Origins

 The first two weeks are still a blur.  I remember having to repeat and learn all of these new terms being thrown my way.  What is the difference between a yearling and a weanling?  How in the world do you have the same dad and not be related?  Why do people name horses after panties?  I don't know, but hey, I have the hang of it now and that is what matters.

See, when I received this job, I already had a great appreciation for farm life.  My father grew up on a farm in Menifee county, so yes I am fond of that lovely horse Menifee because of that, even though he is not state side currently.  I learned to drive a tractor when I was 3 years old, I hiked the edges of the hollars and the cliffs around the area,  and learned how a sawmill operates.  My dad had good stories from raising livestock.

On top of the farm life, I always enjoy new adventures and learning new things in life.  The Blood-Horse was a great opportunity to not just work for an amazing company and with amazing people, but to really grow and understand what helps make Kentucky and the rest of the equine world tick.  It has been quite an amazing journey actually.

That is what I want to share with you all.  This journey I have been on and where it leads me.  Of course my observations and reflections have my own bias, which hopefully won't offend too many people =)  It definitely should not be too dull, because I tend to discover odd things.

Join me and lets communicate back and forth, share what we each have discovered about Thoroughbreds, because there is sooo much here, I had no idea.

11 Comments

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Jason Shandler

It sounds like you grew up around horses, so you have a good start on things. I agree with you, learning everything can be overwhelming!!

25 Feb 2008 6:28 PM
Kerry

good job, and love the angle...thanks

27 Feb 2008 9:03 PM
aspradling

Thank you Kerry.

28 Feb 2008 8:37 AM
Bryce Be Quick

Well, as Jason will tell you, you are light years ahead of me when it comes to horses. Growing up in Baltimore, you had to have some clue, given the running of the Preakness, but I didn't even get to Pimlico until I started riding on a dare at age 37, and attended an adult summer riding camp-- our instructor got us a behind-the-scenes look at the track during morning workouts. That was it for me--  the smells of the shedrow's hay, tack and water (never knew water had a sweet fragrance), the way the dirt kicked up with the cadence of feet striking the racing surface, the "clip-clop" as when walking on the hard surfaces, the distinctive breathing pattern of a horse being worked, the entire dance of riders, trainers, grooms, hot walkers, and all the other back stretch workers dedicating themselves to the care of those magnificent four-legged athletes. When we got back to camp I hitched up the stirrups on my unsuspecting, of all things, Bureau of Land Manangement Mustang, and to my instuctor's horror, began to "jockey post" to a pretend starting gate at the far end of the show ring. I have been t-bred hooked ever since, still know nothing about racing, and finally married the woman who issued the riding dare those many, many years ago. She three-day events a former 30-start off the track t-bred, and that, alas, is yet another story :-)

04 Mar 2008 9:23 PM
aspradling

Bryce Be Quick, that was absolutely beautiful.  Thank you so much for sharing that experience and how you have come to fall in love with the Thoroughbred world!  I totally can relate to your introduction, growing up in Lexington and being around the Derby, but not really going to a track.

So do you have your own horses now or do you follow any horses?

05 Mar 2008 8:30 AM
Bryce Be Quick

We are a one-horse family-- the off-the-track guy my Wife events-- my display name-- Bryce Be Quick--I am the tack cleaner, horse holder, hoof picker, treat dispensor, etc. He's the first-born of Gary Stevens mount in the 1986 Derby, Wheatly Hall, and the last out of his Dam, Egregious. His great grandsire on his Dad's side--Buckpasser, and boy did he get the Buck's disposition-- looks for ever more creative ways to avoid  flat work, sweet as the day is long, honest to a fault, and when the whistle sounds (how they start them out of the start box in eventing) the competitive juices instantly pulse through every muscle fiber. I have a 20-horse hyothetical stable over on Equibase-- and with few exceptions, each has Buckpasser in the gene pool. In my non-informed judgment, I get a particular rush when I see Buckpasser on the bottom, coming up on the Dam's side. Among the current crop of 3 YO's, that gives me, among others, two of Mr. Mott's charges, Court Vision, Majestic Warrior and Mr. Barclay Tagg-trained Elysium Fields. I think the world of Tagg--has always struck me as a no-nonsense, listen to the horse/always but the horse first kind of trainer-- great respect for what he did with Showing Up on the turf-- ironically, my pick in the Derby finishing 6th, when it was Mr and Mrs Jackson's "other horse', Barbaro, wearing the roses.

Having visited Claiborne Farm this past Summer and seeing Pulpit up close (in a word, breathtaking), I also like his Kid, Pyro, even if he  comes by Buckpasser 5X Sire's Sire :-). With all due respect, I wish he was in another stable-- Michael Matz,  Barclay Tagg, Bill Mott, H.G. Motion all readily and easily come to mind as trainers who have my total respect for their horsemanship, but that is yet another, another story.

06 Mar 2008 7:17 PM
tbredsfly

I have my uncle to thank me for getting hooked on this great sport.  He took me to Fort Erie for yrs., starting when i was about 8.  Decades later, when he was gravely ill and i had moved to another state, i decided to buy a thoroughbred to give him a reason to fight on.  That was the beginning of my ownership of race horses.  Still waiting to get lucky though :)  Great thrills, high highs and the lowest lows.  

08 Mar 2008 8:09 PM
aspradling

Bryce Be Quick, I have a lot of respect for Buckpasser and it is great to hear how much you have become involved in the family ties, so to say!  I really like Pulpit myself and started following Pyro last year, after discovering his name and watching/hearing the buzz on him.  He raced well and had me hooked.

Tbredsfly, It is such a great story to how you became involved...what was your Thoroughbreds name?  I bet your uncle was thrilled.  

10 Mar 2008 10:06 AM
Mary in Mississippi

Speaking of Pyro's bloodlines, I have  the greatest respect for certain mares, particularly daughters of Secretariat (Weekend Surprise in the top half of his pedigree). I also love Shenanigans (Ruffian's mom) in the bottom half of his pedigree, via her outstanding son Icecapade. He is certainly bred to get the job done.

My favorite mare, Plucky Liege is far enough back to show up multiple times in many pedigrees. She shows up eight times in Pyro's, via Sir Gallhad III, Bois Roussel, Admiral Drake X2, and Bulldog X4. I have a hunter gelding who traces back to her eight times through three different sons, Bulldog, Sir Gallahad III, and Admiral Drake. As a mother of multiple sires that bred on, she has to be near the top.

11 Mar 2008 1:20 AM
tbredsfly

It was Chaptico Orison, a cheap horse but one who will always have a special place in my memories.  He was the intoduction to the backside, horse racing ownership, trainers, vets, exc. riders et al.  He taught me alot directly and indirectly.

21 Mar 2008 9:23 PM
aspradling

Mary, it is always interesting to discover how the pedigrees cross and what horses you will find where.  I am a big Listen Well fan by Secretariat.  My boy Jedi Code is out of Listen Well.

tbredsfly...Value is in the eye of the beholder in this industry.  So many horses are family members and trainers can develop such intimate connections with them.  Cheap horses are still horses and Chaptizo Orison was actually above average.  3 wins, 3 places and 5 shows in 45 starts, with earnings of about $12,000...that is honestly above average statistically.

24 Mar 2008 11:01 AM

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