An ugly, gangly, misshapen little foal, all head and legs, was born on a full moon in October 2000. Despite this, his family loved this Arabian foal to bits! His mother, Belgrade Athena (Yamegi Azarak x Adelina Zibi), aka Bella, had done a bit of dressage in the past but was now just ridden as a bush hack around the farm. She was a lovely, gentle and placid horse and it was a joint family decision to have a foal from her. So, being an endurance rider, Frances Overheu sent her off to Silmaril Chand (Arim x Crown Jewel), one of Western Australia’s best endurance stallions.
Poseidon Moon (aka Homer) spent the first four years of his life running free and in his fifth year, he was broken-in and started his endurance career. Frances had previously given up Endurance Riding due to a shoulder replacement operation and a year spent in Melbourne. When arriving back in Perth she caught up with friends at an endurance ride and was hooked again! Homer was five – so it was obviously fate.
During the last ten years he has gone from being cute, to a character, to a champion and then a freak. Midway through the 2016 season he passed the 10,000kms milestone and became a legend!
In a sport where the partnership between horse and rider is of utmost importance they share a special partnership. No one else has ever ridden him. Frances, now 67 years old, has been in endurance for 20 years, clocking up 14,355kms but she says Poseidon Moon will probably see her out as ‘he’s got more endurance years left in him than I have’, but who knows!
Of 111 rides he has entered, he completed 102 of them, winning 66 and placed in all bar 12 rides. He has clocked up 59 best-conditioned awards. What a freak – indeed.
Frances says he’s a tough, stoic with a capital ‘S’ little horse with an ‘A’ for attitude. On any ride, he gets on with the business of endurance but acts like a tourist at times, stopping dead in his tracks to take in an interesting view or if he smells water nearby. Getting on with the business of endurance means sometimes galloping flat tack up the occasional steep hill in a very un-endurance-like fashion!Over the years he has become competitive and now wears a red ribbon. Right from the start, Frances has allowed him to be curious and has never been big on over-disciplining him. This may well have made Poseidon Moon the horse he is now.
A well-seasoned horse, he has an absurdly low heart rate and is so relaxed in the vet ring he has been known to fall asleep! Interestingly, Frances doesn’t even own a heart rate monitor.
It’s fortunate Poseidon Moon is well-seasoned because when riding him at home his ‘A’ for attitude comes to the fore and the ‘S’ for stoic changes to ‘S’ for stubborn. In fact, sometimes if he’s in the mood he just stops and walks backwards and there is nothing Frances can do. During these moments she realises she might be paying the price for his lack of disciplining! He lives in a 4,000-acre paddock and when it’s time for a feed and he is not nearby, Frances jumps into the car and goes to find him. As part of his training regime she doesn’t feed him where she finds him, she turns the car around and calls him and drives at 40kph back to the yards – Poseidon Moon and his companion race her there.
Frances insists she is not particularly competitive but what do you do when your horse goes like the wind and is competitive! She loves endurance because it’s a sport where you don’t have to be competitive – you can just complete and set your own goals. Her goal this year, his tenth as a qualified endurance horse, was to get to 10,000kms, which she has done. And it was fitting this was achieved during their 100th ride.
Frances wonders if his success stems from the fact his microchip number ends in 747! Or maybe his toughness can be attributed to the fact he lives in a 4,000-acre bush paddock and has never seen a stable. Or it could be his lack of disciplining? It could be his breeding? Or maybe it’s just pure luck? Whatever it is, Poseidon Moon is truly a living legend and still going strong!