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Love Brings Denman's Call & Erin O'Keefe Back Together After 5 Years

Horses are known to have a profound effect on the people who work with them. It is so easy to fall in love with them, to have them touch your soul in a way unlike any other animal or human has. In the case of Erin O’Keefe and Denman’s Call, this love developed when the gelding was just a foal.

Erin O’Keefe was working as a barn foreman in the Bona Terra A Barn at Taylor Made Farm. Her job was to, alongside one other person, care for 25 mares and foals. She fed them twice a day, held the mares for vet work, taught the foals how to lead, be groomed, and have their feet picked.

Rather than calling the young Denman's Call after his dam’s name “Maggie McGowan ‘13”, he was nicknamed “Mr. Magoo”.

When Erin O'Keefe started her job at Taylor Made, Mr. Magoo was just a few days old. “He was a nicely built foal, but kind of overlooked, because he was by Northern Afleet,” Erin explained. “He was in a barn with foals by some of the top sires in the country.”

Nevertheless, the young colt made an impression on Erin. He was funny and quirky, “a little bit dramatic”, Erin would say. There was one instance as a foal that he gave everyone at Taylor Made a bit of a scare.

“When he got an equilox extension on his hind foot (1 step beyond corrective trimming, they add equilox to be able to help correct conformation as the foal grows), we thought he was hurt,” Erin said. “He was out in the field, and wouldn't put any weight on the leg.”

“My boss came and we basically carried him in from the field. I was terrified he was really hurt, we set him on the rubber path to take a break, and he walked off fine. He just didn't want to step in the mud haha!”

If that incident wasn’t sure to leave a lasting memory of the young colt in Erin’s head, it had to be the way that he would call out to his sire from his paddock. The colt had to be in a drier paddock until his extension came off and that particular paddock happened to be across from Northern Afleet’s paddock.