November 27, 2007
Crisp Co. -- We hear all types of Christmas songs this time of year, especially the old faithful "Jingle Bells."
On a weekday afternoon when most people have their Christmas decorations already up for the festive season, Hunter Brock starts decorating his best friend.
"Hi Bill," says Hunter as he approaches a big horse standing patiently after a shampooing.
"Bill is almost nine now," says Hunter.
The horse has ESP, extra sensory perception.
"He can tell when you're happy and when you're upset. He's just another human being," says Hunter.
"He's really taught me responsibility," says Hunter.
At 16, Hunter already knows what career he wants to pursue.
"Looking at veterinary medicine. Probably specialize in large animals," says Hunter.
Large animals like Bill the Clydesdale who is more than a one trick horse.
"He's my partner," says Hunter.
They have a horse and buggy business.
Hunter had to develop a feasibility study to prove a business opportunity existed. It did. The two of them frequently participate in weddings and birthday parties.
Bill pays for his own upkeep, no freeloading.
"He pays for his meals," Hunter adds quickly.
Bill likes to eat; a big boy who weighs 2,200 pounds and who can eat Hunter out of house, home and barn.
"He can do it. He eats about 20 pounds of grain and about half of a square bale," says Hunter.
"Get it roped in. Here you go," says Hunter's dad, Brinson Brock as they braid Bill's mane.
Hunter and his dad become hairdressers for about 10 hours.
"We'll braid that down and tie it off," says Brinson, to get Bill looking his best for an engagement.
"Hey, Hunter. How does that look," asks Brinson. "Looks good," says Hunter.
The hair on Bill's legs gets special attention.
"All you're doing is combing straight up, and it's giving that look where it's just blowing in the wind," says Hunter as he brushes the long hair to get it to look just right.
Bill had a brush with stardom.
He grew up the Budweiser Pulling team of Clydesdales, and almost made it, except for a little flaw beyond his control.
"You're exactly right," says Hunter.
Bill didn't have enough white hair on his right leg, about three inches more and he would have made the big time; Anheuser-Bush's loss and Hunter's gain.
"He's my boy," says Hunter.
They entertain with the distinctive sound of the bells and the hoofs, looking forward to the holiday season jingling all the way.
Hunter and Bill plan to participate in local Christmas parades, and they have their own web site: www.hunterbrock.com.