The Minstrel: equine version of Midas

Page 150 Rivers of Gold: “In the theatre of the Thoroughbred The Minstrel deserves top-billing.  Where Nijinsky set the stage, The Minstrel put the show on the road.

Flaming Page and Fleur

The equine version of Midas, The Minstrel fueled the illusion their sire, Northern Dancer, was more valuable than gold.  This saga, in its entirety, is chronicled in The horse and the tiger.  Born of the converging of Canadian genetic streams, The Minstrel’s dam is a daughter of Flaming Page…

Flaming Page bore 3 foals: Nijinsky, his full-brother Minsky (Irish two year old Champion), and her 3rd and final foal, a filly named Fleur.

The filly’s sire was Victoria Park-the stellar Canadian racehorse, brimming with character and blistering speed.  Fleur won a few races and before long had joined the herds of Windfields mares. In the spring of 1973 she was bred to Northern Dancer.. yet that she actually gave birth to this foal is another miracle.

Windfields made it a practice to group pregnant mares according to similar due date.  Fleur was turned out among the herd of mares grazing leisurely in the ‘Dead Tree’ paddock, which derived its name from an ancient oak tree that had fallen against the four-board fence.  About a week after she arrived it was discovered Fleur was lame and unable to move.  Windfields resident veterinarian, Rolph deGannes, was called immediately: “We had to send a two-horse trainer into the field to bring her into the barn.  I suspected a fractured shoulder, but x-rays were negative.”

…to be continued



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