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Posts Tagged ‘ex-racehorses’

Photo by Erika N. Walsh

Photo by Erika N. Walsh

We’re counting down the days to the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover and National Symposium, organized by the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP), a nonprofit dedicated to the placement of ex-racehorses in second careers, and sponsored by Thoroughbred Charities of America.

You can join thousands of others who believe that every Thoroughbred deserves a chance to win at life at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, October 27-30, as top trainers engage in the process of transitioning ex-racehorses to second careers. The Thoroughbred Makeover serves as the only national gathering of the organizations, trainers, and farms dedicated to serving OTTBs and features educational clinics and demonstrations, as well as the Makeover Horse Sale and the $100,000 Thoroughbred Makeover competition.

The 2016 Makeover features over 300 Thoroughbreds that began working with trainers from across the country after the first of the year and who will compete in up to two of ten equestrian disciplines to showcase their talents and trainability.

“The Thoroughbred Makeover is a unique opportunity on so many levels,” says one of the event’s judges, TSB author and president of EquestrianCoach.com Bernie Traurig. “First, it’s a wonderful way to see firsthand the great qualities the Thoroughbred has to offer for so many disciplines. There are over 300 OTTBs competing and demonstrating their versatility in a wide array of sports. Second, for those interested in purchasing an OTTB, many, perhaps half, are available to be tried and purchased. David Hopper and I are judging the jumpers, and we are both really excited to see some of these great Thoroughbreds.”

As supporters of the Retired Racehorse Project, TSB is proud to have a number of authors joining Bernie Traurig (creator of DEVELOPING PERFECT POSITION and other DVDs) in this year’s Makeover. BEYOND THE TRACK author Anna Morgan Ford’s OTTB adoption organization New Vocations always has a significant presence at the event, and both Denny Emerson (HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD) and Yvonne Barteau (THE DRESSAGE HORSE MANIFESTO) worked with OTTBs with the competition in mind.

 

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“I did not know of the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover challenge until my friend Lisa Diersen of the Equus Film Festival mentioned it to me,” recounts Barteau. “Since I spent seven years on racetracks, working with Standardbred and Thoroughbred racehorses, and also a few years training ex-racehorses, it seemed like a good thing for me to do.

“I started working with SeventyTwo (‘Indy’) in February,” she says. “I found him a bit aloof at first and also somewhat challenging. He likes a good argument and will try to drag you into one if you are not careful. He is also funny, charming, and extremely clever. He learns things, (good or bad), super fast, so I have had to stay ahead of him in the training game.

“I am having such fun with Indy, I plan on keeping him and continuing to train him up the levels in dressage as well as making an exhibition horse out of him. I don’t know how he will be when I take him to a new environment (the Makeover), so however he acts there will be just part of our journey together. I’m looking forward to it either way!”

Don’t missing seeing Indy and all the other winning ex-racehorses as they show off what they’ve learned over the last few months and compete to be named America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred! Tickets for the 2016 Thoroughbred Makeover are on sale now (CLICK HERE).

Watch Yvonne and Indy working together in this short video:

 

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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Over the last 20 years I have ridden a number of OTTBs (off-the-track Thoroughbreds), but most recently I have been riding an absolutely stunning and incredibly earnest gelding named “Rocky,” owned by Gayle Davis—a friend and fellow event rider. This enormous chestnut won his Advanced division at Millbrook Horse Trials with US Olympian and TSB author Phillip Dutton in the irons in 2012, right before Gayle purchased him.

Most spectators are surprised when they hear Rocky came off the track, as he floats across the ground like a Warmblood and his conformation wouldn’t lead you to believe he’s all Thoroughbred. Riding Rocky has truly been a treat—I am incredibly grateful to be able to ride such a naturally gifted athlete. He might be the most powerful horse I have ever sat on, and when you combine that sheer strength with his sincere attitude and wealth of knowledge, you can’t help but smile as you glide across the ground!

TSB Publications Assistant Lila Gendal on the OTTB Rocky.

TSB Publications Assistant Lila Gendal on the OTTB Rocky.

My positive experience with Rocky and with the other OTTBs I’ve ridden means that I find the mission of the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) all the more valuable. RRP is a non-profit organization that kick-started in 2010 when a small group of devoted Thoroughbred enthusiasts came together with a clear vision in mind: To promote ex-racehorses by offering them a second chance at succeeding in life beyond the track. This was made possible by increasing demand for them in a wide range of equestrian sports, and supporting those farms, trainers, and organizations that helped transition them.

