Virl Norton Great American Horseman Virl Norton Great American Horseman Virl Norton Great American Horseman
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Stories - truths and tall tales
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
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A little like John Wayne
 
   

I met Virl Norton in Frankfort, NY at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds in May of 1976 when we were preparing to depart on the Great American Horse Race.

Virl always seemed like John Wayne to me in that he represented a Western Cowboy in the modern era. Virl always showed interest in the youth and seemed to always have a smile on his face and a willingness to help. Anne Babbot of Vermont had her horse injured in an accident before the race and was not able to start. Virl had his back-up mule Deacon flown from California to NY for Anne.

Anne finished ahead of me and of course Virl won the GAHR on Lady Louise and Lord Fauntleroy who is still alive today and being loved and cared for by Maryben Stover. Virl has died and left a legacy of kindness and fierce competition.

Virl is listed in the Long Riders Guild for a ride he made from Illinois to Washington D.C. He even once rode a Zebra in a Parade because someone said he couldn't do it. That's Virl!

There will never be another Virl Norton and the world is worse off for it. So I am in readiness to shout his good graces to keep his memory alive.

As an ending note... the GAHR was written up in Ripleys Believe It or Not because "The GAHR was won by a Mule". That's Virl!

Virl Norton Great American Horseman
   
posted by: Tom Sites Luray Va. #28th place finisher GAHR - 07 20, 2004
 
   
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
  Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman
Virl Norton Great American Horseman Virl Norton Great American Horseman