Senior Connections Senior Connections Aug. 2018 - Page 10

SUBMISSIONS Senior Connections welcomes submitted items of any kind that may be appropriate for our readership. Contact us at Senior Spotlight: a life of horses Donald Becker, 91 Donald Becker, 91, of Kimball can answer any question pertaining to horses, as he has raised, trained, and driven hundreds of them throughout his life. Becker’s dad gave him his fi rst horse to drive when he was 10 years old. “And when I got good at that, he gave me two . . . then six . . . then 10, on a stream bottom plow,” recalled Becker. The Beckers lterally used horse power to take care of farm work for many years, and were actually the last ones to get a tractor in the Kimball area. Don’t be fooled by the horses’ size and strength, though. Becker says horses are “nicer animal[s] than any oth- er animal on the planet. You be good to them, they’ll be good to you.” One of the most memorable escapades Becker took was leading a wagon train to Itasca State Park. “I drove them all the way, my horses,” he said. “Even crossed the head of the Mississippi.” He also did a lot of showings at the Minnesota State Fair, and later became the 1998 national champion at the World Percheron Congress. He won it with a six- horse hitch. “I was pretty hard to beat down there,” he said beaming. Decorating Becker’s walls is a collage of paintings and photographs showcasing Becker, his horses, and the different wagons he’s driven – including a people mover, which was given as a gift from a gentleman Becker used to help advertise. Becker still owns eight percherons, and he likes to see them whenever he can. He can still drive a six- horse hitch. “Horses have been my life,” he stated sol- emnly. “You’ll never take the liking of horses away from me.” 10 Senior Connections August 2018 Senior Connections HJ.COM