Shortly after RRP began, the Thoroughbred Makeover Project debuted in 2013 and grew exponentially within the next two years attracting crowds, thoroughbred advocates, equestrians and all sorts of individuals from across the country, as they all gathered at the Kentucky Horse Park. The 2015 event was a huge success with its $100,000 in prize money for close to 200 horses that competed in ten disciplines with less than ten months of training. The 2016 Makeover continues to evolve, adding more educational opportunities to its program, as well as building in more time for potential OTTB buyers to evaluate the horses that are being showcased.

At Trafalgar Square Books (www.horseandriderbooks.com), we wholeheartedly support the retraining and rehoming of OTTBs, and we are proud to sponsor the Thoroughbred Makeover but to have a number of authors who are actively involved with RRP and the Makeover as well.

BETHTRIn 2008, TSB worked with Anna Morgan Ford, Program Director for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program and winner of the 2015 Equus Foundation/USEF Humanitarian Award, to create the book BEYOND THE TRACK. Ford’s book (written with Amber Heintzberger) has become a trusted resource of those entering into partnership with OTTBs. New Vocations was founded at Ford’s family farm in 1992 and now has five locations in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. The organization rehabilitates and rehomes over 400 ex-racehorses each year. (Read an excerpt about choosing the right OTTB from Beyond the Track that appeared in Practical Horseman Magazine by clicking HERE.)

ModEventwPhilDut-300Leading US event rider Phillip Dutton is the author of the TSB bestselling MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON (written with Amber Heintzberger) and is known for his ability to rehabilitate ex-racehorses and turn them into successful event horses. (He details the stories of a couple of his well-known OTTBs in a special section in his book.) Currently Dutton—who was just named to his sixth Olympic team, representing the US in Rio de Janeiro this year—has several OTTBs in his barn, one of which is “Icabad Crane,” the horse that won the $10,000 America’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred at the Retired Racehorse Project’s Thoroughbred Makeover in 2014. (Watch a free “How to Be a Successful Eventer at Any Level” webinar with Dutton HERE.)

GoodRiders-web-300This year two TSB authors are retraining OTTBs with the Makeover specifically in mind: USEA Hall-of-Fame eventer Denny Emerson, author of HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD has two OTTB mares, “Frosty” and “Raven,” that he is working with in preparation for the Thoroughbred Makeover this fall. Emerson keeps his large Facebook audience up to date on what’s happening with these two exciting young mares—you can follow along HERE.

DrHorseManifesto300Yvonne Barteau, author of THE DRESSAGE HORSE MANIFESTO, is participating in this year’s Thoroughbred Makeover Project on her horse “Indy,” a 15.3-hand Thoroughbred gelding. Barteau has trained over 10 horses to the Grand Prix level and has won numerous USDF Horse of the Year titles, but before she was a Grand Prix dressage rider, she got her start on the track. Beginning in high school, she worked—first as a groom and then as a trainer—at harness-and flat-racing tracks up and down the East Coast. You can keep up with Indy’s progress by watching the wonderful video journals Barteau regularly posts HERE.

Stay tuned over the next few months as we touch base with our TSB authors who are participating in RRP’s Thoroughbred Makeover Project, bringing you highlights and an inside look at their experiences!

-Lila Gendal, Publications Assistant

 

 

Trafalgar Square Books, the leading publisher of equestrian books and DVDs, is small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.

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WPTZ Channel 5 News Anchor George Mallet and his OTTB Brahma Fear.

WPTZ Channel 5 News Anchor George Mallet and his OTTB Brahma Fear.

George Mallet is something of a local celebrity to those of us who live and work in Vermont. Our WPTZ News Channel 5 anchor offers a familiar and comforting presence as he counsels us on the day’s occurrences from our television, computer, or mobile device.

But for those of us at TSB, there’s something important that sets George apart from other news personalities: He’s a horseman. And his horse of choice is an off-the-track Thoroughbred.

In 2005, George was working as a television reporter in Philadelphia when he heard that a grandson of Secretariat had been born in Pennsylvania’s Chester County, and he decided to chronicle the little colt’s arrival. While George’s crew took photographs for the story, the colt—named Brahma Fear—pressed up against George’s leg.

