Q-Racing Blog: A True Gentleman

Racing has lost a true steward of horses in David Mackie.

Racing has lost a true steward of horses in David Mackie.

Horse racing lost a lovely gentleman on August 14 when David Mackie died after his 11-year fight with cancer. He was 80.

I never knew about David’s educational and business accomplishments until I read his obituary.

I knew the loving, caring couple – David and Susie Mackie. We discussed horses and real-life experiences, such as David’s cancer since my younger son is a cancer survivor. They were more vital conversations for us. I learned from them and they will always be part of my heart.

Now, we have lost David.

“He was the most wonderful man I have ever met,” said Susie. “I had him for 32 years. I was hopelessly in love. Our whole lives centered around the horses since we met.”

They traveled to Ruidoso Downs and their lives were changed. “A friend invited us to the All American and we fell in love with the place, the people, everything,” she said.

They reached the heights of American Quarter Horse racing when their Falling In Loveagain won the 1998 All American Futurity.

“To win the All American Futurity was the biggest honor,” said Susie. “And we did it with a filly we loved. She was our best friend. When she won it, it was like a locomotive going through my heart.

“She would know when we walked into (trainer Jack Brooks) barn. If you didn’t give her a carrot, she would start looking into your pockets for carrots and she would eat ice out of a cup.”

They then became the stewards of the great mare Strawberry Silk, whom they purchased from Jacqueline Spencer.

The Mackies kept Strawberry Silk at Lazy E Ranch and she was known as the queen of Lazy E. The All American Futurity-winning champion Strawberry Silk died peacefully while sleeping in her stall this past May at the age of 30.

The Beduino (TB) daughter was a champion runner and a champion producer.

“What an honor it was to own Strawberry Silk,” said Susie.

She is believed to be the highest money-earning mare ($1,235,166) to produce four graded stakes winners. Her graded stakes winners are leading sire and champion Stoli, Whathaveigottado, Rousing Encore and Pappasito.

Pappasito came along at the right time. The son of Corona Cartel has stunning conformation. I walked into Paul Jones’ Ruidoso barn and he said, “Come see this horse.”

I followed Jones over to the 2-year-old Pappasito’s stall and he was standing along the stall’s back wall. I said something like, “Wow.” I kept staring at him and thought I was looking at a true Quarter Horse. He could work in any athletic discipline. I was looking at a racehorse and imagining my cow-horse saddle on him.

That year, 2007, was the start of David Mackie’s cancer battle. Pappasito qualified for the John Deere New Mexico Juvenile Challenge (G3) at Ruidoso Downs and won the 350-yard dash. That earned him a spot in the Juvenile Challenge Championship that fall at Los Alamitos.

Everyone was crying in the winner’s circle after the John Deere New Mexico Juvenile Challenge. We were all thinking that the win would give David added motivation to try to make it to the Juvenile Challenge Championship. Pappasito was scratched as the 2-1 morning-line favorite to the Juvenile Challenge Championship and retired. David lived another 10 years.

During that blessed decade, the Mackies transitioned into the Thoroughbred game while David resumed his friendship with Will Farish, who is also from Houston and is the master of Lane’s End Farm in Lexington, Kentucky.

The Mackies joined a Farish-based partnership and one of the prospects the partnership bought was a colt from the last crop of A.P. Indy named Honor Code. From the direct family of champion Serena’s Song, his third dam, Honor Code earned $2.5 million, with Grade 1 wins in the Metropolitan Handicap and the Whitney Handicap. He now stands at Lane’s End Farm.

The Mackie horses always received the finest care. It is racing’s enduring loss when a true steward of the horse dies.

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