It was the Nationals of 1986. Emily looked around the stands, her eyes sparkled with excitement. Jonathan Wellington III was attending his son’s competition for the first time. Today was very special for the three of them. Michael planned to make this steeplechase a race his father would not soon forget. He hoped to impress his father with his performance so he might attend the sport Michael lived for on a regular basis.
Emily smiled at her father over a steaming cup of café au lait. It was a tradition of the French to drink a steaming cup every morning. They swore; it’s a luxurious way to open your eyes to the fullness of the day.
Emily glanced anxiously down at the track to see Michael mounting his prize horse, Cold Steele. The only stallion in the stables that Emily had never been allowed to ride, nor did she care to. To Emily it seemed that Cold Steele was a fire breathing dragon. Michael was the only one that knew how to handle him. The name Michael chose suited the U.S. born and bred quarter horse perfectly. Cold Steele was black as the night and if you looked deep into his eyes, you saw a chilling silvery grey color which struck fear down in your soul. Emily found the horse’s eyes haunting; therefore she never looked too closely.
Cold Steele danced around as Michael positioned himself in the saddle. Jonathan checked his watch several times with anticipation. Following the steeplechase race, he had an important meeting and he couldn’t afford for the race to be delayed. He had a lot riding on this meeting and there was money to be made.
Jonathan Wellington III was attending this race not only because it was The Grand Nationals but because today was Michael’s seventeenth birthday. Jonathan wasn’t sure what next year had in store. As busy as he had been the last eight years it was impossible to predict a year in advance, only to hope next year might prove to be more profitable than the present.