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Posts Tagged ‘off-the-track Thoroughbreds’

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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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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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In October TSB will publish the first two books in a new fiction series for young horse lovers: CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED. Author Linda Snow McLoon manages to accurately and authentically tap the time-tested theme of a horse-crazy young girl named Sarah who finally gets the horse of her dreams—in this case, an unruly off-the-track Thoroughbred bought for a dollar. Facing jealous rivalries and the challenges of managing the retraining of such a horse, Sarah must rely on her faith in her horse’s character and her belief in her ability to make him great in order to find a way to keep him.

“Get ready to fall in love with the story of Crown Prince and Sarah,” says Elizabeth Letts, author of the New York Times Bestseller The Eighty Dollar Champion. “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.”

As Elizabeth knows and has shown in her own wonderful book The Eighty Dollar Champion, the value of a good horse knows no price, and the dream of finding the right equine partner knows no age limit. Regardless of discipline or breed, and whether or not you compete at the top of your equestrian sport or not at all, we are surrounded by comeback stories, horse bought for a song who utlimately went the distance, and the “accidental champions” who may have defied the odds to excel in some way or simply capture our hearts.

Author Elizabeth Letts invites us to share our best horse stories on her blog.

Elizabeth Letts has invited us to share our own “Eighty-Dollar Champion” stories on her blog. She writes:

“You don’t need to win blue ribbons to be a champion. The Next Eighty-Dollar Champion honors every horse who came from humble beginnings or has had a second or third or fourth career. We also honor every man, woman and child who has refused to give up on a horse. We want to hear the story of your Eighty-Dollar Champion! Tell us a little bit about your horse — how you got your horse, what his/her life was like before coming to live with you and your proudest accomplishment as a team. Email me your story (put Blog Entry in the subject line) and one or two photos and we’ll get it posted as soon as possible.”

CLICK HERE to visit Elizabeth’s blog and share your story with the world.

You can preorder CROWN PRINCE and CROWN PRINCE CHALLENGED at the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE.

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