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Amy Latka and Jewel make a pretty picture.

Jewel of her heart

Lined up with other horse/rider teams waiting to try their hand at cowboy-mounted shooting exercises one February day in Indiana, Amy Latka and her ex-racehorse listened as the bang of six-shot revolvers and the pop of balloons ricocheted off metal walls. “There were no bullets in the guns, but they fired gunpowder and a piece of paper. The paper would light on fire and when it hit the balloon, it would pop it,” Latka explains. Just four years after first sitting on her off-track Thoroughbred Jewel to embark on “explosive” lessons that often left her in tears, Latka and Jewel […]

In brief: Zoe wins first dressage show

Meghan Bilz and her off-track Thoroughbred Zoe proved last Sunday that their “relentless pursuit of perfection” can pay dividends. The pair won their first dressage show— the Oak Rise Dressage and 2-Phase Show on May 16. They were also named the Reserve High Point Rider of the Day, a distinction pitting them against all other riders at the show in Goffstown, N.H. What was going through your head as you did your Training Level Test 1? Don’t forget the test and stay in the ring! Actually, Zoe was a little nervous about the judge’s booth, and there were some gusty […]

A best friend to horses

Michael Blowen didn’t set out to oversee a Shangri-La for ex-racehorses in the Kentucky bluegrass. He set out to teach film at Emerson College in Boston. When that didn’t work out, he went to work for the Boston Globe as an entertainment writer, and somewhere along the way horses got into his blood the way ink seeps into a newspaperman’s veins. It all began fairly innocuously. “One day my editor Robert Taylor, who was a brilliant editor who made my mediocre prose something worth reading, invited me to go to the track,” Blowen says. “I was 31, and up to […]