While we may know some famous horses such as Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Barbaro, or Man O’ War, what is not so well known are the many famous people who love horses. So as part of an equine therapy series, I thought I would shed some light on the many well-known people and the horses they love.
While Swayze’s profession was as an actor and dancer, and there aren’t many people who aren’t familiar with the movie, “Dirty Dancing,” his true love was Arabian horses. He and his wife, Lisa Nieme, kept several mares and foals, the first being an Egyptian bred mare named Aleenah.
When asked why he chose Arabian horses, the actor responded, “I grew up with horses. My father was a cowboy in Texas. We lived in Houston. At the age of eight, I visited the Gleannloch Farm and from then on I was lost! I dreamed of nothing but Arabians, and when I imagined Arabians, they were Egyptians!”
Swayze’s favorite, however, was a chestnut stallion named Tammen. This magnificent animal typifies just what Patrick dreamed of as a child, but to the celebrity, he was more than just a horse, he was a friend. “He has such a terrific personality,” said Patrick. “He is a very powerful and dynamic stallion – and yet so gentle and calm when kids are around.” For Patrick he was the epitome of sheer elegance and beauty.
And many judges have agreed – Tammen has had a successful and varied show career.
Certainly, Patrick’s fame seems to be one reason for Tammen’s popularity, as many owners send their mares to him to be bred.
What fascinated Patrick so about the Egyptians? “Their beauty,” he said. “I like the form of the head, the proud trot, the harmonious physique. Everything fits together and is in accord. There is a natural balance in everything. I am a dancer, and I can tell when a body is made with function in mind. A healthy Arabian is built for function! And that fascinates me.”
To read more about Swayze and the relationship he had with his horses, click HERE.
And here is a wonderful video of Patrick and his beloved stallion:
Photo by Alan Light, available under a Creative Commons attribution license
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Last reviewed: 17 Jul 2012