Many prospective buyers shy away from horses with a lot of miles on the track, because they fear the wear and tear on the animal's body, or they think the horse would not be as easy to train into a new sport. Also, younger horses are more marketable for those looking to retrain and sell the horses into other disciplines. Some truly wonderful "older" horses (6+ years) get overlooked because of the above reasons.
The reality is, any horse that has made it through 40+ starts and is SOUND is going to hold up for whatever other discipline we could possibly think of as a second career. Some may be clean-legged, others may have track "jewelry" (osselets, bowed tendons, pinfiring marks, etc), but if truly sound after a long racing career, that horse is an excellent candidate for retraining as a sport horse.
I'm not sure how many people really look at this blog, but I figured the least I could do would be to spotlight a few of these horses as I come across them online. Tonight's batch comes from CANTER Mid-Atlantic's Mountaineer listings.
Canoe In A Slew
|Canoe In A Slew (photo www.cantermidatlantic.org)|
He's not a big mover, but that because he's either a little sore for some reason, or just being careful on the pavement (Soonie didn't have a big trot in his listing video either). I doubt he'd have a Grand Prix trot extension, but if you're looking for a solid, kind, and quiet partner to do lower level anything with, who cares? I wish I could afford two horses, because this guy looks like he'd be a very careful and fun hunt mount. I admit - he reminds me a lot of Soonie. Something about this horse really speaks to me and I'm compelled to write about him. I hope someone gives this guy a great home, because I'd be willing to bet that he will make an incredible partner.
|One Vote (photo www.cantermidatlantic.org)|
He seems like an excellent amateur horse or even a kid's mount. I could totally see him packing someone around the 2'6" hunters, going on hunter paces, doing some dressage, or being a kickass trail horse. He looks very sweet and kind, hopefully a person matching that description comes along and scoops him up!
|Parker's Love (photo www.cantermidatlantic.org)|
Blues In The Night
This one comes to us from the CANTER Mid-Atlantic Charles Town listings. I've had my eye on this guy for quite awhile (not that I'm looking to buy!), mostly because he's stunning to look at thanks to his dappling. He was originally priced much higher, and I've seen his price slowly come down, so I do not know if there's any issue with him, or if people just weren't biting at the higher prices. The ad does not mention soundness or the state of his legs, but IF he is sound and on clean legs (or even if he has old injuries that aren't going to affect him), he would be quite the looker in a new career.
According to Equibase, Blues In The Night had 68 starts and was a stakes winner, earning over $330K in his career. I think it goes without saying that this horse is probably a real trier, one that wants to please and work hard for his people. I'd imagine that the lucky person who gets him will have not only a beautiful sport horse, but also a fun and successful one at that.
So if you're in the market for an off the track Thoroughbred and you want one who has proven its mettle, has a confirmed work ethic, has seen and done it all and will not be impressed by whatever you throw at it, please consider a warhorse. It's been my experience that they come off the track and settle into the quieter, slower routine extremely well, and make incredible riding horses. Even though considered "older" by track standards, an 8 year old horse is still very young and has many great years to give to you.