Diary Post #226

Here I am…on the HORSE PLANE! The van is parked right in front of the ramp…to make it easy to deplane and be ON MY WAY! Photo by John Shirreffs

Good Morning,

Firstly, I’d like to mention how ADORABLE all of you are as you respond to the SWEET SIXTEEN participants in the contest. You are so supportive of each other! This is absolutely TOO CUTE! Upon reading your comments and responses, I see the same KINDNESS and SUPPORT you have shown to ME during my career…and I realize again for the zillionth time how appreciative I am of ALL of YOU!

We will draw the ELITE EIGHT tomorrow…and they will be published on Saturday! Good Luck to ALL!

You have also asked what will happen with the postcards after the contest. As I mentioned in the original contest guidelines, by submitting a card to ME for the drawing, you are also granting your permission for ME to use your card in the future. John and Dottie have been reading them and enjoying all of your wonderful and inspirational thoughts. In the future, Dottie will think of a way to share them with ALL of YOU…in one form or another. The words are too special and the thoughts too kind not to be shared with MY DEAR FRIENDS! Thank YOU for being YOU!

Another thing you asked about in the responses is the HORSE PLANE. This is a topic in which I do have experience. In the above photo, you can see ME (my blaze stands out in the crowd) with members of MY TEAM getting ready to deplane. I always flew on TEX SUTTON planes so my comments will be based on my personal experiences. The Sutton plane is designed to accomodate approximately 21 horses in all. The plane is divided into ‘rows’ with 3 stalls in each row. It is set up just like a horse van inside with the stalls being OPEN so the horse can see things going on around he/she and not feel closed in at all during the flight! Per my John, that is the beauty of this plane…it is secure, safe, and open at the top for the horse not to feel closed in at all while traveling!

On the day I was flying, the van would pick me up at the barn. MY BELONGINGS (tack, blankets, equipment etc.) would be packed and ready to also travel with ME! Before I’d be able to travel to another state, I also had to have a HEALTH CERTIFICATE and a COGGINS completed to certify several things: I was healthy and fine to travel and also that all of my vaccinations were current. This paperwork is extremely important and would always TRAVEL WITH ME!

Once loaded on the van, we’d leave BARN 55 and be off to the airport. Tex Sutton planes fly out of Ontario, California. It is about one hour plus driving time to get there from Hollywood Park. Members of MY TEAM traveled right with ME! Mario always flew with ME and went with ME on all of my van trips. When possible (meaning depending on space) Steve, Frank, and / or John would also go on the van and / or plane with ME.

Once we’d land, the plane doors would open up…as you can see above…and Mario and I would walk right down the ramp directly into the waiting van. This is an amazingly WELL-ORGANIZED way to travel. All of these people do a great job to make it so safe and yet relaxing for the horses!

As a matter of fact, my JOHN has some video of ME while on a plane trip! I’ve got an idea…why don’t you COME FLY WITH ME!



With love,
Hugs to ALL~


  1. @MLV – thank you for sharing your poignant stories of Rum Car and Oliver. My heart goes out to you in your loss.

  2. I’d love to come fly with you!!! Glad to hear Mario always flew with you. Nice picture!!! Has he been to visit you at Lane’s End yet?

  3. Tee Hee…. lol.
    ‘Air Horse One’.(xlnt Kathryn) To funny and quite brilliant, just like so many posts here. I Love it.
    Zenny you are just the best. You are magical, even in the most simple way. Just being YOU. Not a care in the world, munching away, probably thinking about who you will be running with in the next race! lol.
    Zenny, I love how you share your moments with us. One day ‘when’ a movie is made of you, it will be the most special and beautiful truth of YOU which will captivate everyone. It should be a documentary of YOU, because no horse can copy you. I’m still so grateful to be inside your world … here on this site. Thanks to everyone on your team, for allowing us share your ‘moments’. Love you Zenny….:)

  4. @Paula..thanks for the heads up! Just made my donation. Hope everyone can chip in just a little to help them out of this pinch.

  5. Wonderful!! Love you Zenny!!

  6. Hi Queen Zenyatta –
    You deserve to fly First Class. Thank you for a lesson in how VIP horses travel. Love the pictures, and of course especially the video. Snacking and flying, and having your special friends with you – it truly is the life of a Queen!
    Zenyatta, our dear friends at Old Friends need our help since their Bank made a clerical error and they need $300,000 by the end of April, and a third of that amount has been raised already. Just in case anyone can help, here’s the link for a much-needed contribution which we made in the name of our new horse and Zenyatta’s name as well: http://www.oldfriendsequine.com/donation.html
    All the best of luck to those whose cards are in the running for the #19 Bronze. I wish all of you could carry home the mini-Zenyatta.
    Thank you for the posts and information, Dottie, and a special thanks to Mrs. Moss for the inspirational rainbow picture as well. It’s good to be a Zenyatta devotee – so many great people here to share our day.
    Big smooches to you Zenyatta

  7. World of Zenyatta – Too cute !!
    We love you Queen Z!!!!

  8. Thanks for the bird’s eye view. So Z how are Mario, Dottie, John, Steve and all doing without you there – I imagine the missing you is hard as you are bigger than life.

