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Eight Saint James Place (JC: Catch the Sand Man) was the Thoroughbred sport horse who put the Ashkers on the map. Here he is with Lainey Ashker. Photo courtesy Valerie Ashker

How Valerie Ashker finds 4-star T-breds

In three minutes, Valerie Ashker can tell if a Thoroughbred on a racetrack backside is bold enough to become a four-star sport horse. “When you’re picking a horse out for someone, it’s that first impression that’s so critical, but it’s hard to explain,” says Ashker, proprietor of Crow’s Ear Farm in California, mother of top eventer Lainey Ashker, and Thoroughbred talent scout. “You have to look for a horse that wants to do the Super Bowl. I ask myself when I see a horse, ‘is there a keenness, is the head up and does he look like he’s the cock […]