Olympic Eventers Triumph at Plantation Field Horse Trials
by Leslie Threlkeld - October 2016
Upper-level event riders from around the country travel to Unionville, Pa. to compete at the Plantation Field International Horse Trials and Country Fair, but this year three local riders bested a competitive field of entries.
Team USA’s Rio Olympic Team members, Phillip Dutton, of West Grove, Pa., and Boyd Martin, of Unionville, stood on the podium as the top finishers in the CIC3*. Dutton won first and third riding Mr. Candyman and I’m Sew Ready, respectively. Martin was second on Cracker Jack.
After a top finish at Galway Downs last November, Dutton thought he had a “world-beater” on his hands with Mr. Candyman but that the horse hasn’t had the best year due to Dutton’s focused preparation for the Olympics. “Now is his turn,” Dutton said.
Mr. Candyman, owned by Ann Jones, Bridget Colman, Caroline Moran and Tom Tierney, was placed second behind his stablemate I’m Sew Ready after dressage and show jumping. A fast, clear cross country round moved them up to win.
Lawsuit Amplifies Racing Reform Problems, But a Fix May Be Coming
by Suzanne Bush - October 2016
Controversy is swirling around HB941 like flies in a horse barn in July. The bill, now known as Act 7, began with such promise. A slew of reforms to Pennsylvania’s horseracing industry, aimed at protecting the industry by changing the way it is governed in the state, were signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in February, 2016.
Celebrated by stakeholders at first, the bill quickly became an object of scorn when fatally flawed wording in the bill’s final version undermined its intent. Instead of setting up a breeder award program for horses foaled in Pennsylvania, the bill’s language specified that only foals “sired in the Commonwealth” would be eligible for awards.
The result has been catastrophic for Thoroughbred horse breeders and farms across the state. Because of the wording, which essentially controverted the bill’s intent, breeders’ awards in Pennsylvania have not been paid since February. Vet bills, feed bills, training bills, hay bills—have been unpaid or paid partially while breeders wait for the Legislature to correct what was, essentially, an epic typo. Several million dollars in awards are sitting in an account, beyond the reach of the people who earned them and who desperately need them.
Devon Fall Classic Wraps Up with Horse of the Year Championships
Elizabeth Traband and Melissa Rudershausen wrapped up the Devon Fall Classic on Sunday, September 18 with victories during the United States Hunter Jumper Association Zone 2 Horse of the Year Jumper Championships. The all jumper show ran September 15-18 at the Devon Horse Show grounds, Devon, PA.
"This is actually my first show with Ladonna, and she just went in and marched around like a champion," Traband said of her victory in the $5,000 Low Junior Jumper Classic. Four riders qualified for the speed round and only four-tenths of a second separated the top two athletes. Traband and her 11-year-old Warmblood triumphed with a time of 33.055 seconds, forcing Ashley Hartman and Clear Lady to settle for second place with a time of 33.490 seconds.
Traband was born without an arm, but never allowed herself to be held back. She said "I have a really crazy story. I became a fan of a guy named Tommie Turvey. At the time, I had this rotten pony that liked to buck me off and was horrible in the show ring. I rode him bridle-less everywhere, and one day, Tommie said, 'Why don't you come on the road with us?'" At age 7, she was given the opportunity to travel all over the country with Turvey, performing in night shows and clinics.
"In 2010, we were performing at the World Equestrian Games," the Penn State student continued. "Louise Serio was there with the international hunter derby riders. They got together and got me a grant to go to Wellington for two weeks--I was hooked."
BJ’s Pleasure Passes at Age 33; Foals Changed the Standardbred Breed
by Kimberly French - October 2016
On Monday, February 6, 2005, Hoof Beats editor Dean Hoffman previewed an upcoming article on harness racing’s elite broodmares. To make the list, each mare had to produce at least four foals that made $250,000 or more. On the pacing side 18 mares had achieved this status, while only three of their trotting colleagues could boast of the same accomplishment. Among those three was BJ’s Pleasure, who was inducted into the Living Hall of Fame three years prior.
Her owner, Bob Key of Leechburg, PA, stated in 2009, his mare “definitely made her contribution to her breed.” Shortly after her death, however, at age 33 on September 6, 2016, Key added another accolade to his description of his prized animal.
“She changed the breed,” he said. “Prior to us purchasing her, people always looked for the heavier type of European trotter. She was light framed and her first trainer did not like her because he thought she was too small. I wanted to buy her (half) brother Mack Lobell at the same sale the next year, but was told the same thing, that he was too small. I think he sold for something like $17,000 and made more than $3 million. Right then I decided if I was going to mistakes and lose money, I would take my advice rather than listen to anybody else’s, then I would only have myself to blame.”
A daughter of Speedy Somolli and the Speedy Count mare Matina Hanover, BJ’s Pleasure established her lifetime mark of 1:59.4 at age 3, banked $244,023 and was a stakes winner. Although she was an excellent performer on the racetrack, it was in the breeding shed where she excelled.