December 6, 2013
For 22 years, thousands of children took their very first pony ride on a friendly zoo pony named Cookie. We are saddened to report that Cookie passed away last month at age 38.
“We always put first-time riders on Cookie,” said Byron Hooley, whose family has operated the zoo’s pony rides for nearly 40 years. “She could sense if kids were a little scared and would take it nice and slow.”
A 38-year-old pony is considered very old, according to Hooley.
In her advanced age, Cookie only worked a few days a week last season. “Everyone always asked for Cookie,” Hooley said. “There were so many parents who rode Cookie when they were kids, and wanted their children to have the same experience.”
“All my grandkids took their first pony ride on Cookie,” Hooley said. “She was one of those ponies who took care of her rider. Cookie will be tough to replace.”
Share your memories of Cookie on the zoo’s Facebook page.