Stone Fence Farms wasn’t the biggest or most prestigious breeding and training farm for thoroughbreds in Kentucky, but it was certainly one of the most beautiful. Nearly two hundred acres of rolling grasslands cut into rectangles and squares by black fences defined the fields where horses could graze, run, and play. The main house was a classic brick Georgian Colonial that welcomed visitors who traveled up a quarter-mile crushed-stone driveway from the highway. Behind the house, four large white barns with dark green trim housed sixty horses. About a half of the animals were being trained to race, with the rest enjoying retirement as breeding stallions or broodmares.
On a cool but bright December day, the farm was the location for a video crew whose mission was to shoot a breakfast cereal commercial starring CJ and Hit the Bid.
Large lights and space heaters were in position around the entrance to Hit the Bid’s stall, and several cameras were aimed at the horse as she stood with her head bobbing up and down at the stall door. After fifteen attempts to get CJ and the horse to perform as planned, the director of the commercial was losing his patience and his ability to project his smarmy and patronizing personality. Either CJ would butcher the lines she was to speak, or she would say them without a smile on her face and the right inflection in her voice.
Hit the Bid added to the dysfunctional situation by refusing to eat the large bowl of cornflakes CJ was placing in front of her, or by ignoring the bowl and nudging CJ in the shoulder with her nose. Between a playful horse that didn’t like cornflakes, and a young woman with marginal public speaking skills, the director realized he may have bitten off more than he could chew.
Finally, on the sixteenth take, CJ recited the lines correctly with the proper level of emotion and sincerity. She smiled throughout and raised the large bowl of cereal up to the horse’s mouth. Just as Hit the Bid was about to eat the product, a powerful stream of golden liquid shot forth from her loins, causing CJ to jump out of the way. It splattered all over the light reflectors placed on either side of the stall.
“Cut! Cut! Cut! The horse screwed it up—again!”
The director walked up to CJ and Hit the Bid, carefully stepping around urine-soaked clumps of hay. “You’re supposed to be able to talk to horses, young lady. Didn’t you know she was going to pee?”
“I’m sorry, sir,” said a distraught CJ. “She can pretty much pee anytime she wants.”
The man turned around and looked at Jimmy Crowder. “How long is it going to take to clean this up?”
“No sweat, brother. I’ll take care of this right away.”
When Jimmy walked up to the thoroughbred, he smiled and looked her in the eye. “You’re having fun now, aren’t you, baby girl?”
Jimmy’s question was followed by a loud blast of flatulent gas from the horse’s backside, and the passage of four stools, each the size of a grapefruit, hitting the stall floor with an unceremonious plop.
The director put his hands on his hips and lowered his head in frustration. “And I thought actors were a pain in the ass,” he muttered under his breath. Looking to his left, he spotted Ritchie Gallo, who was standing with his hand over his mouth and a concerned look on his face.
Gallo could see that things weren’t going well, and he sympathized with the anguish the director was enduring as he tried to bring a horse and an inarticulate young woman into his fantasy world. He decided they had reached a point where he needed to intervene in order to bring this to completion.
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