A while later Cecil sold Chester to another farm family
south of Creston. They had him for a while, but one day the wife called Cecil
to see if he wanted Chester back. She said he was dangerous. And it was all
about feed, Cecil says. When he went to pick Chester up, one of the kids of the
family crawled under the fence and grabbed Chester’s hay, and the horse took
after the kid.
So Cecil had Chester back at his place for a while, again,
and finally sold him to a man on the west side of Creston who was looking for a
hunting horse. Chester was nice and quiet for that activity, although one habit
he had when walking up hill was just to stop every so often to take a rest.
Cecil doesn’t know what happened to Chester. That was the last he ever saw of
Cecil says he has a lot of horse stories from over the
years. He was born and raised on the family horse farm in the Mankota /Val
Marie area of southwest Saskatchewan. He’s lived in all four Western provinces
and always had horses. He sold his last one about a year ago.
I suggested that since Cecil is almost 90 and now retired,
he take a day off, and write a few of those horse stories down.
Hart is a field editor for Grainews in Calgary, Contact him at 403-592-1964 or
by email at [email protected]