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Brief Encounter 1987 – 2006

Brief Encounter

He was a star who shown brightly in the show ring and took his final bow in charismatic fashion. Such was the life of the grand Morgan gelding Brief Encounter. He had been a champion for every owner and trainer who had the pleasure of being a part of his 19 years. Thursday, July 6, 2006, was set aside as the time to honor Brief Encounter in his retirement ceremony at the Circle J Regional. Brief Encounter’s good friend Jay Kleiber read the following speech. It would become a final goodbye.

“Ladies and gentleman, please welcome to the show arena - for the very last time - the legendary - Brief Encounter - along with his family and friends.

“In 1946, the wonderfully classic, beautifully crafted film, Brief Encounter, premiered in England. It has been written that this adaptation of Noel Coward’s 1935 screenplay was touching, emotional, with charismatic performances - one of the greatest British masterpieces to ever grace the big screen. Simple, realistic, honest, self-told and, yes, a tearjerker at times!

“And so it would be in 1987, that yet another wonderfully classic, beautifully crafted bright-lights star would grace the many equine stages around the country with his charismatic performances. He was simple, realistic, honest, self-told, and yes, a tearjerker at times. He was one of the greatest Morgan masterpieces and he is here with us tonight, standing proud for his fans and admirers for one last time. His name is Brief Encounter.

“Bred by Dale Redding in Fort Wayne, Ind., Brief Encounter – or Brief, as we fondly know him – was born of the great mare Southview Whisper and sired by I Will Command. He became his sire’s namesake as he entered the arena time and again, taking command of all who would challenge him. We saw him countless times, in person and in print – the victorious champion, ahead of his time. From regional to national to world titles, we saw Brief wear the roses as he took care of his owners – child and adult.

“Recall, for a moment, Elaine Galatz in Grand National Ladies Pleasure Driving Geldings; Neil Galatz in World Champion Amateur Pleasure Driving, Gentleman’s Pleasure Driving and Roadster to Bike; Harold Angell, Roadster to Bike; Holly Johnson and Frances Pugh, Amateur Pleasure Driving; Carl Johnson, Junior Exhibitor Pleasure Driving; Kelly Probst and Lara Galatz, Roadster Under Saddle and Alexandra Meyer – Grand National Walk Trot 9 and Under, Oklahoma 2000 and 2001.

“His trainers here with us tonight – Bob Kellert and Mary Cockriel of The River’s Edge and Harold Angell of Vegas Valley Morgans, would tell you that Brief’s goodness extends far beyond the show ring. He is a kind horse with a big heart, a clown with a sense of humor, a master at bringing a smile to the face of all who know him. He’s the kind of horse that brings you back to the barn each day anxious to see him - he’s the kind of horse that you pat goodnight as you turn out the lights and bring close to your day.

“And so it is that we bring close to this chapter in the life of our good friend, Brief. From Indiana to Massachusetts, from Las Vegas to Colorado to North Carolina and back again, Brief Encounter will now spend his days grazing the pastures of Julie Ouska and Jay Kleiber’s Ridgewood Farm in Elizabeth, Colo. With views of Pikes Peak to the west and glorious sunrises to the east, with barefoot freedom and his tail flowing free, it is here that Brief Encounter will continue to touch the hearts of all who meet him, under the vigilant watch of his caretaker and friend, Jeffrey Nelson.

“Please join us at The River’s Edge after the session tonight for a celebration of this great star and rise as we bid farewell to the wonderfully classic, beautifully crafted Morgan masterpiece – Brief Encounter.”

Brief returned to
Colorado from Tara Farm this past winter. Little did we realize our time with him at Ridgewood would be but a brief encounter. Sadly, Brief died of colic just two days after his audience bid him farewell on Thursday night. He brought great joy to our lives in a very short time. He introduced Jeffrey to the Morgan breed and it was Jeffrey - his vigilant caretaker and friend - who laid down with him in his stall, holding his head as he went to sleep for the last time......

Goodbye, good friend.

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