Chief and Spud
The next inductees into the Professional Category of the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame are Chief and Spud, two very large Percheron horses. This pair is owned by Pat Palmer of Bristol, VT. Dr. Randall Ross is the nominating VVMA member veterinarian.
Is this a time warp moment emerging from somewhere in the 19th Century? Are we really hearing Percheron hoof beats on the streets of Bristol? Indeed we are! Meet Chief and Spud, a working pair of draft horses who once a week for the past 6 years have served the community of Bristol, VT by bearing the load of that community’s recycling specialists. On many mornings, children are seen running to the street’s edge to wave to these animals. Tourists pause at the sound of the approaching hoof beats, gaze at the horses, turn to look at each other, amazed expressions on their faces. Cameras appear and Pat patiently slows his beloved team to allow the town residents and visitors to socialize with Chief and Spud.
The team of horses, in their decorated harnesses, methodically pulling the wagon is very reminiscent of a choreographed clogging dance. The rhythmic “clip clop, clip clop” sounds make our thoughts travel back to times gone by. Pat and his friend Lynda Malzac (known locally as the village horse whisperer) take turns behind the reins, driving the animals and stealthily loading the wagon. Around one bend, Chief and Spud quicken their pace on approaching Martha Correll’s home. Martha, a Bristol local, always offers weekly carrots and two large buckets of water for their labor.
During the Holiday Season, Chief and Spud can be found pulling a wagon full of carolers through the wintry Bristol streets. What a joyful sound and wondrous spirit they bring to the village!
The beauty of this historical scene is only enhanced when one thinks of the act of environmental preservation being conducted by Pat, Chief and Spud. This threesome is definitely decreasing the carbon emissions in Bristol!
Chief and Spud are very unique animals and productive members of the Bristol community. They have brought squeals of joy, satisfied customers and tireless service to the town and ultimately contribute to the environmental future of the state of Vermont.
The VVMA is happy to induct the team of Chief and Spud into the Vermont Animal Hall of Fame in the Professional Category.