Son of Smarty Jones Thriving in New Home

Like some Thoroughbreds, Smarty’s Gold, a 4-year-old son of Smarty Jones, just wasn’t cut out to be a racehorse. Trained by Michael Gorham, he failed to win in eight starts on the northeast circuit, and was shelved this spring with a minor injury after campaigning for just two seasons.

Smarty’s Gold’s connections decided the chestnut colt may be better suited for a different career, however, and so they placed him on CANTER Mid-Atlantic's site, a free web service that helps trainers find new homes for retiring Thoroughbreds, in hopes that someone would give the colt a second chance.

Luckily, a racing enthusiast named Alison Meadows, who watched Smarty Jones win the 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and was a fan of his offspring, happened to be browsing for a new riding horse at just the right time on CANTER.

“I immediately loved (Smarty’s Gold’s) look and was familiar with his breeding,” she said. “This, combined with the fact that I am originally from a small town near where Smarty Jones was bred in Pennsylvania made me want Smarty's Gold all the more. To me, adopting a retired Thoroughbred means owning a piece of history. And if restarted properly, I learned a retired Thoroughbred can be the best athlete, competitor, and friend any owner could wish for.”

Meadows, who keeps Smarty's Gold near her home in Middletown, Del., is currently helping the colt transition from racehorse to all-around sport horse/eventer.

Alison Meadows adjusting Smarty's Gold to a new career as a sport horse 

“Smarty's training has been slow and correct, beginning in August. He came off the track with a slight suspensory tear, so I am being extra careful and it seems to be paying off," she said. "Smarty absolutely loves being turned out; he goes out of his way be as dirty as possible--finding every puddle/mud or dusty corner of the pasture to roll in! I noticed he is not the least bit stressed during this transition period. He takes everything in stride and is truly a happy horse. 
“From day one, I have ridden Smarty out cross country alone and never worried for a second how he will handle things. He just tries so hard all the time to do everything right--even in the ring when we work on the flat. Now don't get me wrong, Smarty has a pulse!  He is a blast to canter (surprisingly balanced for a recently retired racer), but considering his suspensory, I am not pushing things right now.”  
Meadows, who noted that Smarty Gold’s ground manners were “impeccable,” said she plans to teach her new horse to jump later this winter at her indoor arena. In the meantime, she will continue to ride Smarty Gold cross country combined with some flat work to strengthen and condition him.
“Smarty continues to improve with his training, which is slow and correct so as not to over-face him,” said Meadows. “His mind is true to his breeding from what I understand--very cool, calm, and collected. Smarty's physique has filled out and is quite muscular in a very different way from his racing days. I'm looking forward to eventing Smarty next year, but my priority is to develop him into an all around sport horse that is healthy and strong.”

Smarty's Gold during his racing days at Philadelphia Park

To donate to CANTER Mid Atlantic, which is seeking carrot money this holiday season, visit the organization's website.


Here is a note from Shannon at Double L Stable Equine Rescue. Consider donating even just $1 this holiday season to another worthy horse adoption facility, which also makes finding new homes for horses like Smarty's Gold possible: 

Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary is again holding our Holiday Cards for Rescue Horses fundraiser. We are asking everyone who can to send a holiday card to our rescue horses here and enclose a single $1 bill. (We are only suggesting $1 but if you wish to include more we won't turn it down!) This fund drive dictates our entire budget set for next year. It will determine how many horses we can help save. Each card will be hung in the barn for visitors to see and make the barn festive for our resident horses. Please pass this on to everyone you can. It works because it is much easier for several people to each do a little then for a few to do a lot. Cross post it to all your chat groups and message boards, print it off and hang it in your favorite tack shop. Any way you can help spread the word it wonderful.

Cards can be sent to:
The Horses
Double L Stable Equine Rescue and Sanctuary
9 Tilford Rd.
Argyle, NY 12809


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