“I scratched the distinctive Secretariat white star on his forehead,” George writes in his October 2010 article in the Journal Sentinel. “…A paternal instinct overtook me as I stood in that lush Pennsylvania paddock. I was a goner.”

George followed the trajectory of Brahma Fear’s racing career, and as is the case with so many young Thoroughbreds, by the summer of 2009, Brahma was losing cheap claiming races. In August that same year, George found himself writing a check and handing it to the colt’s trainer.

“I paid more for my laptop computer than I paid for a grandson of the legendary Secretariat,” he writes.

It isn’t often we can so clearly see how a single, fleeting moment can change the course of a life—or of lives—forever. But in the now intertwined stories of George and Brahma, there’s nowhere else to look but at that tender exchange of touch and pressure, the briefest of communications between species, in a spring pasture.

We love that George rediscovered a childhood interest in horses late in his life, taking up riding only after he traced the faint pattern of hair on an as yet unknown colt’s forehead. It speaks to the most romantic of hearts that he then kept tabs on the young Thoroughbred’s whereabouts…the horse’s starts and finishes, his victories and losses. And we can’t help but fall a little bit in love with how it all turned out.

“Sometimes I marvel at how lucky I was to end up with Brahma,” says George. “I really knew nothing when I grabbed him off the track. I only had the memory of meeting him as a foal and just ‘melting’ when he pressed up against me. When I did that story on his birth, I wasn’t even riding yet. I broke all the rules. Green riders aren’t supposed to adopt green-broke thoroughbred racehorses. Yet somehow I ended up with a remarkably calm, smart, and appreciative thoroughbred pal!”

A true OTTB success story! Check out more about George and Brahma in this great video from Seven Days:

 

 

Trafalgar Square Books is proud of its own OTTB success story: In the books CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, young Sarah Wagner rescues a rogue racehorse and then must find a way to keep him, against all odds. Here’s an excerpt from the first book in the exciting new Brookmeade Young Riders Series:

For several moments Sarah and the horse stood looking at each other. Then she lifted the stall door’s latch and let herself inside. As Crown Prince retreated to the corner, she reached back over the door to lower the latch back into position. Slowly she approached the horse, all the while talking softly. “Good boy, good Prince,” she repeated. Once by his side, she reached to touch his long neck and stroke it gently. His coat felt like sleek satin. He turned his head toward her, seeming to know she meant him no harm…

“You beautiful Prince,” she murmured. As Sarah stroked his neck and continued to speak in hushed tones, she felt the horse become more relaxed. His head dropped down to her and gradually his eyes softened, as he clearly enjoyed her touch and gentle voice. He offered no resistance as she gently pulled his head closer and rested her cheek on his muzzle. It was so soft. With his head lowered, she caressed his forehead, tracing the white star, and gently tugged his ears. She felt like she’d known this horse forever.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER

You can meet Linda Snow McLoon, the author of the Brookmeade Young Riders Series, on Saturday, March 29, 2014, at a special presentation sponsored by the Granby Public Library and the Granby Pony Club, in Granby, Connecticut. Click here for more information on this event.

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Linda Snow McLoon’s award-winning Brookmeade Young Riders Series has earned critical praise for its emphasis on hard work and good horsemanship, as well as its authentic representation of the challenges an ambitious young equestrian can face in the world of “riding stable drama.” McLoon’s first two books in the series, CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, also take on a number of important social issues, including emphasizing an awareness of the incredible potential of horses retired from racing and giving them a fresh start and a new life. McLoon, a lifelong horsewoman, created the characters to reflect her own devotion to finding and retraining off-the-track Thoroughbreds.

“Crown Prince comes to Sarah Wagner from the racetrack,” explains McLoon. “Over the years, I’ve rescued a number of horses off the track. I found that one of the most satisfying aspects of owning horses was to help those Thoroughbreds make the transition from racehorse to sport horse. Their high intelligence, sensitivity, and athleticism make them good candidates to learn new ways and eventually excel in the show ring, eventing world, dressage, and even competitive trail riding. The fact they’ve been selectively bred for speed for over three centuries makes them the superior athletes we see all over the world today.

Author Linda Snow McLoon and one of her OTTBs, Gamekeeper.

Author Linda Snow McLoon and one of her OTTBs, Gamekeeper.

