Thursday, November 11, 2010
I learned how to ride a horse as a boy, but I never thought of it as a mode of transportation to school.
Roby Burch has hung up his spurs.I can certainly appreciate that various readers of this story may have quite different views as to whether there is an inherent charm to Roby's story, or whether it is an example of idiosyncratic behavior by an out-of-touch elitist family, but the significant aspect of the tale to me is that -- of course -- the lawyers ruined all the fun.
The suburban cowboy who rode his horse, Jet, to and from the Haverford School everyday is now taking a more conventional ride: his mom or dad.
Burch, 16, won hearts for his gumption in rising before dawn to ride the family's big white Perchon four miles to school, then back home to Gladwyne after football practice.
But much has happened since the beginning of the school year when Roby and Jet first clip-clopped along the streets of Lower Merion on the 45-minute ride between the Burch's huge estate and Haverford.
For one thing, Roby became a media star. Then came the inevitable backlash. Students complained about special treatment. The board of trustees, worried about lawsuits, made Jet leave the grounds.
The earlier story from September, along with a slide show with good pictures, is here.
I have seen Roby on his horse tying up traffic on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr on his way to school.
I agree with both sides on this one -- a cool, unusual thing to do. And as an independent school Haverford could figure out how to handle it.
Also, even at elitist Haverford, what an elitist statement to make!
As my wife pointed out, at least he has the subject matter for his college essay.