The beauty of Eva Cassidy’s voice lives on in a magnificent race horse

The most popular Eva Cassidy CD was named after its title song that was originally sung by Fleetwood Mac called ‘Songbird’. Eva Cassidy sang it slowly with so much passion and melodic beauty that Mick Fleetwood described her voice as ‘pure as snow.’

Eva Cassidy Songbird

Eva Cassidy Songbird

Songbird proves to be a haunting ballad with soaring vocals that evoke sunshine powering through the dawn. ‘There is an undeniable emotional appeal in hearing an artist who died in obscurity singing a song about hope and a mystical world beyond everyday life,’ said a review in the British newspaper The Guardian.

Songbird

Songbird

It was the name of that title song on Cassidy’s album that eventually became the inspiration for one of the most brilliant young fillies seen in America in many years. Songbird inspired Rick Porter (Fox Hill Farm) to name his young horse in honor of her.

Rick Porter

Rick Porter

Rick Porter, battling his own health issues this year, sent his horse Songbird to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, and it didn’t take him long to realize he may have something special.‘Jerry was high on her relatively soon after she started to breeze,’ Porter says. ‘After her maiden victory I was expecting him to run her in a one other than allowance race, but he said he wanted to run in a grade I. I thought he was nuts until I questioned his decision and he said she was the best 2-year-old. After hearing someone like Jerry say that, I told him ‘OK.’ And he was right. Songbird has now become a superstar.’ Songbird took her unbeaten sequence to 11 with yet another resounding victory as she overwhelmed a field of top-class rivals by nearly six lengths in a totally dominant performance at the Parx Racecourse in Philadelphia on September 24th!

Paraphernalia

Paraphernalia

Eva Cassidy loved horses; in 1981 she had found a job as a ‘hot walker’ at a race course just outside her hometown Bowie (MD), and was required to handle enormous, temperamental thoroughbreds after training, cooling them down and returning them to their stalls. Eva was short but strong and, astonishingly, she proved very capable of dealing with these large animals. But it could be a dangerous job: Eva once showed her friends a set of large teeth marks on her shoulder from one temperamental filly; luckily she had been wearing a heavy leather jacket. Eva certainly would have loved the idea that a race horse was named after the song that made her famous.

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