Chaparral's Centurion
Section A Welsh Mountain Pony Gelding

Centurion in his youth, when still owned and shown by his breeder.

Centurion was bred by Diane Isaacson, Santa Barbara, CA. He was gelded as a four year old, but sired at least one foal prior to that. He produced Chaparral's Queen Bee, who was retained by Diane throughout her entire life. Queen Bee produced many foals and champions for her, including CHAPARRAL'S CRYSTAL LOM/AOE, who became our foundation mare, and CHAPARRAL'S QUEEN ANNE'S LACE by our senior stallion, *CEULAN LWCUS LOM/AOE/OD.

Three generations of Chaparral ponies
Chaparral's Centurion, Chaparral's Queen Bee, and Chaparral's Crystal, with Ben and Darci Maurer in 1990.

Centurion was our second purebred Welsh pony. We had bought his granddaughter, Chaparral's Crystal, who we then trained to ride and drive. However, with two children actively showing and only one trained pony, it was obvious that we needed a second pony so that each could ride their own. His breeder had lost use of the pasture she leased for her ponies, so needed to sell most of them quickly. She offered us her old show pony, Chaparral's Centurion, who had been retired for many years. It seemed like a perfect opportunity, so he joined our farm in 1990. Darci would continue to show Crystal, and Ben would get Centurion to show.

Shortly after arriving, he was lovingly dubbed "Goofy" for some of his peculiar quirks. We spent three years trying to convince him that he wanted to show again, and he spent three years explaining to us that we were VERY slow learners! In the end, Goofy got his wish to retire again, but not before he had taught Ben to be a rider, not a sitter.

Left: Chaparral's Centurion (aka Goofy) and Carrie, letting the world know in a candid moment, what they think of halter!
Middle: Ben and Darci, at a backyard lesson, on Goofy and his granddaughter, Crystal.
Right: Ben and Goofy waiting for their showmanship class.

Goofy became a regular each year to represent Welsh for the World of Equines exhibit at the LA County Fair.
His favorite part was undoubtedly getting to meet his public in the grandstands after his demonstration!

What kids can do to an old pony at bath time! One of the many faces of Goofy....

Playtime for the colts.... Goofy putting a young *Ceulan Lwcus in his place!
Ben riding Goofy in their last show together.

Goofy was retired from showing for the last time in 1993. It was finally time to admit that Ben's tall genetics had won the battle of whether he could continue riding a Section A! From the backyard beginning to this moment, his growth as a rider was evident. In the few years of riding the tricky old pony, Ben had mastered skills he would never have learned if he'd been given a "push-button" show pony.

To give him a lttle exercise, we put a hunt saddle on him and took him over some fences in the back yard. To our amazement, the old saddleseat pony, who had never been asked to jump, had a natural affinity for it, as well as a personal pashion, since from that point on, we kept finding him on the other side of barriers that were up to keep ponies out!

Goofy (left) with his son, Chaparral's Royal Commander (right), who was owned by Jodi and Greg Cutler at this time, and dubbed "Son-of-Goofy" when his own quirkiness made it obvious that he wouldn't fit in with her 4-in-hand team for driving!

Once a year, we would take him to an open show for a hunter class. Once Goofy realized that he was not there to do "round and rounds" he relaxed and fixed his attention to the other ponies as they did their courses, as though studying the competition. His form in the air was magnificent, but his saddleseat approach was the topic of much discussion. Refusing a jump was never in his vocabulary, indeed, his rider never really had to direct him, just hang on! Goofy would have made a wonderful jumper, as he eagerly took the jumps, with speed and cutting corners whenever he could. He was an E-ticket ride around the course, but one that everyone enjoyed.

Although he was leased out for performance on different occasions before we bought him, he only had two owners in his lifetime. Centurion came to live at Gaslight Farm when he was fifteen years old, and remained with us until one month before his death at age twenty-seven. He had too much life in him, even at his age, so we let him go for a trial lease to be ridden by a family. After only one month, his energy proved to be more than the children could manage and he was being returned to us. Just before we were to bring him home, he colicked severely and had to be put down. Had we realized that his days were so short, we would never have let him leave.