Who was Blackie?
For 28 years you couldn’t leave or
return to Belvedere or Tiburon, California, without
passing a swaybacked horse named Blackie. A cavalry horse in
his youth, Blackie later became a cutting horse at rodeos,
appearing in the Salinas, California, rodeo although his owner,
Anthony Connell, doesn’t
remember the year. He was retired to a private pasture at the
corner of Tiburon Boulevard and Trestle Glen Road when he was
12 years old. Mr. Connell visited him daily, as did children
and adults alike who could be seen regularly feeding Blackie
apples, carrots, and sugar cubes.
who lived in the area when Blackie was alive considered
him as belonging to everyone. In spite of his age and swaybacked
condition, many felt he still exhibited a military air and
pride that came from having been a great horse in his early
years. Back then the Army stabled horses at the Presidio. In
the spring they saddled up, rode to Yosemite, and patrolled
the park all summer. When winter arrived they returned to the
Presidio. Blackie was one of the horses used on this detail.
It was a sad day when Blackie
February 27, 1966. The Marin County Health Department approved
his burial in the pasture where to this day his grave is marked
by a simple cross and a memorial plaque made possible by contributions
from concerned citizens of the peninsula. Blackie lived for 40
years, which is unusual for a horse. It was love that sustained
him, the love he received from old-timers and newcomers alike.
Thanks to a wonderful gift by the family of
Gordon Strawbridge, Tiburon's first mayor, the Tiburon Peninsula
Foundation erected a life-sized sculpture of Blackie in his pasture
which is visible to all who drive by. Erected in June of 1995
in what is now known as Blackie's Pasture, the life-size bronze
statue was created by the noted Bay Area artist, Albert Guibara
to honor Tiburon's beloved "mascot" Blackie.
For more information about Blackie and Blackie's
Pasture, go to the Tiburon
Peninsula Foundation website.