Popular draft horse passes on at Rock Ledge

       Gronant King William (“King”), a popular draft horse at Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, passed away May 10. Lillian Morris takes a cart ride with her draft horse King in
an undated photo. The big stallion had been part of the Rock Ledge Historic Site until his death May 10.
Courtesy of the Morris family
       The big stallion, age 22, had been a show champion in his day and was used to pull a four-wheeled buggy and two-wheeled cart at the ranch.
       He died naturally, and without pain, after becoming paralyzed in his hind legs that afternoon, according to ranch manager Andy Morris.
       "It was sad, definitely, but we were lucky it happened when it did, because we were there, and he was not suffering through the night," he said.
       One of four horses at the city-owned 230-acre facility, King had belonged since age 5 to Morris' mother Lillian, who had imported him from England, and was used by the ranch under an agreement with her.
       "My mom was devastated," Morris said of the loss. "He was her baby."
       He described the animal as "exceptionally well behaved, a gentleman all the way along."
       King was used mostly for special events at the ranch. "He had such a spirited, lofty way of moving, with his head held high," Morris said. "He knew when it was showtime."

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