“You saved her.”

I’m one of those people who is thrilled by horse racing. I know there are abuses; I know there are accidents, maimings, and fatalities of horse and human alike. I know there are cruelties and everyday examples of all the ruinous stupidity that money can bring and buy. I know that my own horse, a daughter of Xchanger –who led the Preakness field for the entire first half of the race in 2007 – ended up in a New Hampshire backyard emaciated, filthy, and forgotten. It is a capricious sport and like all sports it is a business. When animals are involved in a business, its ethics become all the more complicated.

When people see the pictures of Bizzy from the first day, they inevitably say, “You saved her.” That’s true – but not just because I wrote a check, cleaned her up, and fed her. I brought her to a barn where she is trained, worked and partnered with again. Where she’s respected for the athlete that she is.

Because we are starting her on a new career, Bizzy now has a good life –even a great life— especially for a Thoroughbred. She is not a pet or a lawn ornament. I believe her sweet and curious personality would turn to arrogance and depression and her strength would become unwieldy if her mind and body weren’t turned toward learning and working.

Racing gives us these intelligent, athletic, all-out Thoroughbreds. Good people give back to them through kindness, mutual hard work, and respect for all they are born to do.


Off the track.

This is Goldie, the horse I leased for two years.


Goldie is Lauren’s pride and joy, an OTTB she adopted at ten years old and retrained for Hunters. A month before we found Bizzy, I was quietly absorbed in grooming Goldie for a show the next day. It was the hot beginning of September, and Lauren and I had been looking for a horse for me to buy. Because cost was an issue we had been checking out free lease options. But the woman with warmbloods to free lease never came through. The camp horse named Blueberry decided, on my second visit to him in Maine, to grab the bit and run away with me after jumps. And when we went to see a Paint who loved to jump, we were instead shown a huge, green draft named Rosie, trained by a woman who liked to somersault off her back.

While I stood there grooming Goldie, I thought, “Why don’t we just make me another Goldie?” Lauren made the same suggestion from the ground while I was mounted and about to go into the ring at the show the very next day.

She found the ad on CANTER and again on a Facebook feed for Horses for Sale in New England under $2000. There was a picture of a sleek horse, with the note “in race condition.”

“In race condition.”

And, the fact is, we love Thoroughbreds.