TAMPA — On the eve of signing his rookie contract with the Bucs, Devin White didn’t feel like celebrating. Instead, the LSU linebacker was mourning the death of his beloved 5-year old horse, Daisy Mae. White said the Standardbred died unexpectedly near his home in Louisiana of dehydration and heat exhaustion Saturday night.
“Never thought I would be posting something like this so soon, been in tears for over 10 plus hours,’’ White posted on Facebook Sunday night. “Everybody knows the love I have for ‘Daisy Mae,’ and the passion that I take care of her with. Many of you may know already that my baby girl left this beautiful world last night but she fought hard…she was very dehydrated and overheated!!.’’
White signed a four-year contract with the Bucs that included a fifth-year option when he reported with the team’s other rookies to training camp Sunday.
White began riding horses when he was 5. He bought his first horse, Ricky Bobby, with $500 he got from his grandfather.
White has said one of the highlights of his career was riding Daisy Mae in Tiger Stadium.
White has several horses, but most of them are Tennessee Walkers. He had said he planned to move them from Cotton Valley, La., to his new home in Tampa.
“I want to show them in shows, I want to race them, I want breed them and I just want to ride them and enjoy myself,’’ White said prior to the draft. But his favorite was Daisy Mae.
Instead, White will begin his career still coping with the death of his horse.
“She fought hard and I wanna thank everybody that was there with us through every step of the way,’’ White said. “... She had so much will to stay with me but God had other plans, R.I.P To my 1st Love. 1 year was just not enough."
Staff writer Mari Faiello contributed to this report.