‘The Night Before Christmas,’ racehorse style

Liz O’Connell penned a new version of this holiday classic, with a horsey twist.

From Liz:

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the farm,
Not a creature was stirring, at peace in the barn.

Hay nets were hung, water buckets were full,
An overall feeling of care and good Yule.


The weanlings were flat out, asleep while they grew,
The mares were snoring, some nearly were due.

A second past midnight, there rose such a clatter,
The horses jumped up, curious to see who made the hoof patter.


Down the aisle came Whirlaway, Nijinksy, and Slew,
Secretariat, Affirmed, Sky Beauty and Ruffian, too.


More rapid than eagles, these coursers they came*,
The mares stamped hooves, snorted and nickered their names.


The weanlings were wild eyed, prancing and pawing,
The sight of these greats, was destiny most awing.

With a toss of her head, Ruffian led the troops to the doors,
The message was clear, racing history is made and it can be yours.

The youngsters grew quiet, they saw the future that night,
To run safe, fast and strong, to race their birthright.


Inspiration and *source: A Visit From St. Nicholas written by Clement Clark Moore in 1822.

Originally published on the Huffington Post, republish rights granted by the author.

All photos from the Breyer Horse Holiday Collection.

Liz O’Connell is professional horsewoman and writer. She covers horse racing, politics and among other subjects . She was a member of the New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses and is a graduate of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


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