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March 15, 2016

William Makes His Show Debut At WEF

I have not blogged since October of 2015 about my Thoroughbred project horse “William,” but I’m happy to report he is doing well and with me for the winter in Wellington, Fla.

November 23, 2015

Stephanie Cook Has A New Lease On Life And A Good Thoroughbred

Stephanie Cook’s goal for the year with Texas Checkmate was to top the Take2 Thoroughbred League’s jumper standings, but a rotational fall from another horse in May resulted in a broken pelvis, a broken C-5 vertebrae and 12 broken ribs and seemingly ended that campaign.

But with the help of good friends and a lot of determination, Cook endured 12 weeks of rehab, “Checkers” continued earning points, and she was back in the saddle in time to finish out the season and win the 2015 year-end standings.

November 15, 2015

Chapter 26: At The Thoroughbred Makeover

For the second time during the Trainers Forum I heard Dale say, "Well, I dunno. This is all getting more complicated than I'm used to."

October 26, 2015

The Thoroughbred Makeover Finale: It’s Just The Beginning

Lexington, Ky.—Oct. 25  

The final day of the Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium at the Kentucky Horse Park saw the top three placings from each of the 10 disciplines compete in a final round.

October 25, 2015

Hometown Riders Shine At The Thoroughbred Makeover

For the first time, the horse capital of the world hosted the Retired Racehorse Training Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, on Oct. 23-25 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. And it seems only fitting that local riders took the stage amongst a backdrop of Thoroughbred farms. 

October 23, 2015

Chapter 25: Letter To Myself

Tik, this is a letter to yourself. Read it in 10 years. 

I'm curious. Have you had kids? Do you still have Remarkable?

Do you look back and think, "God, what have I done with my life?"

Yes, I will be naive compared to you. I don't own property or an Audi, but I married a woman who gets me. And there are horses that nicker and poke their noses out to greet me each morning. So it's pretty good.

October 16, 2015

Chapter 24: Mr. Pleasantree Leaves The Track Behind

"I will never forget seeing this gelding walk out of the stall for the first time. He was huge! Legs that went on forever," Dr. Reed Zimmer told me.

Zimmer lives and works in Phoenix, Ariz. He looks at hundreds of race horses every year. At Turf Paradise there are a thousand to look at. This one, he thought, was special.

September 28, 2015

Chapter 23: A Remarkable Update

The Horse Park of New Jersey Horse Trials in mid July was my first competition with Remarkable 54. I felt under-prepared, and I was prepared to withdraw if necessary. I approached the weekend like a training session, but we were still nervous.

I gave Remarkable 54 the chance to look at many fences before jumping them. In both jumping phases he broke to the trot a few times, which I didn't mind at all. I would rather have him slow down, look, and then go, than run anxiously. Thoughtfulness and relaxation travel well together, so we hit that road and went slow.

August 20, 2015

William's Conversion To A Show Horse Begins

Last year when I became aware of the "America's Most Wanted Thoroughbred" contest, I called Steuart Pittman of Dodon Farm Training Center (organizer of the event) and spoke to him about Heritage Farm training a horse in 2015.

I searched for a prospect, but I could not find one that was suitable—sound enough, the right sized, the right type. I was even able to get a few horses on trial, but still no match. 

March 7, 2015

Gold Panda Stands Out In The Hunter Ring

When Mark Mead walks Gold Panda into schooling ring at a horse show, he immediately knows all eyes are on him. After all, it’s pretty hard to miss a palomino Thoroughbred in a hunter schooling area these days.

“If I’m at a place where people have never seen him before, when I’m riding around people are looking at me like ‘What’s he doing with a cow horse?’ ” said Mead. “But then they see me pick up canter, and he’s got an 18-foot beautiful lopey stride, and I know their view changes. It’s really cool.”

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