This great news arrived today in my email:
Your Thoroughbred Makeover Trainer Application has been accepted. You are one of 480 professional, amateur, or junior trainers who will acquire, train, and show a Thoroughbred racehorse on a national stage in your chosen discipline(s). See today’s press release and the online Thoroughbred Makeover Trainers page.
Shortly after the email with good news arrived this morning, I received word that Fason, my Retired Racehorse Project mount, was on his way to me from Turfway Park in Florence, KY.
Fason (pronounced "fasten") was born in Ohio, sired by Mahogany Hall and out of Camero with nice bloodlines. He began racing in 2009. Racing nearly every month, he started 78 times, winning 15 of those races. Over the course of his racing career Fason won over $90,000, finishing his last race on Dec. 1, 2015 as a sound 10 year old. He is huge, 17.1 hands tall. Because of his large size and his puppy dog personality, they called him The Gentle Giant on the backside of the track.
I found Fason on the CANTER Kentucky trainer listings online. He has lovely conformation, so in anticipation of acceptance into the 2016 Makeover I called both CANTER Kentucky and Fason's contact at the track. From the track they explained to me that Fason has always been sound, which I verified by looking at his racing history and having a prepurchase exam done by a veterinarian at the track. They also told me that Fason is a big gentle creature who is adored by everyone. They explained Fason is a great racehorse, who is still winning, and if he didn't sell to someone like me then he would continue racing. The great folks at CANTER Kentucky confirmed what a nice horse he is when I spoke with them on the phone, too. I love to hear this information, because I wanted a horse that was old enough to be physically mature, past his "baby brain" days, and who was ready to go to work in a new career without needing a couple years to finish growing. If a horse can stay sound while racing for that long, that is a great indicator that he will stay sound in his second job as well.
After the veterinary exam I decided to buy Fason, so we took care of necessaries and I arranged to have my colleague Laura Wiencek, president of the Thoroughbred Barrel Racing Association pick him up while she was at Turfway Park shopping for OTTBs for her students for the makeover. She was stopping at that track on her way from Ohio to Oklahoma with a horse she was transporting herself, and she generously offered to haul Fason for me to my friend's place just outside of Oklahoma City. I'll leave later this week to go pick him up and haul him the rest of the way home to Colorado. Fason will then begin the transition from a winner at the Sport of Kings, to becoming a King of Sport!
My colleague has taken several photos for me of Fason as he begins his journey to Bit of Honey Training and ultimately the 2016 Retired Racehorse Makeover. He was well behaved and loaded nicely into the trailer to leave the track, and settled in calmly at Rosecrest Farm and Guesthouse in Paris, KY where they will spend the night before continuing on to Oklahoma.
I'm very eager to get my hands on this wonderful sporthorse prospect. With his sweet temperament, his large stature, his perfect age, and his history of soundness, I fully expect him to make great waves in the horse world as we train at competitive trail riding as preparation for eventing.