Diary Post #143

Good Morning,

It is still chilly in KY…but I am really getting used to the weather now. Horses like cold weather and do well in it. I am beginning to get a bit of a winter coat (which means my hair is growing…a natural thing to help me feel very comfortable in this climate). My dapples are still there…which is fabulous news. P.Q. (my buddy) and I go out and graze in the paddock for hours each day now…weather permitting. We are becoming great friends and really enjoying ourselves. Life in Kentucky is very nice! I am very comfortable with my new surroundings. Also, keeping in touch with TEAM ZENYATTA back home and my CA friends is a total JOY for me! There is not one day that I do not hear from them! (THEY REALLY LOVE ME!)

Yesterday, Abigail Anderson wrote in and asked if John and Dottie had received the things she sent to them. YES, and THANK YOU SO MUCH! I would like to introduce Abigail to you. She is the woman who wrote the lovely article about ME in The Bloodhorse Magazine. Steve Haskin posted the piece for her…and it is beautifully done. I am still blushing thinking about all of the very nice things she said about ME! Abigail also contacted Steve before the 2010 Breeders’ Cup and had a special request. He sent her email to my dear John…and John granted Abigail’s wish. Abigail had a mentor and friend named Marjorie Dawn Cooper Gawley who had struggled with a terrible disease for 75% of her adult life. Marjorie’s joy during her life was dancing. She LOVED WATCHING ME…my races and my DANCING. (Marjorie was a DANCER at heart!) Thus, Marjorie’s final wish was to ‘go out dancing’. To quote Abigail…”Such was her connection to Zenyatta—in Zenny’s dance Marjorie saw what I saw: an affirmation of the power and the beauty of a living spirit, dancing out her joy.”

Abigail, who had been a life-long teacher and was closely bonded to the Quebec School System and its 2000 members, had one wish: could Zenyatta in some way run in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic in Marjorie’s memory?

WISH GRANTED! That is why you see my RACING BRIDLE in the above photo. John put MARJORIE’S name on my BROWBAND before the race…and SHE RAN right with me every step of the way in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Needless to say, this made me feel very, very special!

Abigail said at least 1500 of her teachers tuned in that day to watch me run. (“They’d like to think they accounted for a big increase in the ratings as well.”) Before the race, they all did research on me…and several teachers even taught things about me and special things Team Zenyatta had done to their students. They have continued to follow me via the internet and read my DIARY each day! How special is this!

What a complete HONOR for me to be thought of in such a way…to be allowed to help provide a TRIBUTE to this wonderful and respected woman and her memory!

As I mentioned above, the photo is of my RACING BRIDLE. It is made of English Leather and this bridle was only worn by ME. I wore it in all 20 of my races. In the mornings, I had another bridle that I used for my daily training exercises and workouts. This way John felt my equipment was always special and perfect for me.

The BROWBAND referred to above is a part of the bridle. (A bridle has 6 main parts to it. As we go along, we will discuss all 6 parts…but for today…we will focus on the browband.) The browband loops across the forehead of the horse and stops the bridle from slipping back. It should fit perfectly to the horse. It should not be too tight or too loose. If it does not fit perfectly, it can cause a horse to ‘shake its’ head’ a bit.

Please note, in some of my photos, I have a blue/white browband.(John’s stable colors!) David had this made for John to use. In most of my photos, it is brown leather. That is the one I used in MOST of my races. In many photos, you see a small space highlighted in the middle of my brown leather browband. This is where John had ‘AN ANGEL’ attached…to guide me safely home all of the time. It is next to this ANGEL…that he placed MARJORIE’S name.

What special moments and memories!

With love,
Hugs to All~


  1. Good morning Zenny! This diary post brought tears to my eyes. What you did in the memory of Marjorie is very touching. What John did for you by attaching an angel to your browband is heartfelt and moving. You are indeed a lucky girl, Zenny. So many people love you. The class of John and all of Team Z is amazing. They’ve only ever had your best interests at heart. I hope that angel continues to watch over you and all of Team Z!
    Thanks Dottie for everything that you do that keeps all of us connected to Zenyatta. Having this connection means the world to me. I truly appreciate all of your effort!
    Love you Zenny,

  2. There’ a new video of Z from day before yesterday, December 28, out in the paddock with PQ and back in the barn loading up on Christmas presents, mints, candy canes, etc. It’s on her Facebook page. It was just great to see her so happy and relaxed and getting spoiled all over again. That’s what we all hoped for when she went to KY. Still want to see her rolling in the snow. I hope they got video or pictures of that.

  3. Dearest Zenyatta,

    I too read the story in the Commemerative issue of Bloodline with you on the cover, and it was so beautiful. My sister gave it to me for Christmas! One does not need to be officially declared a “Saint” in order to be one. There are Saints in heaven and on earth all around us! You need nothing on paper, as you are the “Queen of Hearts” and ‘horse of the year’ does not even do justice!

  4. Thank you, Judy Sims, I loved the video –very moving.

  5. I echo what Bob Rose said. This is a horse of a lifetime. A true gift from God. And how lucky for all of us that she ended up in the right hands. Every single person that has touched this mare from her caretakers to her fans to hardened horse people recognize her other-worldly qualities. To thank John Shirreffs and all that have had a direct impact on her life and well-being seems grossly inadequate. Guess are greatest thanks go to God for giving us this incredible beacon of light who has brought immeasurable light into so many lives.

