Multiple World Champion, HR Zip Me, Laid To Rest
By Melinda Davison
How do you put a career into words? Sure, there are the statistics. The points. The titles. The awards. But, as anyone can tell you, a true partnership goes much further than just what you see on paper.
Abbey Turner of Travelers Rest, South Carolina and HR Zip Me “Speck,” were one of those partnerships. As a barnmate at Carney Performance Horses, I was fortunate enough to witness that partnership first hand, and share in the pain as Speck was laid to rest today due to irreparable soft tissue damage.
“My heart, my soul, my once in a lifetime partner has crossed the Rainbow Bridge,” Abbey said. “I promised you a forever home, and I kept my promise. I will never be able to fill the hole in my heart that you have left. You will always be with me, heart and soul my dearest friend with so many names… “110″, Noo Noo, TGWO, Speck, and The Noo. I love you to the moon and back and I’m forever grateful for the amazing 5 years we had! RIP my beloved!”
The 2005 gray overo gelding by Zip Me was a stunner not only because of his beautiful coloring, but also his talent in the arena, and personality out of it. If you pull up his record, it will include numerous world championship titles, reserve world titles, all-around, honor roll awards, and the list goes on. However, what you can’t see on paper is the connection that Abbey and Speck had. When that team was firing on all cylinders, they were unstoppable. It could be said that he always took care of Abbey, but the truth is they took care of each other and it showed. After all, that’s what makes an incredible team. Last year was one of their best years, and at the time, no one knew it would be their final year together. In 2016, the team racked up quite the list of accolades including several more World and Reserve World titles, a reserve title in the APHA Masters Amateur Top-20, four more APHA Honor Rolls and a PtHA Honor Roll.
“Abbey and Speck were such an amazing team,” trainer Blake Carney says. “We worked very hard to individualize their show career and feel like the three of us accomplished many things that we could call our own. The standout to me was every time she and Speck had a great trail go. This was a very hard class for them, and we were so lucky to win one of the trail classes this last year at the Pinto World Show! Even though they accomplished so much, they still had more to do, and I’m sad that our show career with him ended so suddenly.”
Since I met Abbey almost a year ago, she has become one of my closest friends, and I always enjoyed watching those two leave it all out in the arena. Of course, like any of the top show horses, he wasn’t without his quirks and sass, but I firmly believe that’s one of the qualities that elevates a good horse to a great one. He had many fitting nicknames that he was lovingly called including Noo Noo, The Noo, TGWO (The Great White One), among others. You can imagine as a new barnmate, that could quickly become confusing, but I quickly learned that Abbey and Speck were as fun as the were talented, and being out at the barn with them and Blake was always the highlight of my weekend. However, once they entered the arena, whether at home or at a show, they were all business and brought their A-game.
Like the rest of Carney Performance Horses, I was heartbroken to learn that this great horse would be leaving us far too soon. I’ve already learned more from those two than I have from some trainers, and it goes beyond trail tips and pattern pointers. I learned the definition of grit, determination, and perseverance. I remembered why the sleepless nights riding and the freezing mornings longing are what goes into that extra 110% effort that The Noo and Abbey were known for. At a time when I was at a crossroads in my show career with my passion for showing beginning to dwindle, being around them were part of what fanned that flame back into a fire.
As with any great loss, words on a page will never suffice to make the passing easier. All of us at Pleasurehorse.com are heartbroken at the tragic loss of such a great horse who was part of this great team. Godspeed, Speck. You truly were a once-in-a-lifetime horse.