“One of my favorite OTTBs was a lovely bay gelding I bought at the Saratoga Horses of Racing Age Sale,” McLoon remembers. “Watching the horses being walked before going into the sales arena, I was taken with his large intelligent eyes, overall quality, and that he walked as straight as an arrow. I found myself bidding on this horse, dueling it out with one other bidder before I could take this fellow home. I later discovered he was a well-bred horse who had been purchased for a high price tag as a yearling and traveled to England to train for turf racing. Sold once again, he came back to Belmont Park, but after only starting in one race, he developed an abscess in his neck which took a long time to heal. With so many other racing prospects, his owner decided to cull him from his string and place him in the auction. The horse I came to call ‘Grand Luxe’ always had the small indentation in his neck, but that didn’t stop him from becoming a children’s hunter champion.

“So many ex-horses have gone on be successful in other careers after their racing days were over. Thankfully today there are many organizations that place these horses in good hands after the racetrack.”

“These books are thoughtfully written and entertaining accounts of a girl and her first horse of her own—an off-the-track Thoroughbred,” says Amber Heintzberger, writer, photographer, and coauthor of BEYOND THE TRACK with New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program Director Anna Morgan Ford and MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON with eventing star Phillip Dutton. “Linda Snow McLoon includes plenty of excitement to keep young readers turning the pages as they absorb accurate information about riding and horse care, as well as a few important life lessons. This book may inspire young equestrians to someday find their own ‘Crown Prince’ and rescue a Thoroughbred off the track.”

You can find out how Sarah Wagner comes to find Crown Prince, her dream horse, at the track, and how Sarah must fight to keep him, in the first two books of the Brookmeade Young Riders Series: CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, available now at the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT FROM CROWN PRINCE (click on the red chapter download link on the right of the page)

CLICK HERE TO READ A FREE EXCERPT FROM CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED (click on the red chapter download link on the right of the page)

In Maine this summer? You can meet Linda Snow McLoon at the Books in Boothbay Summer Book Fair, Saturday, July 13, 20013!

Visit lindasnowmcloon.com for more information.

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CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon won for best book intended for elementary- and high-school age readers at the 56th Annual New England Book Show.

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon won for best book intended for elementary- and high-school age readers at the 56th Annual New England Book Show.

TSB is over-the-moon about CROWN PRINCE being named a winner at the 2013 New England Book Show in the category for books intended for readers in grades 1 through 12. Congratulations to author Linda Snow McLoon and artist Jennifer Brandon, who created the stunning cover image.

Linda Snow McLoon’s first two books from her all-new BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES have been hailed for their authenticity of character and accuracy of equestrian detail. Here’s what the recently released review in the June issue of School Library Journal had to say about CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED:

Gr 5-8–Ever since she began riding, Sarah has dreamed of having a horse of her own. Through a number of fortuitous circumstances, she becomes the owner of a young thoroughbred on whom a race owner has given up. Her parents feel a great deal of trepidation about such a “green” horse, but Sarah’s trainer at Bookmeade farm promises to work closely to bring Crown Prince along. The first book details their journey as Crown Prince adapts to his new life as an event horse and Sarah takes on the responsibility of helping him achieve his potential. Most of the other riders at the facility are supportive, but a few mean girls go out of their way to create problems for Sarah. Their jealousy and bad behavior escalate in the second book as Sarah and Crown Prince prepare for and participate in their first three-day event. Their actions almost end in tragedy for Sarah and her talented horse, but they triumph in the end. Sarah is a believable character with a great work ethic and determination. Her friends all have their own issues but rally around when needed. These books are solid reads for children who enjoy good stories that are authentic in their presentation of the intricacies of dealing with horses and the day-to-day lives of young equestrians as they develop their skills to compete.– Carol Schene, formerly at Taunton Public Schools, MA

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon was displayed with the other winning entries at the New England Book Show in early May.

CROWN PRINCE by Linda Snow McLoon was displayed with the other winning entries at the New England Book Show in early May.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available to order from the TSB online bookstore.

Crown Prince_winnerCLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Have a tech-friendly young reader you think might love these books? Both are available in Kindle format from Amazon.com and ePub format at ebooks.com.

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A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip Dutton's new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky!

A limited number of pre-release copies of Phillip Dutton’s new book will be available at Rolex Kentucky!

