A ‘Bucket’ of hope, a shining example

Exciting Bucket arrived at Our Mims for a permanent sanctuary home after her longtime owner/trainer Vincent Fariello died.

Exciting Bucket arrived at Our Mims for a permanent sanctuary home after her longtime owner/trainer Vincent Fariello died.

With legs as clean and sound as if she never raced a day, Exciting Bucket retired to Our Mims Retirement Haven this month after a lengthy career in the claiming races.

The pretty gray mare ran 92 times for owner/trainer Vincent Fariello, earned nearly $90,000, and yet never got claimed away from the family who loved her.

After her last race at Turfway in 1999, she had chalked up 19 wins, 10 places, and 14 shows in a lengthy career highlighted by a race with Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, who rode her to victory in a prep race on Cradle Stakes Day at River Downs in 1994.

Prior to arriving at Our Mims this month, Exciting Bucket enjoyed the life of leisure on Fariello’s farm in Piner, Ky., where the well-respected horseman personally cared for his gifted race mare.

Exciting Bucket
Sire: Grey Bucket
Dam: That’s Exciting
Foal date: April 11, 1989
Earnings: $86,304, 92 starts
The racing team was only separated by death.

In January, the mare’s loving owner died after a brief illness, and plans for the animal’s continued retirement were immediately made.

They reached out to Jeanne Mirabito to secure a permanent retirement home for the family horse at Our Mims, impressing Mirabito with their dedication to their older mare.

That call, Mirabito says, was like a silver lining in the clouds.

“We are often blasted with the heartbreak stories of the race industry. We become despondent and look desperately for some shining light to give us hope,” she says. “The Fariello family is that light.”

Exciting Bucket enjoys a romp in her new paddock at Our Mims.

Exciting Bucket enjoys a romp in her new paddock at Our Mims.

Citing the love and connection they continued to show to the horse even after her ability to earn money had ended, Mirabito says that she was honored to accept her into the sanctuary for horses.

“In my eyes, Vincent Fariello was a top-notch trainer. Bucket raced 92 times and her legs are as clean and sound as if she never raced a day. She shows no sign of the wear and tear that we so often see in horses that raced only 10 times,” Mirabito says. “As I watched her run and play in her new pasture … I just couldn’t help myself, and I spoke out loud, ‘Well done, Vincent, well done.’ All horses should be so lucky.”

17 responses to “A ‘Bucket’ of hope, a shining example”

  1. Diana

    Well done…..all well done!

  2. Susan Crane-Sundell

    A trainer to remember and emulate. Mr. Fariello cared for his horses first. Look at how beautifully Exciting Bucket was maintained. Not to mention the love he showed towards his mare. It is great to know she will live out her retirement at Our Mims.

  3. cheri vaughan

    Aaah, yes, yet another lovely story! Keep on, lovely mare!

  4. Delrene

    Bravo!!! Retired with honor. Thank you and may Mr. Fariello and family be forever blessed. What a shining example of all the right stuff!


    Bravos to Vincent, Helen, and all who so meticulously, lovingly cared for Exciting Bucket. As Jeanne said, if only more trainers were like Vincent and his family. RIP Vincent. You did good! And Bucket, welcome home to your forever home.

  6. Michelle

    What a wonderful story! Vincent Fariello (and his family) is what the rest of the TB racing industry should emulate. I’m sure he is looking down with happiness that his beloved mare will continue to enjoy a well-loved, happy life. And a huge thank you to Our Mims for opening their doors for Bucket.

  7. Linda Madsen

    So wonderful to read about a family who did the right thing by their horse. Bucket will love being at Our Mims Retirement Haven where she will get the best care in her twilight years. Marvelous ending to a terrific story.

  8. jon

    Bravo Vincent! Bravo! It is a beautiful thing to see when a family keeps up the legacy of caring for a horse that worked so hard for a family. I can think of no better place for Bucket to land softly. May she enjoy many more years of a dignified honorable retirement.

  9. jeanne

    Thank you, Susan, for sharing our story! I can not even begin to express how much Buckets and Vincent’s story has healed my heart.
    The Race Industry needs more trainers like Vincent Fariello, more families like his wife Helen and their children.

    This is a happy ending for all involved. For us at OMRH, too, because we had the chance to meet the Fariello family and we have the honor of giving sanctuary to their pride and joy.

  10. LL

    Finally a story with no tears. So happy for this mare. Wish more of them could retire with no leg problems.

    1. jeanne

      Well done, indeed! What a man he must have been.

  11. SusanA

    “Well done, Vincent, well done”and well done Bucket…and thank you Our Mims… May she live many, many more happy years!

  12. ann fox

    Retired with honor….after a life time of hard earned work…the dream of all humankind …

    1. Susan Salk

      I like that. 🙂

    2. jeanne

      She is a very lucky girl. Her people love her so much.

  13. Kathy A

    Racing needs more people like Vincent Fariello. RIP, sir. You did right by this mare.

    1. jeanne

      YES!!!!! His daughter, Connie, says Vincent was “old school” all the way. No drugs, no joint injections; just good old fashion horse care.
      I SO WISH Vincent was still around to show some of the young trainers how it should be done.

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