Bodden Town district’s own Barefoot Man, George Nowak, was pleased recently to learn that a young horse has been named Barefoot Man, and naturally, George, for short, after him.
“I’ve been coming to the island for 40 years and remember Barefoot Man from the Holiday Inn days,” said Barefoot Man’s owner, Jan Bigelow, who along with her husband Roy Smith breed sport horses near Collingwood, Canada. Of their 11 horses, three are brood mares, others are foals and the rest are youngsters.
“We hope to breed athletic and good-minded horses. Some are for amateurs and others are for professionals,” she said.
Ms. Bigelow’s connection to Cayman stretches back many years, and continues to this day.
“I first visited Grand Cayman when I was about 17 and could gallop the local ponies on Seven Mile Beach with nobody there,” she recalled.
“We stayed at Holiday Inn, and guess what the entertainment was?”
Back in the day, Barefoot Man was a frequent performer at the now-defunct Holiday Inn.
These days, the couple often stays at Morritt’s in East End.
“We were at Morritt’s in April and would love to visit this autumn, and if not, next spring before the next babies are born,” said Ms. Bigelow.
She and her husband recall discussing horses with Mr. Nowak a number of times while staying at Morritt’s. Mr. Nowak’s wife is a riding instructor and he is a great horse lover himself.
Barefoot Man the horse, by German warmblood Oldenburg stallion Braecrest Beaumont, out of Thoroughbred mare Cool Dolly, was born on July 8.
“He’s a delightful, bold, curious colt,” said Ms. Bigelow.
Ms. Bigelow explained the name of the foal had to start with a B to show the sire’s line.
“German bloodlines follow the stallion’s lines,” she said.
“If the stallion’s name starts with A, then the foal’s names start with A, and so on. Barefoot Man’s sire is Braecrest Beaumont, and his sire is Banderas.”
She noted that naming horses of Dutch breeding is different, in that each year the foals’ names start with a different letter, like U.K. car license plates.
As for how the couple finally landed on a name for the foal, it was a case of weather and timing aligning.
“Roy and I were sitting on our deck and it was really hot, so we checked the temperature in Cayman,” said Ms. Bigelow.
“We were also thinking up names for Cool Dolly’s foal. As it turns out, it was hotter in Canada than in Grand Cayman, and then ‘The Horse’ by Barefoot Man played on Roy’s phone. The result was a no-brainer,” said Ms. Bigelow.
Mr. Nowak says having known Ms. Bigelow and Mr. Smith for many years, he was glad he could have been a source of inspiration.
“We are a horse family, as my wife is a riding instructor and my daughter’s a vet with a special interest in horses,” said Mr. Nowak.
“I’ve written a lot of songs about horses because I get inspired by them. My new album actually has a song on it called ‘A man on a horse took her away,’” he noted, adding that his song “The Horse” is always a popular request.
“I’m definitely honored they named him after me. How many people can say they have a horse named after them when you think about it?”
He’s looking forward to see what’s in store for his namesake as the young horse grows.
“He is very well bred and has a wonderful personality,” Ms. Bigelow said.
“His father has mega jumping bloodlines, and mom has really good race bloodlines. What will he be when he grows up? He’s very athletic and smart, so we guess he’ll make up his own mind.”