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Parker Road - A Survivor Of Hurricane Katrina



by Margaret Cordes


Parker Road and Owen Weaver

joyfully exit the ring with a coveted

reserve world’s championship ribbon.

 

A new ladies amateur five-gaited combination brought thunderous applause during two nights in Freedom Hall. The accolades brought owner and rider Dr. Owen Weaver to tears. She is not only thankful for the crowd and the judges’ approval but also thankful for her new five-gaited teammate, and now Reserve World’s Champion of Champions and Reserve World’s Champion, Parker Road.

         

Who is Parker Road? Weaver and trainer Patty Milligan will proudly tell you he’s a product of Hurricane Katrina, living and learning to rack out of a Louisiana chicken house. Milligan spotted the eight-year-old gelding last December at a Houston area horse show. She saw not only the talent but was also impressed by the personality of the big gelding.

         

Weaver remembers Milligan’s phone call. “Patty said, ‘Owen I’ve got you a new horse. He’s got personality, uses his ears, he’s game and he’s bright.’” Parker Road is the product of Dr. Fraser MacKenzie, a Louisiana pathologist. MacKenzie had his hands full after Hurricane Katrina. He needed a release, explained Owen Weaver, and decided to gait his gelding. Parker took to his gaits as MacKenzie dove into his new project. MacKenzie didn’t need a fancy show barn or a fancy facility to start this future world’s champion contender. In fact, Parker’s stall was in a chicken house at home on MacKenzie’s Hammond, La., farm.

         

Milligan, Weaver and trainer Lonnie Quarles fell in love with the horse immediately. Weaver’s first ride on her new teammate inspired a new name for the former pleasure horse known as Tabasco’s Hot Chili Pepper.

         

“Parker Road popped into my head,” explained Weaver. “I named him after the road Milligan Stables sits on. It fits him and I love that barn and the people, so it has meaning to me.”

         

Their immediate connection as a team was evident in the show ring as Weaver and Parker Road made their debut just months later at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. Proudly watching in the stands was his breeder, Jan Henderson of Mandeville, La. The team was the talk of the show as many exhibitors also witnessed the personality of the powerful gelding, naive yet confident and proud, and now a reserve world’s champion of champions!

 

Weaver was met back at the barn by her mother,
Lynn Via, while she
called friends and family to
announce
her success with her new teammate.


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