by Ann Jamieson

Sherri Wright wasn’t looking for a horse.
But he found her anyway.

Sherri, a huge fan of barrel racing, lives in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada.
One October Sherri was scrolling through tack ads on Facebook. Off-the-track Thoroughbreds kept coming up for sale. Just pulled from the track, they were looking for their forever homes.

Sherri had seen them before, and seen a few nice ones, but nothing that caught her eye. Nothing caught her eye that day either. That is, until the last one.
She couldn’t take her eyes off of him. His name was Bodgie, and he was a handsome bay. There was an instant attraction; she knew she had to have him.

But his price was $2000.00. She knew she couldn’t afford that.
Sherri kept going back to the ad. She called; asked some questions. Was the horse still available? Did he have any injuries? Was he sane?

The woman who answered explained that the horse didn’t really have any interest in racing and was used as a lead pony to take horses onto the track. He was a little cowhocked, she said, but it didn’t bother him. For Sherri, that was perfect, in fact she looked for that trait in her barrel horses.
But it didn’t really matter anyway; she didn’t have the money.

Still, she couldn’t get him out of her head.
In January, they posted Bodgie again. The price was now $1500. Sherri called and tried to get them to lower the price a little more.
“No,” they told her. “He will sell.”
Sherri hoped they were wrong. The connection she felt with the horse was unmistakable. He was meant to be hers.

In May Sherri had a barrel race in Taber. The horse…her horse…was in Barnwell, only 10 minutes from Taber.
At the barrel race; Sherri completed her run on her palomino AQHA mare Ginger, winning some money in the process. Taking the winnings in an envelope, Sherri then called Bodgie’s owners. Within minutes she and her husband Matt were on their way to Barnwell hauling Sherri’s tiny 1982 Royal two-horse trailer.

Soon they came to three horses in a field. Instantly, Sherri felt a connection to the bay. “That’s him! That’s Bodgie!” she yelled at Matt.

Laughing at her, he said, “You’re nuts. It’s not him.”

As they pulled up to the farm, Sherri jumped out of the truck and a woman named Connie introduced herself. Sherri said hello as she walked by, heading without pause to the pasture. “Already I was crying, bawling my head off.”
Connie stayed at the fence while Sherri whistled to get Bodgie’s attention. Leaving the other two horses, he came trotting up to her.

“He was in love too. He was all over me, nickering, sniffing, oh my God I can’t even describe in words. There are none.”
Sherri walked away. Bodgie followed. Followed her all the way to the fence where Connie waited.
“Now I’m still bawling,” says Sherri. “I handed Connie the envelope and said ‘This is what I have. What do you want?’”
“Five hundred,” Connie answered.

It was exactly the amount that was in the envelope.
“He’s been a total terror to everyone that looked at him,” Connie explained.

Bodgie squeezed himself into Sherri’s tiny trailer. Of course he’d been a terror to everyone else. He’d been waiting for Sherri for six months. It was time to go home.

Although people told her Bodgie was way too big to be a barrel horse, “they were so wrong. He loves his new job. He’s like riding a freight train; he’s got so much heart and speed.” Sherri’s had Bodgie for three years now and their relationship continues to get stronger. She and Bodgie just won a 3D buckle in barrel racing (1D is the fastest division, 2D the second fastest and 3D the third fastest) and $315. “He just wants to run. It was a blast!

I almost burst into tears every time I see him. I love that damn horse so much. He is the best…It was so meant to be.”

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