Melbourne Cup “winner” visits Jewish Care residence

November 14, 2012 by Ayal Tusia
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Hava Nagila is a Shetland pony with a Jewish soul. Fed a special diet of gefilte fish, chopped liver and matzah, he sprinted across the line at Flemington this past Tuesday to claim his 10th Melbourne Cup title in as many years.

Melbourne Cup winner faces fans


That’s if you believe Gary Bryfman, annual sponsor of Melbourne Cup Day festivities at Jewish Care’s Mark and Dina Munzer Community Residence.
The Hava Nagila tradition began when Gary began ribbing his mother, then a resident at the home, that he was training a horse in Israel to run in the Melbourne Cup.  Gary’s mother was well aware of her son’s antics, but not her friend Jack, who continued to enquire when Hava Nagila would be arriving to prepare for the big race.

Not one to spoil a good story, Gary sourced a breeder of Shetland ponies, and made arrangements for  Hava Nagila to visit Munzer on Melbourne Cup Day – and has done so ever since.  

”When my mother passed away five years ago, I kept the tradition going. Some years Hava Nagila is grey, sometimes he’s brown,” Gary quipped. “The residents ask me, ‘What happened to Hava Nagila?’ I just tell them he got caught in the rain.

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