TSB is revving up for a weekend of special giveaways and opportunities to meet Phillip Dutton—12-time USEA Leading Rider of the Year and 5-time Olympian with 2 gold medals—at the 2013 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event April 25 through 28 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky.

We’re celebrating the publication of the new book MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by Phillip Dutton with Amber Heintzberger. This fabulously illustrated book is the twenty-first-century rider’s go-to guide for everything you need to know about the sport of eventing, with recommendations for training, conditioning, and competing in all three phases: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

A limited number of pre-release copies of this incredible new reference will be available at Rolex Kentucky for purchase and signing by Phillip during special appearances. If you’re going to Rolex, be sure to make one of these special pre-release copies your own!

Copies of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON can be bought at the Practical Horseman booth and at Bit of Britain, both located in the Sponsor Village at the Horse Park. Book signings and opportunities to meet Phillip will happen at the Cosequin® booth, also in the Sponsor Village.

Phillip Dutton on Connaught, on their way to winning Rolex Kentucky in 2008.

Phillip Dutton on Connaught, on their way to winning Rolex Kentucky in 2008.

Stop by the Cosequin booth for exact times of Phillip’s appearances, as well as for your chance to sign up for a daily prize drawing to win a selection of TSB books and gift certificates to use at our online bookstore www.HorseandRiderBooks.com. In addition, there will be a Grand Prize drawing at the end of the event for the popular Cosequin bucket full of products, including a copy of MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON and a $50 gift certificate to spend at www.HorseandRiderBooks.com.

Phillip Dutton has competed at Rolex Kentucky, the pinnacle of eventing in the United States and one of only six annual Four-Star events in the world, numerous times over the course of his career, winning the event in 2008 on Connaught. We’re excited for this year’s competition and wish all the riders and horses the best of luck.

MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON is currently available for pre-order from the TSB online bookstore (www.HorseandRiderBooks.com). Pre-ordered books will ship after the book’s official release at the end of May.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

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Join TSB author Linda Snow McLoon at the Newburyport Literary Festival this month.

Join TSB author Linda Snow McLoon at the Newburyport Literary Festival this month.

Trafalgar Square Books is excited to announce that Linda Snow McLoon, author of CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, the first two books in the Brookmeade Young Riders Series, is one of the featured authors at the eighth annual Newburyport Literary Festival (NLF), which will take place on April 27, 2013, in various venues throughout downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts.

This year the NLF is honoring dozens of writers of distinguished fiction and nonfiction, including Matthew Quick, whose adult novel The Silver Linings Playbook became a hit feature film and was nominated for eight Oscars. Featured short story writers, children’s authors, biographers, nature writers, critics, screenwriters, poets, songwriters, musicians, novelists, and journalists will read, perform, and discuss their work during the event, which is free and open to the public.

“We are excited about the Children’s/Young Adult program at the 2013 Newburyport Literary Festival,” say event organizers Lucia Greene and Nancy Smith. “As always we have a diverse and interesting group of writers, artists, and storytellers.”

Downtown Newburyport--mark your calendars to visit during the NLF!

Downtown Newburyport–mark your calendars to visit during the NLF!

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED, released in the Fall of 2012, have garnered praise from bestselling authors, school teachers, professional horsemen, and young readers for their believability, accuracy to equestrian detail, and lessons in horsemanship, friendship, and growing up. Linda’s books chronicle the stories of the Sarah Wagner and the racetrack rogue Crown Prince—a horse she is given but can only keep if she can transform him from troubled to trusting, from castaway to successful competitor. Along the way, readers learn about the stable-centric world of the Brookmeade Young Riders—the group of ambitious and talented teenagers vying for the coveted top spots at Brookmeade Farm.

Linda invites all young readers—those who ride, those who have always dreamed of owning their own horse, and those who just enjoy a good story full of big dreams and challenges overcome—to visit with her during the NLF. On Saturday, April 27, at 1:00 p.m. in the Newburyport Public Library Program Room (94 State Street), Linda will present a short educational program that highlights the books Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged, as well as chronicling her background in the world of horses with stories and photographs. Before and after her program, Linda will be on hand to sign books and answer questions about writing, riding, and horses.

Following Linda’s program at 1:00 p.m., NLF attendees can participate in some of the highlights of the event.

“At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday,” say Lucia and Nancy, “visitors may want to head over to the Old South Church to the Young Adult presentation by acclaimed author, Matthew Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) and Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird’s Advice For Sad Poets) to hear an honest and open discussion about mental health and the importance of art and friends in dealing with life. It promises to be a thought-provoking and positive exchange between two friends and exceptional writers.”

