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By Susan Salk on November 30, 2010
To hear Jessica Paquette describe the byplay she shared with What a Trippi at Suffolk Downs a couple years ago, one might be reminded, just a little, of the famous meeting decades earlier between Seabiscuit and trainer Tom Smith. For it was at Suffolk Downs that Seabiscuit was said to have nodded at Smith, making such an impression that Smith promised himself the two would meet again. And it was at the same track two years ago that Paquette had her own fateful moment with a short, grumpy racehorse she would vow to own. The 15.2 hand bay was entering [...]
By Susan Salk on November 24, 2010
Rand Bill was a racehorse with “a lot of try in him.” On the track, he hit the board a number of times and even won three races after breaking his maiden at Aqueduct. Off the track, when he was lined up with a jumps course in the schooling ring for the first time, and even though lifting his feet did not come naturally to him, he simply wouldn’t quit. He gamely faced the new challenge until he got it, says owner Joy Dunn of Mint Hill Farm, N.Y. “He was such a klutz in the beginning,” she says. “I [...]
By Susan Salk on November 19, 2010
A Thoroughbred was just what the doctor ordered, for herself. When Valerie Rooney completed her residency and became a medical doctor 22 years ago, one of her first orders of business was transacted on a bucolic 12-acre property in rural Vermont. This is where she first installed a horse of her own, and a pony for her young daughter. To say it was a happy occasion is an understatement. Not only did that decision result in great joy for both mother and daughter, but the horses also brought a genuine counterbalance to her hectic professional life. “Many of my friends [...]