Simonsig and Triolo D’Alene (Image: Anaglogs Daughter | Twitter)
The story of two male horses in love is melting hearts all over the world.
Featured in the Washington Post, English horses Simonsig and Triolo D’Alene have a very special connection. Famed trainer Nicky Henderson of Seven Barrows Farm even said he has never seen anything like it.
Charlie and Tracy Vigors own both horses, but never put them in the same yard.
Until one summer a few years ago when the pair met at Hillwood Stud – a thoroughbred stud farm 60 miles west of London.
With 10 horses in one yard, Simonsig and Triolo D’Alene immediately isolated themselves from the others.
When Henderson went down to the farm, he saw the male pair were immediately inseparable.
He said: ‘They just spent the whole summer like that together.’
Mirror image: Triolo D’Alene and Simonsig . Picture : Tracy Vigors
The equine best friends would often strike the same pose. pic.twitter.com/g8EVfzpLf7
— Anaglogs Daughter (@AnaglogsDaughtr) November 16, 2016
At the end of this particular summer, they went home and kept busy competing as jumping horses in various shows.
But when they returned to Hillwood Stud each year, they’d do the exact same thing they’d do every summer.
Vigors said: ‘They would stand together, eat together, walk together, trough together, eat out of the same food manger.’
A love through the years
They eventually became roomies – resting their heads on each other, scratching each other’s backs and eating from a shared food pot.
Both of them had breathing problems, so Henderson left them in a big stall with plenty of ventilation for fresh air.
He said: ‘It was the most extraordinary relationship. It was two boys who fell in love with each other.’
They also never dared to separate the two over summer, otherwise they would fret relentlessly.
— Phil Carter (@Carts1963) December 1, 2013
But nothing sexual ever happened. Both horses are geldings – meaning they’ve been castrated.
Henderson describes Simonsig as a very shy horse, but through Triolo D’Alene’s help, they managed to coax him out of his shell. If feeding Simonsig became a problem, Triolo would give him the confidence to eat by happily munching along with him.
It’s not unheard of for horses to show signs of homosexuality. In Bruce Bagemihl’s book Biological Exuberance, he states: ‘Homosexual activity is so routine among domesticated hoofed mammals.
‘Animals breeders have coined special terms for such behavior… mares who do so are said to “horse”.’
On one fateful competition day in November last year, tragedy struck.
Simonsig reached the third fence of the race and broke a hind leg. He then stopped in front of the final hurdle and collapsed.
There was no going back and no chance of recovery so they had to put him down.
When they brought the empty trailer back to the farm at the end of the day, they’d usually shout for each other excitedly. But the empty trailer made no noise.
Henderson said: ‘He would have known the [trailer] was coming back.’
In the days following, emails and letters arrived offering condolences to Triolo D’Alene for his loss.
Henderson’s unsure if he felt any grief. He said: ‘I don’t think — you can’t say he cried or he did anything like that.’
Triolo D’Alene is now retired and is like a ‘nanny’ to younger horses in a nearby farm.