Famous Pony Visits Children's Hospital
Media Contact: Mary Colliver
LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 5, 2010) − Kentucky Children’s Hospital
patients received a visit from Little Black, the hero of Walter
Farley's "Little Black, A Pony." The famous pony came with Tim Farley,
the author's son.
The young patients were happy and excited to meet the pony and
Farley and receive their very own copy of one of Walter Farley's books —
"Little Black, A Pony," "Little Black goes to the Circus" or the
classic "The Black Stallion."
"The love Kentucky has for our children, books and our horses is the
perfect match for the Black Stallion Literacy Program featuring the
classic books from Walter Farley," said Mollie Jameson, a volunteer
with the project. "Our volunteers have been delivering the books to
first graders with a live pony, Little Black, and our experiences have
been heart warming and unforgettable. The program is here to stay."
Rowdy is a black miniature horse registered with the American
Miniature Horse Association (AMHR). His registered name is First
Edition Rowdy, better known as Rowdy, aka Little Black Pony.
Rowdy is 34 inches tall at the withers, and was foaled in Kentucky on May 23, 2001, making him almost 9 years old.
"I saw an advertisement in the newspaper for Rowdy in 2001 and decided
to go look at him," said Don Vizi, executive director, Rocky Mountain
Horse Association. "I found him in a barn, running over pallets and
other farm equipment. He was young and frightened, and I was very
concerned for his safety. I decided to go home and think about the
purchase. By the time I was home, I had decided to rescue him from his
current situation. I already had one miniature horse that I knew Rowdy
would make a good companion for my miniature gelding, and he was. They
became fast friends and wonder our 13 acre farm with two full grown
Vizi says Rowdy was handled daily and given plenty of affection. He is gentle, curious, and loves attention.
"I would go out to the pasture and he would come over to see what I
was doing, and let me know he wanted attention," Vizi says. "In the
beginning of this year, I was in the process of changing the breed of
horses in my barn and decided to no longer keep miniature horses. Since
my office was located at the Kentucky Horse Park, I asked Kathy
Hopkins, director of equine operations and education, if she would like
to have a black miniature stallion. She told me that this was the exact
horse that she was looking for. Kathy and one of her assistants came
to our farm, took one look at Rowdy, and said we will take him. Several
days later they came and picked up Rowdy. The rest is now history."
According to Vizi, the horse park has taken great care of Rowdy.
"Mollie Jameson and her group of volunteers have also done a great
job with Rowdy in the Black Stallion Literacy Program," says Vizi. "I
did see one visit Rowdy took to a school; he helped deliver books and
greeted the children. He loved being with the children and they loved
touching and petting a real horse. As soon as the children were given
their books they immediately started reading about the 'Little Black
Visits to children's hospitals, schools and communities are part of
The Black Stallion Literacy Foundation (BSLF), an innovative
partnership of educators, businesses, volunteers, education
foundations, and staff members focused on promoting literacy through
the winning combination of live horses and books by Walter Farley. The
program is based on the classic books of Walter Farley and the natural
connection between children and horses. The foundation's mission is to
help children discover the joys of reading and the excitement of
learning through the wonders of live horses and Walter Farley's Black
"We are so pleased to be involved with the Black Stallion Literacy
Program," said Loralyn Cecil, manager of communications and
publications, Office of Development, Kentucky Children's Hospital. "The
children love Little Black and they really enjoy reading the books."
The project was conceived in 1999 by Farley’s son, Tim, and Mark
Miller, owner of Arabian Nights Dinner Attraction in Kissimmee, Fla.
Friends for more than 30 years, Farley and Miller share a common
interest in encouraging children to read.
Farley knows the influence his father’s books have had on millions of
children, and Miller grew up and remains in the company of horses – a
winning combination for a program designed to motivate children to
read. The BSLF began serving children in 2000. Since then, more than
400,000 children across the United States have participated in the
For more information go to The Black Stallion tribute website or Arabian Nights.
For more information about the children's hospital, go to Kentucky Children's Hospital or contact Loralyn Cecil at 859-257-1106.