He said to His new creation:
“Oh, Horse, I have made thee as no other.
Thou shalt fly without wings
and conquer without swords.”
Excitement rippled through the in-gate. Every head was turned to the entry corridor, watching a young woman in a black hunt cap. Her small, pale face could barely be seen over the spectators. As she glided forward, her horse’s tiny dark ears became visible. Meagan, standing beside the in-gate, saw the girl was not riding a horse at all, but a pony. The saddle pad bore the flag of Great Britain. These were the Individual Show Jumping medalists.
“De Gran Bretaña, Marion Coakes y—Stroller!”
Meagan knew of this pony, a famous jumper of the twentieth century. He was Marion Coakes’ childhood mount, a pony talented enough to outjump every full-sized horse in the world on one occasion or another. Something else Meagan remembered: Stroller’s tail had been in constant danger of being plucked bare by souvenir seekers …
There was doubt the brave pony could handle the huge fences, but Marion and Stroller were simply too popular with the public to leave off the Jumping team for Great Britain.
Proving doubts wrong, the pair had won the Silver medal, putting in one of only two clean rounds of the entire competition. This insured a spot in the British line-up for the final event of the 1968 Games now in progress: the Team Jumping.
The stadium erupted in cheers when the pony trotted out before the crowd. Programs fluttered onto the arena floor as the crowd’s appreciation drowned the loudspeakers’ sound. The pony looked around the filled stadium, seeming not to understand what all the fuss was about.
Perhaps his eye stopped on Meagan before he walked on … perhaps it was only her imagination. Not since her Mongolian mount Targa had she known a Great Pony. “Good luck,” she whispered.