You can find out more about the Newburyport Literary Festival, featured authors and events for children and adults, online at http://www.newburyportliteraryfestival.org.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

CP CPC PosterWhat they’re saying about Linda Snow McLoon’s Brookmeade Young Rider’s Series:

“Get ready to fall in love with the story of Crown Prince and Sarah. Chock-a-block with accurate equestrian details, well-paced, and full of heart, the story of Sarah and her off-the-track one-dollar purchase is the story of how hard-work, determination and love for horses can make any young rider’s dream come true.” —Elizabeth Letts, author of the New York Times bestseller The Eighty Dollar Champion

“The reader will learn a lot about horses, good riding and horsemanship through these novels, but it’s part of the story, not a ‘lesson.’ I enjoyed the first book so much that I went right on to the second, and now I’m hoping the author is working on the next one!” —Susan Harris author of the U.S. Pony Club Manuals of Horsemanship

“This book will appeal not only to young beginner riders but also to older and more seasoned horse lovers. Everyone will enjoy Sarah’s strong-willed determination to keep and succeed with the horse she loves.” —Practical Horseman (March 2013)

“With a myriad of horse facts written into the story, adolescent readers will find this book not only entertaining but educational as well.” —Equine Journal (April 2013)

Linda Snow McLoon was that girl who always wanted a horse of her own but had to wait until she was an adult for her dream to come true. She and her horse Bayberry competed in horse shows, dressage competitions, and horse trials. Linda taught young riders as a U.S. Pony Club Affiliate Coordinator of Instruction, and along the way bred and raced Thoroughbred racehorses. She lives in Portland, Maine. You can get in touch with Linda and find out more about the Brookmeade Young Riders Series by visiting http://www.lindasnowmcloon.com.

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CLICK IMAGE to watch the “painting racehorse” on the Today Show!

You may have seen our previous post about Metro Meteor, the “painting racehorse,” and how his exploration of his artistic side is helping to fund New Vocations Racehorse Adoption (CLICK HERE TO READ FULL STORY).

Metro Meteor made his primetime television debut this morning as he was profiled on the Today Show (CLICK HERE TO WATCH).

Metro’s paintings have become a sensation, with a waiting list of fans. Selling for up to $500, the paintings have brought in $20,000 in the four months since Metro started producing them.

“He’s our most popular artist,” gallery owner Peggy Rock told the Today Show’s Jill Rappaport. “I just shipped one of the smaller paintings to Japan. We probably shipped to at least 20 or 30 different states. There is a real contemporary flair to them.’’

Half of the proceeds from the paintings go toward Metro’s medical bills, and the other 50 percent go to New Vocations—a wonderful program that offers retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes. The New Vocations focus is on adoption versus retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose. Close to 4,000 retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been placed in qualified homes through New Vocations’ efforts since its inception, including 429 ex-racehorses that were placed in 2011. These horses have come from 18 different states and have been adopted by families throughout the country.

BETHTRNew Vocations Program Director Anna Ford expanded the organization’s reach when she wrote BEYOND THE TRACK: RETRAINING THE THOROUGHBRED FROM RACEHORSE TO RIDING HORSE, alongside cowriter Amber Heintzberger. Their marvelous book provides the most thorough, clear, step-by-step system for successfully transitioning ex-racehorses to new careers, providing thousands of horses (and their lucky owners) the opportunity to enjoy each other in both recreation and sport. In addition, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each book goes to support the New Vocations program.

“Metro Meteor has done more for retired racehorses than any ambassador,’’ Ron Krajewski, his owner and “artist’s assistant,” says. “He is spreading the message that you just don’t discard them when their racing careers are over. They can all do something.”

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New Vocations Racehorse Adoption has a new "champion"! Metro Meteor, the Painting Racehorse, will be on the TODAY SHOW April 4, 2013. Tune in and check it out!

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption has a new “champion”! Metro Meteor, the Painting Racehorse, will be on the TODAY SHOW April 9, 2013. Tune in and check it out!

