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Our first glimpse of Backstreet Kid V revealed a fuzzy baby, a sad fluff of cotton on four legs. Recently weaned, there was an air of loneliness about him. Somehow, Romney could not dismiss the little rascal and three months later we became committed to making him a part of our horse family. There were moments of brilliance on his way to becoming a grown-up. A stunning black two year old, he had earned his share of  nicknames along the way.

Throughout much of his babyhood, The Kid specialized in leaving me breathless. Particularly when he ripped through the mud with blinding speed, then ground to a halt, sliding like a puppy on a newly waxed floor. Always balanced, always upright. Amazingly, he would resurface intact after galloping downhill, jumping hedges, and flying over the far side of the valley calling his prowess to all within hearing range.  Then there were the halter excursions with Romney where I was aghast to find The Kid walking on his hind legs alongside his new best friend. Never threatening, he just seemed to enjoy towering over everything to view his territory, much like a prairie dog emerging from the earth. Always investigating and challenging his surroundings, "Backstreet Kid" could not have been a more suitable name. Much to my astonishment, he could unzip a jacket with his teeth while displaying the dexterity of a pickpocket. He would stand back to admire his handiwork as if to say, "Cool...huh!"

Even when the Kid began to bloom as an exotic swan among the ducklings, he never was allowed near a halter arena. This horse was an athlete from the tip of his nose to the end of his storybook long tail. Four years of age, nearly 16 hands, dark dapple grey and extremely handsome, he easily started under saddle. Within a year, he entered his first competition to win a large Hunter Pleasure Championship at the L.A. Equestrian Center with Joanne Fox aboard for his inaugural trip. We had no idea what to expect, but he really turned up the heat, moving like the true athlete that he is. The following year, he returned to Burbank and reclaimed the same Championship, this time beating 35 horses including more than a few National Champions. Santa Barbara to Burbank, that was his fifth win that season. By year's end, he had secured two USEF Horse of the Year Championships for both Region 1 and Region 2. To date, he has accrued 8 USEF Championships including 2010 USEF National Champion Hunter Pleasure Open Horse Of The Year. He won the 2010 Santa Barbara Maturity as well as a string of Championships throughout that year, continuing into 2011 where he began his journey with the proficient show string of Highland Pride Arabians, wining a highly competitive Regional Championship along with 2 hard fought Scottsdale Top 10’s, beating 65 horses in the process. Many thanks to Cynthia Burkman, Alison & Caitlin Piggot.

Today I marvel at his powerful, cadenced trot and his comfortable, rolling canter as if he could cover ground all day. That silver white tail streaming behind suggests a dappled equine comet. He breaks at the poll with the elegance of a carousel horse, though he most likely would dismiss that description of himself. A joy to ride, I truly enjoyed my time in the saddle with him.

Backstreet Kid V+ has a loving new home under the ownership of the very proficient, very delightful Gwen Mahoney. Together, they’ve won Championships in Colorado and ultimately, a Colorado State Championship. Gwen adores this great horse as they continue their life’s journey against a Rocky Mountain backdrop where trails are abundant.

Raised together, it's remarkable that our horses are two such very different personalities. Romney likens The Kid to a fellow in a sports bar, "high-fives" for everyone and no woman safe from his attention. If Alada Psynergy is The Queen, then Backstreet Kid is The Jock.

To this day, he leaves his stall with the exuberance of a colt, neck bowed and prancing, before settling into a quiet walk. Each turn-out is accompanied by a trumpeting call, a clear indication that we are to take notice of his presence. Should he catch a glimpse of Ally, his heart begins to throb just as it did when he first fell in love with her. But The Queen remains aloof, never returning his calls. Bruised feelings, he troops onward, ever the optimist. That's Backstreet Kid V.

~ Caroline Maupin

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