Horse News

The Riderless Horse: A JFK Icon

Source: CNN Video

“50 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed; a moment frozen in time for many us.  To personally explain in more detail would easily date me but a recent CNN video report takes away a moment that stayed with me, too.  In honor of JFK, we respectfully share it with you and likewise, offer up a moment of silence for the premature passing of a President.  In God we Trust.  Keep the Faith.” ~ R.T.

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23 replies »

  1. I guess we all remember where we were the day the President was killed (at least the ones who are old enough) Blackjack made an impression on me too! Just for being what he was.


  2. I went to part of the funeral. I was in the crowds when the flag draped coffin was pulled by the white horses. My young mind didn’t know who or what a President was. My principal at school had determined that 1st and 2nd graders were too young to understand the implications so she elected not to announce the news to us.

    I remember I got home my mom was in tears. She kept shushing me and wouldn’t tell me what was wrong. It was kinda scary. Then my sisters came home and they too were in tears. At first they wouldn’t or couldn’t tell me what was wrong. Finally someone told me that the President had been killed. I didn’t know what a President was, and I certainly didn’t understand the assassination.

    All I knew was that this thing was on tv 24 hours a day for days. They took off all my cartoons–even Sat morning Fury! And all the people crying. It was so confusing.

    The crowds were overwhelming not only in numbers but grief. I couldn’t see a thing I was so small. My dad put me up on his shoulders and eventually we saw the flag draped coffin. That was it. The funeral for us was over. I just didn’t understand it.

    Eventually I came to understand the term President. I came to understand what assassination meant. To this day I hate all the hoopla surrounding President Kennedy–about Marilyn Monroe–did he or didn’t he? I mean who cares? It was three people’s business and none of ours.

    I don’t remember Black Jack. I’ve seen the video. It was a scary time. My neighbors had bomb shelter–I think a lot of people did. I know we had a big basement but it certainly wasn’t bombproof or sheltered from anything. Soon LBJ took over the reigns of the country. He wasn’t as charismatic as Kennedy.

    As life went on we lost Bobby in LA. That was shocking. It was horrifying that another Kennedy was assassinated. Then Senator Kennedy and that fiasco at Chappaquiddick. It was very confusing being born late in the 50’s and not understanding the hatred that caused people to do hateful really hateful things.

    So the things I most remember about this day 50 years ago were my mom’s tears and not understanding her grief. My sisters who tried so hard to explain this to me. My dad coming home pretty upset. He had briefed Kennedy on a couple of occasions on some things he was working on. And then the crowds at the funeral procession. All the tears and emotion. And then it was over when that flag draped coffin passed.


  3. Of Course The Horse Memory Stayed With Me Always Just As The Little Boys Salute To His Dad (John John). I Remember That I Was In third Grade When My Teacher Announced The Passing Of The President. I Remember School Being Dismissed Early And Going Home And Crying into My Dads Shoulder. I Remember The loss Of A GOOD president.


  4. I was in first grade but remember clearly being puzzled why the horse was so pissed off. I expected a more dignified, stoic and sad horse.

    From today’s vantage point it makes much more sense. On some level he had to have known how horribly wrong the whole situation was, and was surely mirroring the angst and anger of all those watching. He didn’t settle after, what 14 MILES of marching? It seems a minor miracle he didn’t take a few people out along the way. RIP to two bright stars.


  5. There were a lot of things stirring in this country then. It seems that much of it was never really settled….it has just simmered under the surface. The kettle is at a boiling point again, and it’s going to take all of us, working together, to make our country work as it should.


  6. I posted this a couple of years ago when I named my new colt ‘Black Jack’. I remember watching the horse on television and remembered one commentator mentioning his name. It stuck with me as did the entire affair….you see I lived in Dallas. When I had the opportunity to purchase a black colt I didn’t think of ‘Tornado’ or ‘Fury’ I remembered ‘Black Jack’. Here’s the background…

    “Black Jack,” a half-Morgan named for General of the Armies John “Black Jack” Pershing. Black Jack took part in the state funerals of Presidents John F. Kennedy (1963),[6] Herbert Hoover (1964), and Lyndon Johnson (1973), and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (1964).[7][8]
    Black Jack was foaled January 19, 1947, and came to Fort Myer from Fort Reno, Oklahoma, on November 22, 1952. Black Jack was the last of the Quartermaster-issue horses branded with the Army’s U.S. brand (on the left shoulder) and his Army serial number 2V56 (on the left side of his neck). He died on February 6, 1976, and was buried on the parade ground of Fort Myer’s Summerall Field with full military honors, one of only two US Army horses to be given that honor.[9]


  7. I was just a kid too, but I remember my mother crying. 😥

    Horses are so much a part of our history and dignity – it’s hard to believe in the present day how far removed we’ve become, to a valueless and soulless people.


  8. Just a young kid but never forgot the riderless horse…..such significance. I have always marveled at how much the horse has been a part of our government. Washington had donkeys, a young Caroline had a pony, horses deliver the white house christmas trees, funerals, war, border patrol………YET the government is out to destroy our majestic symbol of freedom! NONSENSE!


  9. “To educate our people, and especially our children, to humane attitudes and actions toward living things is to preserve and strengthen our national heritage and the moral values we champion in the world.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy


  10. It’s really interesting how so many of us were pretty much in the same age bracket. How our mom’s were in tears and the confusion our young hearts–didn’t understand all the emotion. What’s also interesting is how everyone here remembered Black Jack or in my case the white horses that pulled the flag draped coffin.

    I don’t know if Black Jack was there during the part I was there for.

    Then Jack Ruby came out from nowhere and shot Oswald. More utter confusion. Who were all these people and why had the world turned upside down on itself?

    To try to bring this back around to the horses I can only say this. I don’t like the BLM, what they do, the games they play, the semantics. But I know I’d NEVER go to lengths of Nov 22, 1963. You fight in Court. You rally in peace.

    It was a horrible day and time. And there are still really no answers. I feel for Caroline because as the sole survivor of her family her life will also never really be the same as it was before.


  11. Gotta love Black Jack. Black Jack did it his way and only his way. He makes me laugh and want to salute him at the same time.


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