  6. Dottie…I have been thinking a lot about the angel on Zennys browband and wondered if you or the Mosses ever thought of designing a special Zenyatta “angel”…something simple for fans to purchase for charity. My husband, after reading this blog, said he would love to give John a huge bear hug for his thoughtfulness and tender care of our Queen.

  7. Zen! Just read your latest update on FB-COngrats to Charles on his award! It is true-wherever you are…good things happen! Love ya!

  8. I look forward to reading the Zenyatta Post, everyday!! It is amazing how many people Queen Zenyatta has touched. Thank you, Team Zenyatta for sharing the LOVE :) I hope Nancy Kleck will paint a portrait of Zenyatta !! I own a print of Secretariat that she painted & it is magnificent!! Happy New Year !!

  9. I just want to wish Zenyatta a Happy New Year, may you continue to be blessed! Love you always!

  10. Thanks for the diary posts. It is a great way to stay in touch with perhaps the most perfectly formed thoroughbred ever, a horse destined to be come a legend. It saddens me that I will never again hear Trevor Denman say “..and Zenyatta is dead last, dead last!” Then,”Here comes Zenyatta on the outside.” Her come-from-behind style was an incredible thrill. I am forever thankful to John and Steve at Hollywook Park for letting me visit Z on several occasions. The picture of my lips and her muzzle touching is going up on my Facebook.

  11. Hey Big Girl! Enjoying the weather today?
    Quite an improvement, wouldn’t you say? Hope you and your girlfriend are having a wonderful day and enjoying the nice weather.

  12. Bob Rose–thank you for those beautiful thoughts.

    Dottie–who would have ever thought that a soldier back from Viet Nam who didn’t know what to do with his life would become our dear John?? Thank you so much for sharing him with us and for keeping us up to date. You are all a class act, and our lives are enriched by knowing you. I feel like we are ALL one big, happy family.

    I forgot to mention that we were at Oaklawn in April, dear Z, and your win there (even though we were all electrified by just seeing you)doesn’t compare to what some are calling a loss in the BCC. I will NEVER forget that race if I live to be 100. It will go down in history.

  13. What a a wonderful story about lovely tribute
    to an amazing teacher. The angel on the bridle that John put there to guide Zenyatta safely home reminds of an interview with Gary Stevens. When the reporter asked him what was more important in making a successful racing career he said it was the team, a talented and special horse, patient and caring owners, and trainer and talented jockey. No where is that more clearly illustrated than in the career of Zenyatta.

  14. What a a wonderful story about a lovely tribute
    to an amazing teacher. The angel on the bridle that John put there to guide Zenyatta safely home reminds me of an interview with Gary Stevens. When the reporter asked him what was more important in making a successful racing career; he said it was the team, a talented and special horse, patient and caring owners, and trainer and talented jockey. No where is that more clearly illustrated than in the career of Zenyatta.

  15. What a beautiful story, and very special.
    You are truly loved.

  16. Zen! Sorry that I have not written in a few days…I got a horrible cold just before Christmas break from school & have just started feeling better! My mom read me all of the posts since Dec. 20th…WOW…it was amazing to hear of all of this great news! Angels are very special…just like you! Do you know when Dottie may get the Kids site done?
    Just wondering…I am just happy to have my mom read all of your posts & watch your vidoes!

    Lots of Love, Ella


  18. To All fans Zenyatta, There is another post from LEF on Zenny’s facebook today that is too cute. Seems that Charles William Stuart Campbell was awarded Best in Show from a radio station in Kentucky. Thanks to Zenyatta and her fame!

  19. Oops, the correct name is Charles Stuart William Campbell. So sorry, Charles.

  20. Oh, count me in on a ‘Zenyatta Angel’ I would give them away for ‘pelones’ — little presents. ~ It was snowing all yesterday, last night and this AM. Went to get my hair cut & spent the whole time w/ Wendy talking about ‘Z’ & Wendy`s two cutie dogs who so, so love each other & hang on her every word, thinking she`s brilliant. She`s going right after work to get Zenyatta Commemorative Everythings.’ Fun Girl, ‘Z.’ Khc.

  21. Dear Zenny:
    Congrats to Charles (and you) for Horseman of the Year Best in Show. He is a HOTTIE and you are a HOTY.
    Perfect match!
    Hugs & nose kisses.
    Judy 8-)

  22. Bob Rose, the only thing left to say is Amen, Brother. You nailed it!

  23. Once aagain I thank you for the informitive post I knew what a browband is but to find out about you angel riding with you and the special tribute to a special Marjorie was great So glad the whole team has seen Ms Abigail’s beautiful letter in Blood Horse Lots of information along with lots of love

  24. Good evening Zenyatta. We love you so~!!

  25. Thanks for explaining the angel on the browband. I had wondered about that when I saw what looked like a piece of tape on it in your pictures. I am a teacher and I also used your determination and your team’s graciousness in my high school classroom.

  26. what a lovely tribute, once again showing the true caring of Team Z. so glad to hear Queen Z is loving it in Kentucky.

  27. Life can be so hard sometimes, but then there is one moment of sweetness and compassion that makes all of the hard times easier to bear. The story of this tribute made my heart sing…Bless you, Z!


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