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question on contacting my OTTBs last trainer

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  • question on contacting my OTTBs last trainer

    My OTTB was 10 years on the track. He retired at 13 yrs old with 118 +/- starts (and finishes). I adopted him when he was 16 yrs old, after his last owner had a failed attempt at re-training him for dressage. He's very opinionated. He's been enjoying life as a pleasure horse, trailriding, camping, a little ring work, little jumps (x rails), and ground poles, hanging out in the pasture with his buddies, etc. He's remarkably athletic.

    His last trainer actually claimed him sometime in the last years of his career. He was the one who ultimately retired him, I believe. The trainer's name is Kevin Joy and I think he is at Suffolk Downs. Does anyone know this trainer? I have always wanted to send him a note with a current photo so he could see that one of his horses is thoroughly enjoying life. But I'm not very savvy about track etiquette, and I don't want to bother him either. Any advice from the track savvy crowd here? Do you think this trainer would be interested in knowing where one of his charges is now?

    Thanks in advance, and I really enjoy the topics on this forum. Lots of great knowledge on this board.

  • #2
    you have a PM coming!
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.


    • #3
      I had a "problem OTTB" who I broke down and emailed the last known trainer. The trainer sent me a very kind (and sympathetic) reply, and I thanked him profusely for his time. I understand that I got "lucky" and hopefully didn't bother the guy too much. I think your email/note sounds like it would be far more enjoyed, being as it's from a "positive light." ((Unfortunately, my email simply got confirmation on somethings I was hoping to not have confirmed!))


      • #4
        I contacted a couple of my OTTB's trainers and they both were very glad to hear that he was safe and had a happy new career and life. Some trainers might blow you off, but, as someone who has worked in racing for 20+ years, I'm pretty sure the majority would be happy to get the update, even if they're too busy to call you back if you leave a message. I vote try to contact him and tell him. You don't really have anything to lose.


        • #5
          Re: contacting former trainers, etc.

          I have a suggestion, not so much directed at TB Fan but rather to owners of OTTBs in general.

          A very unobtrusive, no-bother way to make it known that a TB is happy and well in his new profession (or life-of-riley) is to post a brief, to the point update in the horse's info at pedigreequery.com.

          That way, if former connections are ever curious about said horse, there it is. If former connections don't want to hear another word about Spendy McSlowson, then no harm, no foul.

          You can list yourself as owner, or remain completely anonymous.


          • #6
            I've met Kevin Joy, but don't have any contact info for him. He trained for an owner I used to work for. Sorry I can't be more help.

            But... who's your horse? I may have met your horse if by chance he was one of the ones from the owner I worked for. Feel free to PM me.
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


            • #7
              Contact for last trainer

              Kevin Joy is at Charles Town, WVa, he is a nice guy and would love to hear about a horse that he had that is doing well in a new job. You can contact him through the HBPA office in Charles Town.
              "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for all the great replies. I would really like to get a hold of him, but don't want to get in the way. My OTTB is such a character, I hope he remembers him. At this point, he's been off the track for about 10 years now. Of course, no one told him that! He gives me a run for my money more often than not.

                Texarakana, my gelding's name is Marathon Wish. He is N11901 and proud of it. He raced in mostly smaller tracks, and was mostly a claiming horse the second half of his career. He started in Woodbine in Ontario. He raced at the Fairgrounds in LA, Suffolk Downs, Penn Nat'l, Woodbine, and that track in New Hampshire that I can't think of the name right now. There might be some others in there too.

                Barnfairy, I will definately post a note on the website you suggested. My gelding had quite a few owners/trainers for a bit as he was claimed a lot.

                Calambar, help me out, what does the HBPA office represent or stand for? Is that just the track office? Or something else. I have called various tracks to get wins photos, but it's been a while so I might need a refresher as to what the protocal is.

                Once again, thanks all for your input!