  9. Zenny,
    Working in the aerospace industry in Quality Assurance, we are dedicated to making sure that any of the hardware/software of ours in that aircraft meet requirements so that you and your Team are SAFE! Sorry I missed the cut in the drawing but good luck to those remaining. Zenny, keep us posted on your next date with the Prince.

  10. Ohhhh, THANK YOU John and Dottie for allowing us all to fly with Zenyatta on the jet! We NEVER tire of seeing videos of her in new situations to us.

    Love you, Zenny

  11. Zenyatta you are so very special!! Truly a gift from God and your entire Z Team were so generous in sharing so much of YOU with all of us! Only one horse was in your league, Secretarit. I knew you were better than anything I had seen before in a mare and followed along yr entire career! TU for the amazing ride! Drove all nite the weekend prior to your move to KY, so I could see you live with my own eyes. I slept in my car hoping to meet you in person. Unfortunately although John had permitted me to come back to Barn 55 on Saturday and see you. My friend Angel had arranged for me to meet you & John but a mix-up over the time (as I learned too late) & caused me to miss my chance that day. But I believe in miracles and feel God will work out a way for me to meet you someday in the future. You bring such JOY to my life and so many others!! I love you with all my heart and look forward to that day!! Until then, so glad The World finally recognized how truly WONDERFUL you are in E-V-E-R-Y-W-A-Y!! Lots of peppermint candies, carrots and kisses on your soft sweet nose Sweet Z!
    Love, Trudy from Arisona

  12. @ Margie—Congratulations on the arrival of Zenyatta’s Moneigh! I’m sure you will feel her spirit whenever you look at it—just imagine, that’s an imprint of her very own hoof! And paint strokes made with her very own sweet muzzle! Wow!
    @Kathryn Cogswell—Air Horse One!!! I love it!
    @MLV—Thanks for sharing those poignant portraits of Rum Car, Heart of Battle, and Oliver. How amazing! I was especially struck by how Rum Car said good-bye to all his stablemates. You should write a book.
    @Rita Stack—There were many comments on #225 that explained that you cannot visit Zenyatta, with or without an appointment. It’s for her health and safety, as well as the health and safety of all the many other mares and their foals at a big operation such as Lane’s End. It’s too easy to spread infection. You can have better luck visiting stallions.
    @Rosanne Glynn— Zenyatta resides within a short van trip of Bernardini. No plane needed.
    @Astrid—Thank you for introducing me to the author Hilary Stanton Zunin with that beautiful quote about loving. I have learned (as you probably already know) that she is a high school English and creative writing teacher and an expert on the effect of grief on school-aged children. I hope to get a copy of her book The Art of Condolence, which may help me when words fail me, as they usually do.
    @ S—What a wonderful plan for retirement! I hope your dream for “A FEW NEW FRIENDS” comes true. Good luck to you!

  13. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing it. We love you Queen Z. Hugs & kisses.

  14. Thank you so much for the cool video of Zeny in-flight. She is certainly a class act, no matter what she may be doing. Seeing her this way gives us an insight we would never had gotten, but for your post. Team Zenyatta is first class, all the way!

  15. Good news—“John Shear, Santa Anita’s 90-year-old Paddock Guard who was gravely injured while protecting a 6-year-old girl from a runaway horse on March 12, will be released from Huntington Memorial Hospital on Saturday, according to his son, Michael.” http://www.santaanita.com/press/pressrelease/2011/04/paddock-guard-john-shear-recovering-90-year-old-hero-be-released-hospital

  16. Zenny!! You need a Guinness to go with that hay! Miss you big girl. Thanks for the education on flying! xoxo

  17. Here we are in april, no news on Zen or Bernardini, her health or future, only these contests for a few trusting loyal fans hanging on. I am one of them. If she is not to able to breed now,fine. She deserves more anyway,always had. Frankly, many have said Zen still has the desire and ability to extend her career and perform say in dressage. She is still in her prime. Why is breeding the assumed next step for all race horses? Zen is so bored with her sedentary lifestyle. She deserves so much more–carrots and peppermints each day only? If she cannot be bred this year is her name to used as pure publicity and to generate income from emotional trusting fan? This website needs to be sensitive to Zen’s true followers, or we may continue to lose faith and daily contact. Our main concern will always be her happiness with all she has sacrificed since she was born for our benefit. Enough said. Maybe the blogs are right– Eventually,we move on to another one to fill a need. Our reactions to her and what she has represented has indeed filled a void for the owners,trainer and fans on so many levels.

