A Moment in Time: Old Photos Invited from Our Readers

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Photo courtesy of Cheryl Scott

Sonora, a 25-year-old buckskin horse that Gordon Hayes (riding Sonora) trained for 20 years, performs one of her famous tricks, the jump through a ring of fire. Gordon, a longtime Suffield police officer who had ridden horses since he was a child, was known throughout the Northeast for the trick horses that he trained for parades, fairs and shows. He had said he “used kindness, coaxing and voice command” to train his horses to count, respond to voice commands and balance on a board atop a seesaw, among other tricks. For about 60 years, he took his horses on the road for shows throughout New England, New York and New Jersey. He enjoyed them all, but especially the free ones he did for disabled children. Hayes was a member of the Ebony Horsemen and was one of the first Black police officers in Connecticut. He died in 1989.

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