Monday, April 22, 2019

Milliron Monday: Coffee with Jerry 4 22 19

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Middle Photo: Jerry Hartley, April 19, 2019
Bottom Right Photo: Jody Smith, Dr. Smith, Jerry Hartley, Fritz Bookman

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast, Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

There is nothing more exciting to see a friend that you haven't seen for several years. This was the case last Friday when Jerry Hartley stopped by the barn. We started talking where we had left off - about Milliron Clinic, Dr. Smith, and all the wild and woolly antics from long ago. 

I first met Jerry on June 4, 2013. He came to my barn office to interview for Dr. Smith's biography. Jody (Smith) was there, too. Jerry and Jody spent hours reminiscing about farm calls, surgeries, endurance rides, trail rides, horses, and life with Dr. Smith.  Jerry, like Dr. Smith and his family, is a horseman. At one time, he stabled over 20 mares, along with an award-winning AQHA stallion. 

Jerry's horse stories are the best - one of my favorite stories is about Junco, the beautiful white New Forest Pony who was the prize stallion of two sisters from Rockbridge, Ohio, but destined to become the star of Milliron Farm. Jerry tells the story best...

     A man from Rockbridge purchased New Forest Ponies directly from England. He had the only herd of New Forest Ponies in the United States at the time. The man died and left his ponies to his two daughters. 
     Junco, one of their stallions was up for sale. When I went to see Junco, the sisters told me he was a bit wild and sometimes difficult. The sisters were surprised when Junco loaded right into my trailer without any hesitation. 
     I had the stallion for several months when a woman from Canada called and said she wanted to buy Junco. I sent her pictures and agreed to sell him to her. The Canadian woman came to see Junco and she really liked him. He was a beautiful horse. The woman said she did not like Junco's mane, his tail was not perfect, and his hooves were not right. 
     Well, the woman was trying to convince me that Junco was not worth the price I was asking. I was upset; Junco was perfect the way he was and for the woman to degrade the stallion in that manner was unacceptable! The woman went up to my house to get a cup of coffee. I picked up the phone and called Dr. Smith. "Pete, what are you doing tomorrow? Set me up an appointment to castrate Junco." 
     The woman overheard my conversation with Pete. She said, "No! I want to buy Junco the way he is!" 
     I said in a loud voice to her, "Ma'am, I have never sold a horse that bad to anybody in my life, and I'm not going to sell it tonight!" 
     The next day, I took Junco to Pete for castration. I gave Junco to Jody that day. Jody broke Junco to pull a cart. She will tell you that Junco was one of the best horses she ever had. 


Jody and Junco spent many hours together through Milliron Farm and the surrounding trails. The team placed third in the Senior Division of the Ohio State Trail horse championship when Junco was 28 years old. He lived to be 35. 

I can't wait to visit with Jerry again. So many horse stories. All over coffee with Jerry.

Do you have a story about Dr. Smith and Milliron Farm/Clinic? Send me an email gmcknight11@gmail.com!

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

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