Courtesy of Janice Booth
Carol Kozlowski and Path of the Stars in great form on their way to winning the Novice Championship at the 1990 Genesee Valley Riding Club Event.
A star of a chestnut mare shines on in the heavens
We don’t have a Valley Hall of Fame for horses, but if we ever do there’s no doubt that Gail McGuire’s Path of the Stars, affectionately known as Pots, will be right up there, along with others of her lineage bred by McGuire.
Foaled in 1984 out of McGuire’s mare Genesee Star, by Dr. Joseph O’Dea’s Favorable Path, the 16.1 hand chestnut mare recently suffered a fatal apparent brain hemorrhage.
“Her two million mile warrantee ran out,” McGuire shrugged with dry resignation. Her final resting place is in a lower part of McGuire’s front paddock under the watchful eyes of her daughter Wee Highland Star, already a local legend known as P1 (Pots’s first foal), and this spring’s granddaughter (P3), another yet-to-be-officially-named chestnut filly.
Pots was a true all ‘round horse who made her mark in eventing, racing, and foxhunting, not only locally, but out in the big wide world as well.
Pots began her eventing career in 1989 with Carol Kozlowski, who rode her to wins and top overall placings through Training level both locally at the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club, Genesee Valley Hunt, and Stuart Horse Trials, as well as in Ohio at the Winona Horse Trials. Charity Donnan also partnered with Pots at times to rack up some of her ribbons.
One notable top placing came in 1992 at the Stuart Horse Trials in Victor, regarded as one of the most challenging courses in the East. Because her jockey, Carol Kozlowski, had so many horses to ride at the event, McGuire agreed to let Kozlowski move Pots up to Training level for the first time, in order to fit her into Carol’s schedule, and since Pots already had a few Open Novice wins to her credit. With over 60 Training horses entered, Pots finished in second place overall.
Charity Donnan and Sjana McClure road her to steeplechase wins in three-mile races over timber, of which she finished 14 in her career at the Genesee Valley Hunt, Sugarberry, and Schoolhouse Race Meets, as well as others in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
From 1988 until her retirement in 2004, Pots foxhunted over 400 times with a number of different riders.
Still, one should not get the impression that all the work of riding this wonderful horse was done by others. McGuire is very much a hand-on owner and trainer, not only caring for her horses on a daily basis, but also doing much of the conditioning and schooling work.
Not long before the loss of the Senior Mare on the farm, photos were taken of Pots giving rides to McGuire’s two nieces and a nephew who came for one of their regular visits from Erie, PA. Ranging in age from four to nine years, they all got their introduction to riding from the Grand Dam herself. In fact the 6 year old niece seems bitten by the bug and has just started taking riding lessons at home.
Pots looks bright, willing, and kind in these final images — a fitting remembrance to add to her other photos and trophies.
Winners of the Week
At the High Time Stables at Sugar Brook Farm Jumper Derby in East Aurora, Carol Kozlowski and her Good Earth Bit O’ Honey won the Farm Family Insurance $2000 High Jumper Derby with the fastest time in a clear round with 12 horses entered. Also, Beth Anne Harris and her Hideaway’s East Cork placed third in the Truefit Saddle, Inc. $250 Intro Derby.
Saturday, Aug. 4 – Rainbow Ridge Therapeutic, Inc. volunteer training from 1 – 3 p.m. at 4217 Lima Road, Geneseo. For more information contact Julie Burnett at 245-8125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, Aug. 4 – The Hambletonian, second leg of trotting’s Triple Crown. Archangel qualified for the final in one of the three elimination races last Saturday at the Meadowlands. Trained and co-owned by Fowlerville’s Peter Arrigenna, along with Groveland’s Alan Hainsworth and Florida’s Clara Semer, the handsome colt by Credit Winner won the first leg in Yonkers in early July, breaking three records in the process.
Sunday, Aug. 5 – Irish Draught Horse Society of North America Hunter Pace 10 am to 2 pm at Batzing Farms, 3932 Batzing Road, Caledonia. For more information, call Sarah at 585-303-1888 and download the flyer from the www.gvrdc.org website under calendar.
Sunday, Aug. 5 – Oxford Hill Farm Horse Show II; a small, affordable hunter- jumper show. A good place to school young horses and riders of all levels. Friendly and Fun! Contact Susan at: email@example.com or call 585-226-8417.
Open Horse Shows at the Hemlock Fairgrounds to benefit Livingston County 4-H Program
English Show – Friday, August 10; Judge Terese Bouchard; $10/class
Western Show – Saturday, August 11; Judge Joy Bartlett; $8/class
Registration begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the show with classes starting at 9 a.m. Open warm-up jumping Friday 7- 8:30 a.m. Food available 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Stalls available at no charge. Competitors may arrive after 5 p.m. for the following day. Camping hook-ups are available at $20/night; preregistration with payment required; see www.hemlockfair.org for pre-registration form and information.
All riders must wear an approved helmet when mounted.
Go to ccelivingstoncounty.org for rules, more information, and entry forms. Preregistration not required but may be sent with payment to: CCC-Livingston County, 158 Main Street, Mt. Morris, NY 14510