The world lost a lot of knowledge with Larry; stories and tips and practices of all those who went before us, how to pick and present a show horse, how to stand one up and turn one out and have it jump its best. He was arguably the last of the horse show campaigners who still made success happen in the modern era, which isn’t an easy thing to do, to change with the industry like that. He was who he was, never made any excuses for it, and wouldn’t appreciate any of us doing it for him, but his loss doesn’t make the world any better.
It’s indicative of our sport and our reverence for trainers that on the FB post of the Piper Klemm article none other than Paul Valliere leaves a comment and receives nothing but thumbs up. If you win, all manner of sins will be forgiven.
It is hard to undestand how individuals who do horrible things to horses always seem to have people who just don’t get it and continue to do business with them. Would I do business with someone who arranged for horses to be killed for insurance money? No, but lots of others will it seems.
And it’s just not horses. He had a pretty long history being awful to the women in his life as well. Maybe he outgrew it, maybe he didn’t, but he sure wasn’t a role model for anyone I cared about.
My first interactions were way way way back when he and Trudy had Road’s End in Sunshine Ranches and we shared a fence line. I wasn’t doing hunters back then I was working for people in the breed world. Oh, yeah, those people were also trafficking in cocaine, because SFL and the 80’s. But between the types of neighbors they actually were and the general low opinion of the (soon to be convicted) DRUG DEALERS, well that was enough for me. There was no cause to raise my opinion in the following 40+ years.
I think there is an astonishing (to me) ability by the highly-ambitious to compartmentalize people who could be helpful to them. They look only at the present moment, not whatever may have happened at another time. That way they don’t have to think about values and choices. Just imo.