WHAT DO YOU DO when your two passions are riding horses and the Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry? For me, it’s simple. Find sound, sane, well-conformed Thoroughbreds from great connections in the racing world, unearth their natural skills and abilities and then retrain them as sport horses.
When I was told about a competition that was
based on exactly this, I jumped at the chance to be a
participant. In January 2015, the Retired Racehorse
Project (RRP) Thoroughbred Makeover, sponsored
by Thoroughbred Charities of America, began its
yearly call for trainers.
I was intrigued by the idea, but with an o;-
track Thoroughbred project horse already in my
possession waiting to be sold, and no funds to obtain
another, I waited patiently for the stars to align.
While others got a head start with their retraining
endeavor in January (the earliest allowed by the
rules), my journey didn’t begin until May 15th, when
Cold as Stone sold, and Called to Serve, or “Nixon,”
finally became mine.
I was approached about Nixon at the beginning of
April, when my good friend Brent Wilson told me
that he’d just gotten a horse o; of the track that
was “through and through an athlete.” He showed
me a picture of a nearly black gelding that towered
over his handler. The horse’s eye was wide and
mischievous, his shoulder was uphill, and his hip
round and strong. I was immediately taken by him.
I went home and did my investigative work on
websites like Pedigree Query and Equibase, finding
information that only pulled me deeper into my
infatuation. I learned that Nixon was a graded stakes
winner of almost $500,000. I watched videos of his
victories, where he stomped on his competitors by
lengths, not feet.
A quirky horse and a dedicated Thoroughbred lover share a journey to the
Retired Racehorse Project 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover.
YOUR H RSE LIFE » BY CARLEIGH FEDORKA