Bridgehampton, N.Y.—Sept. 1
When you think of a winning horse, things like heart and blood come to mind. A spunky animal with a go-getter attitude who wants to run and jump and win.
Well, that’s not Bacara D’Archonfosse’s style.
“She’s lazy, she’s very lazy,” Daniel Bluman, her rider, laughed. “She looks like she really has no appetite or desire to jump.”
But Bluman has figured out a training regime and diet plan that works for the mare, and on Friday at the Hampton Classic Bluman was able to really show off how well laid his plans were as he galloped to the top of a 55-horse class to take the win in the $86,000 Douglas Elliman CSI**** Grand Prix Qualifier.
“This year she really flourished. Last year was a little bit rough, we had to do a lot of changes, a lot of working dressage. She came last year to the Hamptons but after jump 9 it seemed like she was just going to stop and take a nap,” Bluman said. “It didn’t feel like she was coming there to win.”
This year was a different story—on Thursday Bluman and Bacara won the $40,000 Sovaro Speed Stake which turned out to be perfect prep for another win Friday.
“She’s lazy, I know, but she wins classes,” Bluman shrugged. “Food motivates her; she knows she gets good food.”
This information in mind, Bacara’s barn name does not come as a surprise.
“Fatty,” Bluman said with a grin. “But with the love that I have for her she doesn’t take it wrong.”
Fatty was on her A-game for the qualifier—10 horses made it to the jump-off, and an extremely speedy short course was required if you wanted to be in the top three. Darragh Kerins proved to be the time to beat on Silteplait De Circee. Bluman went earlier in the jump-off on his other horse Ladriano Z (who ended up fourth), so he knew he had to do better on his second mount if he wanted to win.
“Darragh’s jump-off was beautiful. I got to see it from the in-gate and it was really, really great,” Bluman said. “So when I came the second time around I knew I just had to give everything I have to just go for it and it turned out good.”
In the past year dressage has turned out to be Fatty’s saving grace.
“We did a lot of dressage, a regular horse depending on what they have you don’t really have to have them a 100 percent fit all the time—this one has to be 120 percent fit because she’s so lazy,” Bluman said. “So she just needs to be over qualified for the job she’s going to do or else she just gets tired.”
Food is Fatty’s great motivator, and while her diet is tailored toward her need for energy, it has allowances for cheat meals.
“She has a very, very particular diet with everything we can do to give her the energy, but at the same time she has to have the other stuff she likes to eat,” Bluman said. “It’s not just the energy food, we have to give her a little bit the McDonalds or the Burger King grain, the fatty grain, because if she only gets the veggies it doesn’t do it for her. She needs a mix of both.”