  18. Thanks for sharing so much of Zenyatta’s
    life behind the scenes…Dottie you are the best!!!!

  19. @Jan, when were you able to see Zenyatta at Lanes End? I’m assuming you saw her if know she is bored. The ‘income’ generated by Zenyatta for Old Friends, Trott, Cancer Research, Educational Programs, and many other charities is just awful, you are right, why ever would her team want to help anyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hope tomorrow is more cheery day for you Jan, and that you read other posters kind thoughtful words.

  20. @MLV – What a very touching post. Thank you for sharing your love and passion for animals.

    @Astrid – Thank you for the quote you posted for MLV.


  21. I’ve decided I want to be a flight attendant for Tex Sutton Airlines. Such glamourous passengers. Zenny you seem to be enjoying the inflight meal service. And you’ve got your own private flight attendant, Mario. It’s always so wonderful to see the two of you together. It makes me a bit sad to think you don’t get to see each other on a daily basis anymore. I still have burned into my memory the photo that Barbara Livingston took of the two of you – the black and white with you resting your head around Mario’s shoulder. The look on your face is beyond priceless – a look of contentment, a sense of well being and of being home again, a wistfulness and a pure feeling of love for your best friend. I shall never ever forget it. I often wonder now if you think back on those days at Barn 55. Do horses think in the past without something prompting them to? When you are galloping around your paddock, do you think about your racing days? I wonder about these things. In any case, you sure look cute with your head peeking out from the jet as you get ready to board the van. You’ve got your entourage with you. Such a star. Such an exciting life back then. Again, I wonder, do you ever miss it?
    Thank you to those who have brought up Old Friends predicament. I hope everyone will consider giving whatever they can to help out this lovely home for retired thorougbreds. Any little amount, $5.00, will make a difference in raising the funds needed to fend off this current crisis. Please don’t put it off. A quick check in the mail, a quick click on the PayPal button. Give in the name of Zenyatta or to whomever you please. Just please lend your support to this venerable retirement home so that they may continue to care for our most treasured creatures. Donations are all they have and we are their lifeline.
    @Christine in VA – thanks for your link in the last Diary post for the eagles. The babies really have grown. They appear to be coming out of the toddler stage. I caught up with them at dinner time. Two of the babies were being fed by one parent and the third was trying to emulate the other parent by poking and ripping away at the main course. Cheeky little one. How magnificent eagles are. Really they are just breathtaking. And to watch them raise their own is such a wonderful treat. Such a rare one. So thank you again. Hope you will continue to keep us posted.

  22. Comments of Jan –
    @Jan: What do you mean “Zen is so bored with her sedentary lifestyle”?

    And “This website needs to be sensitive to Zen’s true followers, or we may continue to lose faith and daily contact.”

    “If she cannot be bred this year is her name to used as pure publicity and to generate income from emotional trusting fan?”

    @Jan: What is your definition of a True Follower?

  23. Hi Zenny Girl. It’s so nice hearing about your flying days. Guess what? We have something else in common – I live about 30 minutes from Ontario, and when I fly, well, you guessed it, it’s out of Ontario! This is too Cute! I love you Pretty Girl.

  24. Dear Trina Nagale: Can`t take credit for that whimsy . .. it was the sign Tex Sutton used welcoming ‘Z`s’ flight east to Lane`s End Farm last Fall, and I should have flagged that greeting as due.

  25. *ms. trina .. . caught the ‘e’ too late; no excuses.

  26. I continue to enjoy the diary and the look into a world that most of us will never see or be a part of. I know that it takes a lot of time to keep it up to date but we fans of Queen Z really appreciate it. You are ALL true professionals!

  27. ***Lynn…..nearby Hwd Park & Deborah Richmond: Must whisk enjoyment of credit for ‘Welcome Aboard Air Horse One’ quickly to Tex Sutton wit [my only nod is for enjoying it as much as you all — it IS WONDERFUL, isn`t it??!].

  28. Oh, Deborah ^: Flubbed your ‘Richman’ (Again, no excuse — names are important; getting them right).

  29. What a wonderful surprise when reading my May issue of Reader’s Digest. There you were in the Best of America, best catch. Congrats on the recognition.