“First place in senior Western pleasure goes to Number 17.” Not too often has that announcement come over the loudspeaker, but it’s the number we’re always listening for when lined up at completion of a horseshow class.
Actually, we’ve almost become known as “17” to some horseshow folks, and certainly some announcers. They don’t know our name, which could be for the good, but often they’ll just refer to us as “17.” There is even a twinge of good feeling, when we’ve missed a class placing, go to the bookkeeper, or announcer, and ask: “How’d we place?” Without hesitation, the response is “You’re 17, you got…” How come we’re Number 17? It is a bewildering question, and one we’ve pondered of recent? A year ago in the spring, deciding to enter the old folks classes at circuit horse shows, not having competed for nearly a quarter of a century, at the first show, we took the top number on the pile: “17.” Things went pretty good, everything considered, at that first outing for an old cowboy, so again for some reason undeliberated and unknown, we just decided “17” would remain as our number. Three dozen shows later, we’re still “17,” and think we’ll just keep the number. We’ve had our cardboard “17” plastic covered, and despite wrinkles, bends and pinholes, it is worn every show. So, we’re still contemplating why are we “17,” why did we pick up that number, what is the real significance of “17”? Easiest answer, and we think correct, again for those who read our stuff: “It was in The Plan.” However, further checking, we have found that “17” has a wide significance in mathematics, as well as in applied sciences, law, music, religion, sports, literature and other cultural phenomena. Evidently, “17” really is an important number. Reminds us that in the Bible, the number “17” symbolizes “overcoming the enemy” and “complete victory,” as verified at least a dozen times. Jesus Christ gained a complete victory over death and the grave when God resurrected him near sunset on Nisan 17 , Saturday, April 8, 30 A.D. In First Corinthians 13:13, the 17th mention of the word ‘love’ comes when the apostle Paul states that “Jesus is the greatest gift of all God’s unending love, and truly victorious over all things.”