Oh what Laine Ashker and her sweet gentleman Thoroughbred Anthony Patch have done for the competitive Thoroughbred sport horse!
Last weekend, in a 50-horse division at the Millbrook Horse Trials, the hard-knocking pair, who toughed out setbacks at past Rolex competitions, cinched first place against some of the top horse & rider teams.
In a Q&A interview this week, Ashker, of Laine Ashker Eventing, answers questions about her fantastic weekend, and offers her thoughts on how the success that is theirs now further helps to elevate the reputation of all Thoroughbred sport horses.
Q: You said in an Eventing Nation article that you decided to forego Rolex this year to “save Pegasus’ wings” and I wonder if you could say a little bit more about that?
Being that my ultimate goal is not only to try for the WEG next year with Al but to save him for many years to come, my vet and I decided that by giving him extra time off after such a jam packed year in 2012, that he would come back even better than before. I think that after his first performance back at the advanced level, that we were correct in that assertion.
Q: Did you and Al have any special prep work or new regimen to prepare for Millbrook, and, how did you psyche yourself up to compete against such big-name teams?
I am a huge believer in trot sets to build fitness without breaking horses down. I made two long trips to Buck’s (Davidson) farm in Riegelsville, PA for jump lessons to prep for Millbrook and Kim Severson helped me prepare for the sandbox leading up to Millbrook.
Q: How big was this win for you, as an athlete, and for an OTTB like Al?
Not only was it a huge win for myself and Al as a team, coming out on top of a class filled with our nation’s best horses and riders, and on an OTTB, was a huge honor.
I love that Al is leading the OTTB revolution, and I am honored to be the rider that gets to show him off to the public.
I think Al gives people hope that they too can bring their OTTB up the rankings and that talent can be found in any shape, size, color and price range as long as you’re willing to put in the work!