John Henry's 30th Birthday Celebration
Every March 9th, Chris McCaron, who was a jockey known for his gentle horsemanship (if it's even possible to juxtapose these concepts), & hundreds of others celebrated John-John's birthday. Chris McCaron also visited John Henry frequently during John-John's retirement (22 years) at the Kentucky Horse Park.
I have been told by people who know Mr McCaron that he truly loved John-John. It has also been said of Chris McCaron that certain "owners" of Thoroughbred racers would not hire him to ride their horses because he refused to rough up (read: beat mercilessly with the racing bat) horses while they raced. In fact, even the so-called "progressive," Jane Smiley--who "owns" & races Thoroughbreds, pulled Chris McCaron off of one of her horses because he would not be as rough with him as Ms. Smiley wanted (to this Ms Smiley admits in her otherwise enjoyable book , "A Year at the Races").
So hats off to you Chris McCaron. Thank you for being a loyal & loving friend to John-John.
Photograph: David Perry of www.Kentucky.com