New Vocations Racehorse Adoption was founded in 1992 to offer retiring racehorses a safe-haven, rehabilitation, and continued education through placement in experienced, caring homes.  The New Vocations focus is on adoption versus retirement, believing that each horse deserves to have an individual home and purpose. Close to 4,000 retired Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been placed in qualified homes through New Vocations’ efforts since its inception, including 429 ex-racehorses that were placed in 2011. These horses have come from 18 different states and have been adopted by families throughout the country.

New Vocations Program Director Anna Ford expanded the organization’s reach when she wrote BEYOND THE TRACK: RETRAINING THE THOROUGHBRED FROM RACEHORSE TO RIDING HORSE, alongside cowriter Amber Heintzberger. Their marvelous book provides the most thorough, clear, step-by-step system for successfully transitioning ex-racehorses to new careers, providing thousands of horses (and their lucky owners) the opportunity to enjoy each other in both recreation and sport. In addition, a portion of the proceeds of the sale of each book goes to support the New Vocations program.

Now New Vocations has a rising star in the art world on its side: Metro Meteor, a contemporary artist who, while you may not have heard of him yet, is about to break into the big time when he appears on the TODAY SHOW, April 9, 2013.

Although he has only recently been recognized for his artistic eye, there is already a waiting list for Metro Meteor’s abstract paintings…and 50% of the proceeds from all sales go directly to New Vocations! Why does this emerging artist choose to champion the cause of racehorse adoption? Well, because (of course) he started his life on the track (did I forget to mention he’s a HORSE?)

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Metro won his first race and placed in his first stakes race as a two-year-old. Running turf races out of Saratoga and Belmont, Metro won eight races and $300,000 in purse money. But he was prone to bone chips in his knees and underwent two surgeries during his racing career before his knee issues led him to only racing in low-level claiming races. Luckily, the manager of the racing partnership that owned him retired the horse and put out a call for a good home—and Ron and Wendy Krajewski took him, hoping for a trail horse.

It wasn’t long, even with only light work, before Metro’s veterinary prognosis indicated he needed to be retired completely from work. Ron’s bond with the horse inspired him to find other ways they could spend time together, including groundwork and…painting! Ron is a painter by trade, and using clicker training concepts, he taught Metro to target and “swipe” a canvas with a brush. Ron chooses the colors, but the layering, texture, and form is all Metro.

On a whim Ron offered a few of Metro’s pieces for sale through a local gallery, and they were a hit. He decided to continue marketing Metro’s work with half of the proceeds going toward paying his ex-racehorses expenses and veterinary bills, and the other half donated to help fund New Vocations and their mission to find other “Metros” new careers…and unexpected ways to share time and space with humans.

When Ron contacted New Vocations to explain what he wanted to do, Executive Director Dot Morgan was amazed and excited. “It was an interesting email that became downright inspiring!” she says. “Ron described his adopted Thoroughbred Metro Meteor, how he’d taught him to paint, and that he wanted to commit part of the proceeds to New Vocations. But then he went on to say that six paintings had sold the first week and he was sending 50% of those sales to New Vocations! In addition, an article about Metro’s mission had appeared in the Gettysburg Times and just been picked up by the Associated Press!

“He included a link to a video of Metro painting in his stable studio,” Dot continues. “I watched the video and was astounded! This was potentially one of the greatest awareness building stories I’d ever seen. It was obvious that Metro’s ability to help horses beyond the track would far exceed his numerous accolades at the track. Here was the high profile spokesman that racehorses needed, and it was one of their own!”

You can watch Metro and Ron painting here:

And don’t forget to tune in and watch Metro Meteor’s story on the TODAY SHOW, April 9, 2013.

BETHTRBEYOND THE TRACK, a book that was called “breakthrough racehorse literature” by Liz Harris of Thoroughbred Charities of America, is available from the TSB online bookstore.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

Amber Heintzberger, cowriter of BEYOND THE TRACK, has a new book coming out—again featuring off-the-track Thoroughbreds! You can preorder MODERN EVENTING WITH PHILLIP DUTTON by CLICKING HERE.

And, our new Brookmeade Young Riders fiction series follows the adventures of Sarah Wagner and her off-the-track racehorse Crown Prince. You can order the first two books in the series Practical Horseman called appealing “not only to young beginner riders but also to older and more seasoned horse lovers” by CLICKING HERE.

