The Official Photoblog of the Seattle Thunderbirds

Cool Bird, Meet Cool Bird

Recently I had the opportunity to travel out near Buckley to photograph a newly-born racehorse.  Why would I be talking about this on the Seattle Thunderbirds’ photoblog? Well it just so happens that the horse belongs to Dean Street, one of the T-Birds’ minority owners, and Street named the newly-arrived foal Cool Bird after our own mascot.  Cool Bird (the bird) heard this news and wanted to meet his namesake, and I, along with team videographer Nicholas Kocan and public and media relations director Ian Henry, was there to document this meeting of the Cool Birds…

Cool Bird (the horse) is living at Griffin Place out near Buckley.  After a car ride full of anticipation, Cool Bird (the bird) was excited to finally get to the stable and stretch his wings…

Canon 7D, 70mm, 1600 ISO, f/4, 1/3200th, Manual

Then it was time to see the horses!

Dean Street, minority owner of the Seattle Thunderbirds, says hello to one of his horses and the dam (mother) to Cool Bird, Stormin Kitty.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/2.8, 1/250th, Manual

After Cool Bird (the horse) got used to seeing Cool Bird (the bird)—after all, it’s not every day horses see a six-foot bird with fur—the gang headed out to the pasture to roam around for a bit.

Cool Bird, Cool Bird (middle) with Risa Walter, Griffin Place Farm Manager and Stormin Kitty, with Karen Seal, Farm Manager for Dean Street, head out to pasture at Griffin Place.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 1600 ISO, f/5.6, 1/1250th, Manual

Once there, it was a great opportunity for Cool Bird (the horse) to stretch his legs…

Canon 7D, 195mm, 1600 ISO, f/7, 1/1250th, Manual

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/7, 1/1250th, Manual

And once there, it was also a great opportunity for Cool Bird (the bird) to stretch his legs…

Canon 7D, 180mm, 800 ISO, f/2.8, 1/1250th, Manual

Cool Bird and his mother, Stormin Kitty, roam the pasture at the Griffin Place near Buckley.

Canon 7D, 200mm, 1600 ISO, f/7, 1/800th, Manual

After they were done stretching their legs, they were brought over to Cool Bird (the bird) so he could introduce himself…

Cool Bird (the bird) finds himself beak-to-nose with Stormin Kitty, the dam (mother) of his racing horse namesake.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1600th, Manual

Canon 7D, 38mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1600th, Manual

Next up, Cool Bird (the bird) attempted to feed the two horses carrots.  Stormin Kitty was very appreciative of the extra food, but Cool Bird (the horse) does not have teeth yet so could not eat the carrots.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1000th, Manual

Cool Bird (the bird) receives more carrots Griffin Place Farm Manager Risa Walter to give to Stormin Kitty.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1000th, Manual

Cool Bird (the bird) offered his hand for Cool Bird (the horse) to sniff and get accustomed to.

Canon 7D, 32mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1000th, Manual

Canon 7D, 28mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1600th, Manual

Despite not willing to eat from Cool Bird (the Bird)’s hand, Cool Bird (the horse) was willing to lick the carrot-taste off Cool Bird’s hand…

Canon 7D, 59mm, 800 ISO, f/5, 1/1600th, Manual

After the carrots and carrot taste were all gone, it was time to leave Cool Bird (the horse) and Stormin Kitty in the pasture while the human and avian members of the group returned to the stables.  Before that, though, Cool Bird (the bird) posed with Risa and Karen for some photos…

Canon 7D, 70mm, 800 ISO, f/7, 1/800th, Manual

Public and Media Relations Director Ian Henry (right) inspects one of Dean Street’s other horses in the stables at Griffin Ranch.

Canon 7D, 28mm, 800 ISO, f/2.8, 1/200th, Manual

And with that, our visit was over.  Cool Bird (the bird) had a great time meeting his namesake, and it showed while he was leaving the ranch…

Canon 7D, 33mm, 800 ISO, f/7, 1/800th, Manual

But first he checked his feet as everyone should do after running through a horse’s pasture…

Canon 7D, 45mm, 800 ISO, f/7, 1/800th, Manual

And didn’t like what he found there.

Canon 7D, 45mm, 800 ISO, f/7, 1/800th, Manual

That concludes photos from our trip to Griffin Place to see the two Cool Birds interact with each other.  I look forward to seeing what Cool Bird (the horse) can do on the race track once he grows up.  He’s got great racing blood in him—his sire (father) was Grindstone, the 1996 Kentucky Derby winner, and Stormin Kitty (his mare, or mother) can trace her lineage to plenty of other great race horses, including a particular one named Secretariat.

Come to think of it, I think I want to see Cool Bird (the bird) on a race track too.  He showed he was pretty quick on his feet in the pasture earlier…

For our next post, we’ll check out some photos from the T-Birds’ overtime win over Chilliwack!

‘Til next time, Go T-(and Cool) Birds!

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2 responses

  1. Debbie Raplee

    Love this! A great legacy lives on! Stormin Kitty is beautiful, as is her offspring Cool Bird. Great lines with great things in their future. And Cool Bird and the Thunderbirds – Great thing to come there too!! Thank you so much for sharing this story. Just might have to attend the 2014 Kentucky Derby! Go Birds!!

    March 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

  2. Kay Cooper

    Stormin Kitty is a beautiful mare and looks like a great mom. She gave you a spectacular baby. Both look healthy and happy. The video was great and needs to be seen.

    April 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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