                • #9
                  The track in NH was Rockingham Park...and yes Kevin is in W.Va now...I would call the main number at Charlestown and ask for the racing office...someone there should be able to help you out with his phone number!


                  • #10
                    I have always let the former trainers/owners know about their past charges. There was only one trainer ( a big name too) who was not interested. But that may have been, because the owner fired him before I got the horse, LOL. But his barn manager and the track vet were all over the pix I provided.

                    I'd say go for it, you may find out some info you didn't know about your horse.

                    With one of my OTTB's I found out that he had tie-back surgery when I contacted his very first owner.
                    \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TB Fan View Post

                      Texarakana, my gelding's name is Marathon Wish.
                      Ah, sorry... he retired way before I ever met the trainer. It was worth a shot, it would have been cool if it was a horse I had known.

                      And I second what Acertainsmile said. Just call the racing office. They should be able to give you contact info for KJ and the track photographer for a win pic. Good luck!
                      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                      • #12
                        Kevin is actually at Charles Town now and I sent you a PM as well.


                        • #13
                          what does the HBPA office represent or stand for?
                          Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. In their own words:

                          The National HBPA is dedicated to protecting the rights and providing assistance to racehorse owners & trainers.

                          Delicious strawberry flavored death!


                          • #14
                            Go for it!

                            You'd be surprised how many trainers truly care for and wish the best in their horses. All my horses are OTTBs (except my daughters welsh pony) and I've had a few friends that needed help finding out info on their OTTBs and I've called prior trainers for them. It's wonderful when you can learn the horses background.

                            For my first OTTB (he's 20 this year) I contacted Cardiff Stud Farm where he was born and they were kind enough to mail me his baby/JC registration pictures! That was so awesome! He has the same facial expression as he did at 6 months.

                            I had a multiple stakes placed racer who was still racing at 10. His trainer had bred and raised this guy and the footing at GGF was crappy in the winter and he didn't want to risk him breaking down. He'd more than earned his retirement winning over a quarter million. One of the other trainers at the track that I was friends with called me and I went and got him. I retrained him for dressage and his old trainer loved getting pics of him and seeing how happy and spolied he was.
                            Cloverfox Stables


                            • Original Poster

                              contacting OTTB last trainer

                              Just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who sent me a PM. I read them this morning and will be pursuing all of the advice. Caffeinated - I'll probably put a note together for you for the 9th. I am going to be out of commission this weekend due to a medical thing.


                              • #16
                                I am on the phone with Katie now and she was excited said Kevin would love to hear about what he is doing now. She will mention his name tonite since they have a horse in the 3rd at CT.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Marathon Wish


                                  I'm sure it's too late but please let Katie, and Kevin, know that Swan (his barn name now - for his beautiful neck) is quite the character. He is still screaming around the farm like "people are betting on him." He basically thinks its all about him! If he weren't so damned handsome....

                                  I will absolutley put a note together and a current photo and hopefully we can get them to Kevin Joy.


                                  • #18
                                    this , too

                                    Remember also that at the breeders 'is someone who knew your horse as a foal, probably loved them dearly, gave them kisses on the nose, scratches or "scritches" in their favorite spots, and taught them that human"moms" can love, too, I think of such people every time I hear of a horse breaking down. I cried at two weeks when, they left for KY with their Moms who were to be re bred; and made it a point to say a personal good bye to "my " babies " before thy left for the sales; I know there are others who care as much as I did
                                    breeder of Mercury!

                                    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                                    • #19
                                      I know that I would love to know about happy stories of the horses I worked with at the track. Unfortunately, it seems only the heart breaking ones get back to me. I'm sure you put a smile on his face.
                                      Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!


                                      • #20
                                        From many mornings in the track kitchen, please call or send a note........they love it.

                                        In between bragging about how fast their horses run, they love telling stories about where the old horses are and how great they are doing. Don't be suprised if the 'small jumps' becomes 'olympic jumper' and 'trail riding' becomes 'fox hunting'.