all in Aftercare

This past month, a dream that I have had for a very long time came true. To most, it might not seem like a big deal. But for me, this is something that I have wanted to do since I was a little girl. I have been riding since I was four, but this was the first time I have ever entered the show ring on a horse: Fin and I got to experience both of our first shows together. I was surprised at how well it went!

My first draft of this blog started with the sentence, “Comparison is the thief of joy, or so it has been explained to me.” I’m surprised how often I have had to remind myself of that over the last month. I could list all of my excuses here about why I haven’t done nearly as much with Finnick the Fierce as I’ve wanted to but we all know them. We use them in our daily lives to justify why we haven’t accomplished our goals. Yet it has been the struggle of my life to try and convince myself that these are valid reasons.

It’s no secret that Thoroughbreds retiring from the track often have a variety of things that need to be addressed before they are really ready, both mentally and physically, to take on a new career. The degree to which an owner and trainer has to address these things differs wildly from horse to horse, but I’ve yet to meet a newly retired Thoroughbred who didn’t need at least something addressed.

A new sound will ring from the Oaklawn winner’s circle this weekend: the peal from a bell emblazoned with, “This bell rings for the love and respect of the horse.” Recently installed, a winning connection who dedicates a portion of the purse to aftercare is invited to ring it.

Where Mark Allen goes, so goes 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

While most other Derby winners are whisked away to stud after their racing careers, gelding Mine That Bird has remained in the lives of co-owners Allen and Leonard "Doc" Blach since his 2009 lightning strike in Louisville, Ky., and 2010 retirement from racing.

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!