Born in 1988, the horse everyone at Glen Ellen Vocational Academy (GEVA) calls “Bugsy” is one of the farm’s distinguished elderly gentlemen. Beyond that, he also has the rare distinction of having been born at the farm, long before GEVA became a Retirement and Rescue Foundation and Sanctuary. Under the name of Phar Cone, Bugsy raced for a short time in northern California without much success, and then for a longer time in Oregon with considerably more success. Out of 38 starts, Bugsy had 6 wins, 7 places, and 1 show. But when he broke one of his sesamoid bones, his racing career was over, so Bugsy came home.
Bugsy’s BFF is Tiny, who is huge and even older than Bugsy. Bugsy was a timid horse when young, but these days he’s quite good at bossing Tiny around and roughhousing with his paddock mates.
Tiny, at 17 hands, is GEVA’s resident giant, and he is as gentle as he is large. He’s probably a Thoroughbred-Warmblood mix, but no one knows for sure. In his youth, Tiny was a Grand Prix competitor who did well on the South East Circuit. Now in his late 20s, he is very much retired, and likes nothing more than to spend time in the pond with his dear friend Bugsy, pawing up a storm.
Indeed, Tiny likes to do everything with Bugsy, and Bugsy likes to do everything with Tiny. They are utterly devoted to each other, often choosing to eat out of the same dinner bucket, even though each has his own bucket.
And should you go into the paddock to do some work, it is usually Bugsy and Tiny who first come over to see what you’re doing—and to politely insist that you stop doing it to spend time with them instead, which of course you do. They’re irresistible.