Kate Bennett McNaughton's lovely courageous mare Call Me Madam was laid to rest in our back fields October 9th. In her 25 years, this horse carried her young rider up through the competitive ranks to win a gold medal at the North American Young Riders Championships in 1996, and took her back there a second time in 1997. Eventing is the most difficult of the equestrian disciplines, combining the elegance and precision of the dressage, the speed and courage of the cross country jumping, and the disciplined accuracy of the show jumping. It takes a very special horse to excel at the higher levels, and it demands a deep bond of trust between horse and rider.
Throughout her life, Madam never once gave less than her best, and her connection with Kate was inspiring to see.
When Kate went to University, Madam went briefly on loan to undertake training a new rider - Caroline Morshead - at the Preliminary and Intermediate levels of the sport. When age and injury limited her competition career, she came home to Fox Point Farm, at Bondi, to retire, taking Kate on rides through fields and forests, and four years ago presenting us with her wonderful talented daughter, All About Me (Abby).
While she had abundantly loved galloping and jumping, always competing with ears pricked and eyes bright, motherhood brought this mare such a deep abiding joy that you could not help but smile whenever you saw them together.
In their 20 years together Kate and Madam forged one of those rare precious bonds that go beyond all words. Madam was always safe in Kate's hands, and Kate was always safe on Madam's back. Together they had magical wings that carried them far. And at the last, still safe in Kate's hands, the mare has gone to a place without pain, where she can gallop unencumbered by earthly restrictions.
We'll miss her. We'll cherish her reflection in Abby. We'll never forget her.
"Your youth and her knowledge,
her courage, her power...
The Best Gifts to "Man"
are the Horse and the Hour.
You trusted, she gave,
and was glad in the giving.
And the world was a playground
and life was worth living."
Call Me Madam
by: Bold Ruckus out of: That's Life
May 22, 1984 - October 9, 2009
"Horses - if God made anything more beautiful, He kept it for Himself."