Windt im Wald
A Wind in the Woods
Geauga County, Northeast Ohio
since 1995
 

RONALD REAGAN:
REMEMBERING A HERO ON HORSEBACK


President Reagan riding his horse "El Alamein"
at Rancho Del Cielo. 4/8/85


Ronald Reagan with his horse "Little Man"
at Rancho Del Cielo. February, 1977


President Reagan & Mrs. Reagan horseback riding
at Rancho Del Cielo. 11/25/82

The light in his eyes is gone, and the long life is ended. Ronald Reagan lived the ultimate American Dream, turning rags into riches, always learning, always growing, always preparing for the next step ahead. For those of us who view the world as a glass half-full instead of half-empty, his optimism about the positive potential of the United States and its citizens held a ray of hope that we could always have fun while accomplishing cherished goals. For those of us who remembered and loved Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman, he symbolized the notion that Americans were guided an innate sense of good. His optimism, his disarming sense of humor, and his grace and courage under pressure helped us define America as it sped toward the twenty-first century.

Ronald Reagan shared a background typical of many Americans: He grew up without wealth or privilege. No one presented him a Porsche as a high-school graduation gift. Dealing with a parent’s problem of alcoholism, he learned early to put on the face of composure for the outside world and to do his own thinking and to identify his own opportunities for future success. Like Walt Whitman and Carl Sandburg, he was a product of the heartland in the Great Plains. Like many of the pioneers from the great cornfields, his early successes came as a result of trial and error, then perseverance, then self-confidence forged from personal experience. Like Whitman, Sandburg, and Twain, perhaps he listened to the wailing of a distant freight train and thought about the possibilities of who he might become before setting out for California on his own. Perhaps he remembered Emerson’s advice of hitching a wagon to a star and setting optimistic goals.

For those of us who remember the era after World War II, there was a program called Death Valley Days, hosted by a smiling, charming Ronald Reagan in 1965-1966 for sponsor Twenty Mule Team Borax until he was elected Governor of California in 1966 and started a meteoric climb toward the United States Presidency. Although he played only a few cowboy roles in his fifty-nine movies, such as “Cowboy from Brooklyn,” “Santa Fe Trail,” “Angel from Texas,” “Tennessee Partner,” and “Cattle Queen of Montana,” in real life he knew quite a bit about horses and riding. There is a picture of Ronald Reagan riding in English breeches and an English saddle in the company of Queen Elizabeth II, but many of us remember the cowboy hat, the blue jeans, and the cowboy boots as the standard riding costume for his well-loved trail rides with Secret Service men following his lead or falling out of their saddles as they attempted to keep tabs on Dutch.

Finally, there was something that attracts some of us even more—something that makes us proud to share a link and a personal love: Reagan owned horses himself—not just any horses--but Arabian horses. . In 1975 he purchased a registered grey Arabian gelding from Tom Chauncey in Arizona. Tom Chauncey should be remembered, along with singing star Wayne Newton, as owner of the imported grey Arabian stallion, *Naborr (also known as *Nabor). This gelding was named Gwalianko, AHR 53676, and was a son of the imported grey stallion from Poland, *Gwalior, who stood at Locust Farm in Kirtland, Ohio, now the home of Lake Farm Park. *Gwalior, a son of *Naborr, was of the illustrious Skowronek sire line, through the magnificent grey stallion, Naseem, who was sold to Russia. Gwalianko’s dam, Magic Charm, carried the magnificent CMK blood of Nafalla, Alla Amarward, and Alyf, all CMK foundation horses. In addition, about 1981 Mexican President Jorge presented Reagan with a white Arabian stallion named El Alamein. El Alamein was the subject of a painting that was presented to Mr. Reagan by the Federal Republic of Germany. Like Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan also shared a love of the Arabian horse, owning a chestnut gelding named Catalina Muzraff, bred by Philip Wrigley of Catalina.

Together, Ronnie and Nancy rode the trails of El Rancho del Cielo and marveled over the glories that God had presented them on this ranch. Cielo means “heaven or sky.” Emerson, Thoreau, and Twain would have understood the Reagans’ delight with the tangible evidence of God’s work and the idealistic notion that there is an absolute Good in the Universe.

Simplistic? Idealistic? Absolutely!

Ride those trails, Mr. President, over the Rainbow Bridge with those glorious Arabian horses that symbolized the courage, honesty, dignity, grace, and goodness that you exemplified in your golden journey of life!

Amen!

 

 


Mrs. Reagan holds up a "Just Say No" sign for
distant press photographers
at Rancho Del Cielo. 9/6/86


Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat
at Rancho Del Cielo. 1976


President Reagan riding his horse "El Alamein"
at Rancho Del Cielo. 7/3/83


President Reagan horseback riding
at Rancho Del Cielo. 8/27/81


President Reagan feeding his horse "El Alamein"
at Rancho Del Cielo. 4/4/86


President Reagan returning from riding his horse
at Rancho Del Cielo. 4/4/86


President and Mrs. Reagan horseback riding
at Rancho Del Cielo. 4/8/85


Mrs. Reagan with her dog "Victory"
at Rancho Del Cielo. 8/13/81


President Reagan horseback riding
at Rancho Del Cielo. 11/30/86


President Reagan after a ride
at Rancho Del Cielo. 7/3/82






 

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