Time to revisit another EN Christmas favorite! Donner, Lynn Symansky’s stuff-of-legends OTTB and Team USA veteran, is the closest thing our sport has to a magic flying reindeer. We originally published this in 2014 and it’s a holiday tradition to dust it off each December 24! Here we go …
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the farm
not an event horse was stirring in Lynn Symansky’s barn.
All the bridles were hung on their racks with care
horses wondering, “We’re getting tomorrow off, right? That only seems fair.”
Donner was nestled all snug in his stall
dreaming of four-stars and his scheme to conquer them all
and maybe, just maybe, if all goes according to plan
on an Olympic podium in
Rio Tokyo his mom could stand
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter
Donner sprang up from the ground to see what was the matter.
The barn lights clicked on and Donner peered out his stall
to see a gang of reindeer marching down the hall.
“Yeah, that’s him,” said the one with the glowing red nose.
“Hey Donner!” he exclaimed, and Donner’s heart froze.
“There’s been a mistake!” Donner neighed in desperate plea.
“I’ve heard of the guy you’re looking for — it’s not me!”
But Rudolph, he wouldn’t take no for an answer
nor would Vixen, Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher or Dancer.
Donner followed them outside, his head hung low.
“Mom’s gonna kill me,” he sighed as he walked through the snow.
But then, to his surprise, what did he spot?
A familiar face among Rudolph’s flock!
“Courageous Comet, is that you, dude?” Donner neighed
to a familiar looking, confused-faced gray.
Comet said, “Yeah man, I guess they needed a sub …
a couple of the reindeer have abscesses or something, welcome to the club.”
They stood motionless as Santa hooked them onto the sled
staring up at the sky with a terrible dread.
But Santa, he knew how to make this crowd fly:
“3, 2, 1 … Have a great ride!”
They took off galloping and at the moment when Santa clucked
They gathered their courage, rocked back on their haunches and jumped.
“Hey,” Donner said, “this almost feels like a dream”
Comet snorted: “I guess you could say we made the team!”
For hours they ran and jumped with no regrets
and it made them thankful for all those long trot sets.
At the end of the night Santa dropped them back at the farm
just before the sound of Lynn and Becky’s alarms.
They dozed off, happy memories filling their heads …
saving Christmas was (almost) as fun as country country at WEG!
Merry Christmas and Go Eventing!