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Silent Retreat schools for a new career with Nicki Wheeler, up,  and Barbara Jo Rubin.

A moment in the sun comes for a prison horse

A horseman, who once enjoyed a glorious heyday working alongside famed Sir Henry Cecil, took a chance last year on a Thoroughbred who never had his moment in the sun. There was just something about the 6-year-old “lead-locked” gelding with clicking stifles that charmed the heck out of seasoned Scottish horseman Nicki Wheeler. So when Silent Retreat was returned to the unglamorous stables at the Vandalia Correctional facility in Illinois, where Wheeler now works teaching inmates horsemanship skills, she threw caution to the wind. “We had shipped him and three other horses to the Springfield State Fair as sale horses, […]