Norfolk’s living arrangements at Rancho del Arroyo, 1879

“A correspondent of the San Francisco Spirit of the Times recently paid a visit to the home of the thoroughbred stallion Norfolk, and writes as follows concerning him:

Norfolk has an apartment larger than the office, and even more eligibly situated. From that he can watch the sun rise in the morning, and never lose sight of it until it sinks below the hills in the evening. He can watch the colts play in the paddocks, and has a full view of the mares in the fields beyond. He can certainly congratulate himself on his lines having fallen in pleasant places, for it would be hard to conceive of a horse which could be “better fixed.”

He has his meals with the regularity of the clock, and his food is such that an equine gourmet could not do otherwise than relish it. Part of the time he is allowed the freedom of the paddock, and at others he joins in the excitement of a coursing match. It was a grand picture, and one which we will always remember, when, on a former visit, we saw Mr. Wood ride him out with a couple of highbred greyhounds at his heels. He marched along with stately step until the hare was started, but as the chase waxed warm he would become excited, and his eyes would flash as he gazed after the flying quarry and it’s pursuers. When an extra fast hare was put up, and it was making for a direction which it was not desirable to let it take, a slacking of the rein, and he would turn it before the race covered much ground.

Though 17 years old he appeared to run with all the ease and with more vigor than a 3-year-old, and seemed to enter into the spirit of it just as he did when he cut down his competitors so many years ago. He bears his years well, and there is little to show that he was playing round his mother when the guns were booming at Fort Sumter. His eye is as bright as it ever was, and though there is a slight sway in his back, and observer would not think him over 8 years old.” (Chicago Daily Tribune, 02/09/1879)


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