Capt. Jack enchants children’s book author

Capt. Jack Sparrow 3For Nuala Galbari, a 58-year-old children’s book author life with her willowy, sweet-tempered racehorse has been like a walk in the park.

Although often advised to look for a sturdier mount, she listened to her heart and in November 2011 took a chance on an off-track Thoroughbred named Captain Jack Sparrow, who raced under the name Well Ack Ack. featured the pair in a story back in April 2012 and recently caught up with Galbari to learn their progress. Galbari reports having a “wonderful year” with Capt. Jack.

A spring spent taking light local trail rides on a 12-acre farm melded into some serious English lessons in August, and the start of schooling over cavalettis, and working with jump poles.

Galbari says she couldn’t have asked for a better horse to fulfill her lifelong dream of horse ownership.

“Captain Jack is showing promise as a light pleasure hunter,” she says.

“My trainer notes that he will be ready to show in green classes this coming season, and we are hoping to try for a few Equitation and English Pleasure classes, with my trainer taking him to the first two shows.

“He has also proven himself calm out on the trails, and when hacking around the farm. He’s calm around barking dogs, vehicles, peacocks, chickens and other animals, highly sociable and loves lots of attention.

“While I continue to strengthen my own riding skills, Captain Jack is way ahead of me and teaching me quite a few things.  We will learn a little jumping together— my special friend and I —he is my heart’s desire, this OTTB.”

If has written about your OTTB in the past, and you would like to update us on your progress, please send an email to

2 responses to “Capt. Jack enchants children’s book author”

  1. Lowrey Jones

    You are doing such a fabulous job for those wonderful Thoroughbreds! When I was training juniors for the hunterjumpershows we used almost ALL Thoroughbreds. We found if we picked the right ones they were perfect for their jobs! That was in the days before the Warmblood craze….I still prefer a good Thoroughbred and never thought I would see the day when you would have to hold special shows for Thoroughbreds! I wish you the best of luck with your endeavors and expect to see many winning Thoroughbreds at the HunterJunper shows soon again!

    1. Nuala Galbari

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Lowrey. I am sure Susan appreciates your feedback. I am (Susan was kind) actually 60 this year, so there is slightly more of the fear factor than in earlier years. I am only jumping low crosspoles at present. Jack is capable of much more, but I feel it best to stay at or below 2 feet myself. Jack has a mild UFP from racing days, so I don’t wish to push it. His health is my first concern. We monitor him carefully but one thing is for sure, when he sees a little jump, his ears stand up and his energy level rises. He’s enjoying his new discipline.

      Very best wishes to you in your continuing work as well. I ordered an OTTB ribbon in 2012 and presented it to my trainer (and Jack) for a great year of progress. Jack will sport his new OTTB saddle pad this summer.

      Kind regards,

Leave a Reply