(Lori Hebel-Osborne, co-owner and great-caregiver, gives the thumbs up to her baby and now 2YO Diamond Solitaire)
There is nobody in the world that loves her horses more than Lori Hebel-Osborne. None.
Oh, you may equal her in your love donations. I will give you that. We all have our favorites. We all give freely. We all hug and tug, and spoil. But there is no one that loves them more. None.
When Diamond Solitaire was just a babe — still wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in her stall manager — Lori would spend many a day with her. The filly was bed ridden with a leg fracture. The “substitute moms” were the nurse mare, Geri, and Lori. They took turns nurturing.
When Diamond was able to go outside, just for a few minutes, Lori and her husband, David, built a small round pen just outside her stall. Lori always stood watch.
When Diamond was finally allowed to go into the paddock and run with the other babies? Well, I thought Lori was going to run right by her side. Instincts run deep, you know.
And, when it came time to come up with a name for the filly, it was Lori — who else — that nailed the perfect one.
The filly is by Majestic Harbor, a study colt who won the Santa Anita Gold Cup among many Graded Stakes for the Osborne family and is now a stallion for them in California. And, the filly is out of my mare, Diamond Seeker.
When Diamond Seeker suffered a severe bout of colic and died, leaving her baby alone in the world, Lori quickly said that we should name her:
It was perfect. And, we got it registered with The Jockey Club.
Today, Diamond Solitaire is nearing the time she goes to the racetrack and trainer Stephen Lyster. She is now owned by the Osbornes, the McLeans and a host of great people that we met along life’s journey. And, she is loved by many now. Both those that have met her in person, and those that have followed her on social media. Some times the world truly does amaze you.
For now, Diamond Solitaire is home for the next few days — until she is off to college and life’s next great adventure and chapter. A story that we will be sure to track for any and all that are interested.
And, I am equally as sure that when the day comes, Lori will shed a tear.
One out of celebration. Her baby is ready to go to work. Her baby is about to grow up for good. Her baby is ready to go do what Lori prepared her to do.
But also a little tear out of dedication. You see, Lori Hebel-Osborne was born to raise horses like Diamond Solitaire. Just as much as Diamond Solitaire was born to run.
So the story goes.