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Blind Horse Inspirations

Linda Keeter with Blind Bud, accepting the MD Barns 2003 Silver Spur Award at the AQHA World Show. Photo courtesy of AQHA.
Jeanette Sassoon trail-riding in Wyoming with blind Valiant.

If anyone doubts that a blind horse can have an extraordinary life, look no further than these two wonderful animals: Doc’s Major Star (Blind Bud) and Valiant. One is from the West Coast, the other from the East Coast. Both have had very different lives, but each has demonstrated in unimaginable ways what a blind horse can achieve.

• Doc’s Major Star is Linda Keeter’s ‘Blind Bud.’ In 2003 this blind American Quarter Horse won the MD Barns Silver Spur Award in recognition of his accomplishments. MD Barns created the Silver Spur Award to recognize the “unsung heroes” of the Quarter Horse world. Linda and her Blind Bud received the award at the American Quarter Horse Association’s World Show that year. Once a cutting horse competing at the national level, he went blind from uveitis. Now Linda and Blind Bud work together to teach children how to ride. To read more about this remarkable animal, click here.

• Jeanette Sassoon was once told that her energetic young Valiant would never make a dressage horse. A trainer said, “He’s crazy and too small. Get rid of him now. He’ll never do." And this was when he could see. Then, as fate would have it, Valiant came down with an infection that nearly killed him. He survived but lost his vision to the worst form of uveitis. Jeanette said, “I couldn’t replace his sight but I knew somehow I could give him a good life.” That she did. Valiant went on to become an accomplished dressage horse after all … and a blind one at that. You can read more about Valiant’s journey at the Web site Jeanette created for her special friend here.


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