My big goal for 2017 is to take two horses to the 2017 thoroughbred makeover competition in Kentucky. I’m going to be blogging about the process as a fun way to document the kinds of things I like doing with the horses I have in training.
So who are these two horses I want to take to Kentucky? Meet full brothers Olympic Blue (b. 2010) and Olympic Maize (b. 2012).
Aren’t they adorable? They belong to Mark and Ann Janlois. The couple purchased Blue as their first horse and raced him for three years. They liked him so much that they purchased his full brother in hopes that he would be just as fast.
Olympic Blue had a solid career on the track, and while I don’t know much about racing yet, his owners have been educating me. Some stats I’ve heard are that he won 9 times in 38 starts, making about $200,000. He was a grade two stakes horse ranked 22nd in the nation out of 28,000 horses. I might have said some of that wrong, but you get the idea. Olympic Blue was a serious racehorse.
When their racing careers ended, the brothers headed back to the farm where they were born. Mark and Ann had decided to keep them as pets. Some of the gals at the farm played with them a little bit while they were there, maybe doing some Parelli training. They didn’t get ridden much at all, which is good for me. In order to be eligible for the thoroughbred makeover, candidate horses need to have 15 or fewer post tack rides before January 1, 2017.
Mark and Ann enjoyed visiting their pets, but they were struggling with the 70 miles commute to see them. They started looking for a place to board the brothers closer to their home. One of the gals who had been playing with the brothers at the farm had met the Parelli trainer at the barn I work out of, and sent them this way. Mark and Ann loved Indian Hills, but found that my program was more what they were looking for.
Mark and Ann want their retired racers to be happy. They understand that for horses, that means having a job. They were attracted to my varied program as an opportunity for the brothers to pick their own discipline. As Santa Clara University alumni, they were excited that their horses might get to be part of the dressage team I coach one day.
So that’s how the brothers got from the track to my barn.