While at first blush the horse incident described by my classmate Frank Jackson ’55 (letters, March 23) might sound humorous, it could have been fatal to the owner and/or the horse. The horse was an oversized thoroughbred given to its owner, Donald Griffin ’23, by famed Greentree Stable trainer Mose Gaver ’24, his Princeton roommate. Due to his size, the horse was not suitable for racing. After the fact, I examined the scene of the crime, and it was hard to imagine how the horse, named Says Who, was able to stand on the landing to which he had been led, much less negotiate the narrow stairs. Through Mr. Griffin’s kindness, I had been allowed to exercise the horse freshman year and knew him well.
Due to the narrow, steep, and slippery (metal-edged) nature of the stairs, Says Who easily could have fallen on his owner, who led him down the three flights at the risk of his own life. Mr. Griffin was the University’s Alumni Council secretary for many years, not a trustee, and had played center on Princeton’s famous Team of Destiny. He was the furthest thing from “a bit of a toad.” His son, Jim Griffin ’55, is our distinguished classmate.
In my opinion, pranks involving animals reveal cluelessness and low self-esteem on the part of the perpetrators. I guess that’s why they called us “college boys.”