by John Chambers

I bought Ginger sight unseen down at Stevie Levingood’s in Pennsylvania from Kim Hemphill. She was there with her two daughters. She had a Dry Doc mare at home that she wanted to sell but hadn’t been able to get it done.

She told me the asking price for the mare and I countered with “Will you sell her for the cash I have in my pocket?”

She looked around behind my back at my younger brother, Mike, and asked, “Does he carry around that much money in his pocket?”

Mike indicated, “Why don’t you try?”

She did and I bought the mare.

When I went back to pick up the mare at Stevie’s, he said his mother had been riding the mare. She liked her so much he thought he didn’t want to let her go.

I said, “I paid for her, she’s my horse.”

The first place I took Ginger was the New York State Fair in Syracuse, There were 100 teams entered in the Team Penning. As a member of three separate teams she won 2nd, 5th and 8th place. Her winnings that day half paid for her.

Next I took her and another bay horse I got from Gil Soloway to Florida. I rode the bay and I let the president of the USTPA (U.S. Team Penning Association) ride Ginger. He got along with her so well he was sorry he had just bought a new horse.

On my way back from the National Finals in Lexington, KY, I lent her to a man who had lost his horse in a fire. My brother had told him, “Don’t worry, John will have a horse you can borrow.”

He offered to buy Ginger, and I took his money.

Two months later he called me to see if I would take her back because he’d bought a new Doc’s Hickory horse. He said his new horse “was a little hot, but that’s how I like them.” He said he’d take less than he paid for Ginger so I gave it to him and I took her back.

At this time Ann Helene’s daughter was about nine years old and she was going to a 4-H show. I had her practice the poles and barrels with the mare the night before. At the show the next day, she did California poles in world record time. As she left the ring, some woman said, “That horse doesn’t belong here.” Meredith put Ginger back in the barrels and won that too.

The last time I sold her, Gail Brofey came over from Hancock, NY to ride her at Mike’s team penning practice. She was a money lady who had thoroughbreds.

She had three horses in the Kentucky Derby, but was looking for a good horse she could ride.

Gail lived near Barby Jones, so Barb did a lot of trucking for her. She took Gail’s thoroughbreds to the veterinary school at Cornell. Gail ran up a large bill for trucking with Barb. So she gave Ginger to Barb to settle her bill.

When Barb brought the mare to team pen I didn’t even know her. She had Ginger so fat and good-looking I didn’t recognize my own horse. Barb kept using the mare until she was 25 years old and let her grandchildren ride her.

Very good mare, don’t you think?