Icabad Crane, No Headless Horseman Here

There might be some Halloween jokes about jumping a coffin and a headless horseman within this Icabad Crane blog, but I'll let you find those. I, on the other hand, do want to figure out what great things might come from the combination of eventing legend Phillip Dutton and track hero Icabad Crane.

Not all horse racing fans follow the sport of eventing. If you don't, check it out--it's fun and pretty easy for a steeplechase or horse racing fan to follow. Admiring and being entertained with the eventing world was easy for this racing fan. Have you seen, in person, what these horses and riders jump at the sport's heighest levels?


Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event
Photo: Erica Larson

One of the top level eventers in the world, is the accomplished Phillip Dutton. His resume is impressive, and includes two Olympic team gold medals (1996 and 2000) for his native Australia, multiple World Equestrian Games appearances for both Australia and the United States (after he became a U.S. citizen in 2006), and more than a dozen United States Eventing Association leading rider titles. The Australian Sport Hall of Fame member also won the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, North America’s only four-star competition, in 2008 aboard Connaught.

Icabad Crane was born April 9, 2005. He is by Jump Start (by A.P. Indy) out of Adorahy (by Rahy).  Let’s just say the engine and talent genes are intact with this OTTB. His racing career holds at a nice 33-7-7-9 for $585,980 lifetime earnings. Icabad  finished in the money for 16 stakes, including the Rushaway Stakes, Kings Point, Empire Classic and Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer Memorial Stakes. The career highlight for Icabad Crane? His 3rd place finish in the 2008 Preakness Stakes. Jason Shandler even picked him to land on the bottom of ticket bets for the 2008 Preakness Stakes.


Icabad Crane schooling for his second career.
Photo courtesy of Maggie Kimmitt

During last week's Eclipse Award buzz, Thisishorseracing.com wrote a very nice piece on Icabad Crane, which you need to go read. They caught up with trainer Graham Motion who, with his wife Anita, helped orchestrate Icabad's transition.

"Phillip likes him, it’s not like he’s doing this for the hell of it," Anita told Thisishorseracing.com. "He says he hasn’t been around many horses that are so willing to please, so wanting to do well."

"He [Icabad] was always like that, always very willing," Graham told Thisishorseracing.com. "He’s athletic and his athleticism is one thing, but his disposition is so good. That helped him."

The buzz spilled over into Eventing Nation, a popular eventing destination as well. 

There's also a personal side story to Icabad Crane's story that I'd like to briefly share. I started working at The Blood-Horse in July 2007, so the 2008 Triple Crown trail was really my first rodeo. Icabad Crane was on that trail, but didn't make the Kentucky Derby. He showed up at the Preakness though. Readers of my blog know I can be hooked on a horse simply based on his or her name-such was the case with Icabad. It was actually a department wide fascination, with help from my co-worker MaidenWatch, Icabad was one of several on my radar to follow.   


Icabad Crane at the 2008 Preakness Stakes.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Now that I own an OTTB with a wife who events and have many friends who retrain OTTBs for second careers, I fully understand that it is a process. Thoroughbreds love to go fast and usually want to please, so I totally understand why Phillip Dutton told Thisishorseracing.com: "I’d rather not compete him until he’s really ready. I want to get him to understand that he’s not going to get in a starting gate anymore. He’s got to remember the stuff I teach him at home when we go places with a lot of other horses and loudspeakers and things."

What happens when two talented athletes combine forces? I can't wait to see!

Going to work.

 

He's still fast though!



Where to find them:

http://www.facebook.com/IcabadCraneFanClub
http://www.facebook.com/phillipduttoneventing

Icabad Crane

Stakes Wins/Places

Position

Name of Race

Country

Grade

Track

Surface

Earnings*

Year

3

Rushaway S.

USA

 

TURFWAY PARK

D

$9,600

03/22/2008

1

Federico Tesio S.

USA

 

PIMLICO

D

$60,000

04/19/2008

3

Preakness S.

USA

G1

PIMLICO

D

$110,000

05/17/2008

2

Itaka S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$13,500

11/23/2008

3

Alex M. Robb H.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$8,510

12/28/2008

1

Kings Point H.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$39,000

03/20/2010

2

Evan Shipman S.

USA

 

SARATOGA

D

$14,000

07/26/2010

3

West Point S.

USA

 

SARATOGA

T

$10,000

08/19/2010

2

Empire Classic S.

USA

 

BELMONT PARK

D

$40,000

10/23/2010

2

Tinchen's Prince S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$12,000

11/25/2010

1

Alex M. Robb S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$39,000

12/31/2010

1

G'Day Mate S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$36,000

02/17/2011

3

William Donald Schaefer Memorial S.

USA

G3

PIMLICO

D

$11,000

05/21/2011

1

Evan Shipman S.

USA

 

SARATOGA

D

$45,000

07/25/2011

3

Adirondack Holme S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$6,000

11/20/2011

2

Alex M. Robb S.

USA

 

AQUEDUCT

D

$15,000

12/31/2011


Icabad Crane in the King's Point Handicap.
Photo: Coglianese Photos


Icabad Crane arrives for the 2008 Preakness Stakes.
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt


Icabad Crane works on his cross country skills.
Photo: Courtesy of Maggie Kimmit


Icabad Crane
Photo: Courtesy of Maggie Kimmit


2008 Preakness Stakes:



2011 Evan Shipman Stakes – Saratoga  7/25/2011

10 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Racingfan

What great news to hear he has moved on to a second career!  Best of luck!

22 Jan 2014 2:58 PM
Riotracer

I remember this horse and was a fan! So happy he has a 2nd career. Thanks for the article.

22 Jan 2014 4:21 PM
Donut Jimmy

I have found that horses who were that classy on the track, generally turn out to be that classy in their next careers too. And with the advantage of starting under Phillip Dutton, Icabad has a chance to be a really nice event horse.

22 Jan 2014 5:41 PM
Tiz Herself

Just this last week was browsing through old articles of racing and wondering where Icabad Crane ended up- thrilled he is excelling in his new career!

22 Jan 2014 6:56 PM
Tiz Herself

I have his half brother, DavidDavinci by Tapit on my stable watch

22 Jan 2014 6:58 PM
Lexington Bloodstock

Eventing is every bit as grueling as racing.  Can't they find a nice quite retirement for the poor animal so he doesn't break a leg and have to be put down?????   He's earned it, no?

23 Jan 2014 2:03 AM
Eliza

It's an incredibly fine feeling to know that this good racehorse found a second career. He looks gorgeous jumping. I wish more race horses were given this kind of opportunity.

23 Jan 2014 6:50 AM
Carlos in Cali

Icabad Crane was a consistent sort... as was Jason Shandler,for nefarious reasons though.lol!

"Snoopy... I mean Jason,come home"!

23 Jan 2014 12:41 PM
txhorsefan

Thanks for such a cool update on Icabad Crane, Adam.  He has always been one of my favorites as well and I'm so glad to see him getting off to such a good start in his new career.  Thank you!

23 Jan 2014 8:57 PM
md reynolds

This has made my day! Ive always been an I.CRANE fan and am delighted about his 2nd career!

02 Feb 2014 8:11 AM

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