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Trafalgar Square Books caught up with Linda Snow McLoon, author of an all-new fiction series for young horse lovers: THE BROOKMEADE YOUNG RIDERS SERIES. Crown Prince and its follow-up, Crown Prince Challenged, star an off-the-track Thoroughbred named Crown Prince and a group of young riders who are best friends, jealous rivals, and aspiring competitors at Brookmeade Farm. We asked Linda about the source of her inspiration, her own experience with ex-racehorses, and to share some of the books she loved to read as a little girl.

CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED are available now from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

TSB: Can you tell us how you came up with the idea for Crown Prince and Crown Prince Challenged?

LSM: As a girl, I wanted a horse more than anything, and this led me to write the story of a girl who struggled to have a horse of her own. When I sat down at the keyboard, the Crown Prince Ouija took over, leading me to the adventures of Sarah Wagner and Crown Prince.

TSB: Have you always written fiction geared toward young adults? What precipitated this foray into writing for this age group?

LSM: I choose to write stories for all those young adults who dearly love horses.

TSB: Did you have a “Crown Prince” in your life? Can you tell us about the first horse that captured your heart?

LSM: There’s always something special about one’s first horse, and for me, that was a gray Saddlebred named Clipper that I took care of and rode when he wasn’t being used in a summer camp riding program. I’ll always remember the night I went for a moonlight ride without telling my parents and ended up with a posse out searching for me.

Linda Snow McLoon and the OTTB Gamekeeper.

TSB: Crown Prince is an off-the-track Thoroughbred—have you worked with OTTBs and if so, how did you come to make retired racehorses part of your horse life?

LSM: I’ve always loved the athleticism and sensitivity of Thoroughbred horses, and over the years, I became foster mom for many OTTBs that were beginning a new career as sport horses after racing. It always gave me a great deal of pleasure to help them make the transition.

TSB: What is it that you think readers will most identify with in terms of Sarah’s life and experiences with Crown Prince and the Young Riders?

LSM: Readers will immediately sense the deep bond between Sarah and Crown Prince. Any reader who has longed for a horse of her own will understand Sarah’s love for Crown Prince and cheer as she fights to make him her own.

TSB: What was your favorite horse book as a little girl? As a teenager?

LSM: From the time I began reading horse books, I was a huge fan of Walter Farley and his Black Stallion books. I also enjoyed Marguerite Henry’s books with their wonderful illustrations by Wesley Dennis, especially King of the Wind and Album of Horses.

TSB: If you were trapped on a desert island with a horse and a book, what breed of horse would it be and which book would you choose?

LSM: It would be a Thoroughbred, and I never tire of reading books by the master, Walter Farley. When I was in high school, I and a friend visited him at his family’s beach house in Venice, Florida. He was a gracious host.

TSB: What’s in your refrigerator at all times?

LSM: Plenty of carrots – just in case!

TSB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

LSM: Being close to a horse and watching his eyes soften and wrinkle in the corners as I stroke and talk softly to him.

Linda competing Bayberry cross-country.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember sitting on a horse.

LSM: My parents were visiting friends who had horses. My sister and I got to sit on them as they were led around a riding ring.

TSB: Tell us about the first time you remember falling off a horse.

LSM: A horse I was riding bucked when it was stung by a bee. I remember someone saying that I looked very graceful as I floated to earth.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a friend?

LSM: Like the Brookmeade Young Riders Series characters Sarah and Kayla, the ability to talk to each other about anything and everything.

TSB: What is the quality you most like in a horse?

LSM: I love horses that have a quality I’ll call “class,” which gives them high intelligence along with an easy-going disposition. Crown Prince is well-endowed with class!

TSB: If you could do one thing on horseback or with a horse that you haven’t yet done, what would it be?

LSM: To gallop down a hard-packed beach close to the white-capped surf with gulls swooping down – as Sarah does with Crown Prince in the second book in the series.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect meal?

LSM: Sitting around the table with family and good friends, regardless of what’s on the menu.

TSB: What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

LSM: To ride horseback in a place with a significant historical connection, such as when I rode down England’s Wenlock Edge. Legend has it that a Royalist officer in the English Civil War, when pursued by Cromwell’s army, galloped his horse down the Wenlock Edge and lived to tell about it.

TSB: If you could have a conversation with one famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?

LSM: Abraham Lincoln

TSB: What is your motto?

LSM: Moderation in all things.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER CROWN PRINCE AND CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED NOW

And check out cover artist Jennifer Brandon’s equestrian and canine paintings and portraits!

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