Breezie was the horse of a lifetime.
A feeling among many horsemen is that if they have one outstanding horse during their life, it is a success.
Some owners have several top horses and find it hard to say which was better. Others have a fondness for one particular horse that stands out above all the rest.
Unfortunately, there are those who’ve owned many horses, but never had affection for a particular one that was un-comparable
Even certain cowboys and cowgirls are known about as well for their horses as for themselves. Recognizable might be Trigger and Roy, Champ and Gene, Koko and Rex, Jackie and Duane, Leo and Bud, Two Eyed Jack and Howard, or Skipper W and Hank.
Breezie was that one for Valorie (Workman) Starr of Sterling.
The story begins at Buchman’s Double B Ranch, Alta Vista, when Breezing Machine, a son of Supreme Champion War Machine, was mated to Ego Jo Traci, a triple-bred Joe Reed II mare.
On April 23, 1985, Jo gave birth to a bay colt named Breezing BB Jo, recognizing sire, dam, and producer. In our annual production sale, the weanling sold to our neighbors, the Kirk Waymire family, and we delivered him and a mate before dark.
It was about midnight, the phone rang and an excited voice revealed: “Our new horses got out.” Lariats in hand, we made a pickup dash two miles to our neighbor’s place, where they frantically pointed directions to the escapees.
In the black of the night as runaways galloped across the moonlit prairie, the roper-cowgirl of our family threw two successful loops capturing the horses to be penned more securely.
Fast-forward three years. After we green-broke the colt, now a gelding, the owners determined they needed an older mount, so the horse returned to our ownership.
From Concordia, Valorie Workman, who we had judged along with her dad, LeRoy Workman, at a number of shows, found out we had the gelding, bought him and thereafter affectionately referred to him as “Breezie.”
A “Match Made in Heaven” might be the most accurate “Rest of the Story.”
Valorie recalled, “I was just 16 when Dad bought Breezie for me in June 1988. My family owned him the rest of his life. He was the best part of my years growing up.”
Already an accomplished horse woman, Valorie continued to train Breezie for English and Western events, claiming titles in 4-H, Eastern Kansas Horseman’s Association and higher caliber competitions.
“Breezie developed into a 16-hand horse with a kind face. He became a treasured family member,” Valorie affectionately described.
“Breezie was trustworthy as a lesson-horse and for non-horsey family members,” credited Valorie, a riding instructor.In addition to being Valorie’s all-around companion, Breezie was ridden by her dad, LeRoy Workman, in shows and on many trail rides.
“He was kind and honest, forgiving of mistakes, and always ready to go for another ride,” she insisted
In 1992 and 1993, Valorie performed bridle-less riding demonstrations as the educational-entertaining part of the field day-judging portion of the annual Buchman’s Double B Ranch Sale.
Indicative of the horse’s inbred ability, and his owner’s horsemanship skills, Valorie taught Breezie several tricks including bowing and the “Spanish Walk.”
The gelding is also credited in assisting his owner in training her follow-up mount. “Breezie served as a steady pony horse when I started my filly,” Valorie noted.
Age took its toll on the 26-year-old gelding. “These last two winters were getting hard on Breezie, and his teeth were so worn that he needed chopped hay. I decided to put him down so that he wouldn’t endure another winter,” related Valorie, who had her horse euthanized in December.
“I loved him very much. His good, honest heart made him worth his weight in gold to me,” she emphasized.
“It has been hard for my filly to live up to the place that Breezie holds in my heart. It was hard to say good-bye to my longtime companion. Breezie gave me so many special memories. I loved him dearly.”
Breezie (AQHA-Breezing BB Jo)
April 23, 1985 – December 9, 2011
By Valorie (Workman) Starr
My childhood friend…I had the love of a horse, much more than mere toys.
Today I buried my childhood friend.
He was three and I was sixteen when we met.
He was a tall, lanky bay that became a kind-hearted steed.
He was my freedom and my wings.
He was my ‘Black Stallion’ dreams brought to life.
He was a trustworthy mount for family and friends.
He loved mulberries in the summer and hedge apples in the fall.
He was the unflappable ‘Steady Eddy’ who ponied my filly.
And the summer that my mother died, he was my escape from my grief.
He was my friend for 23 years and I loved him.