Since Thoroughbred Scattering Breezes was purchased by Heather Skeens five months ago, the white OTTB who once bounced in and out of people’s lives as he pin-balled from one owner to the next, has spent the winter becoming a young boy’s blue-ribbon show horse.
The multiple stakes placed gelding now named Joey, who earned close to a quarter million dollars on the racetrack, braved the harsh Virginia winter training as a happy hunter with his 14-year-old rider, Austin.
“They were hardcore,” Skeens says of her son and their 15-year-old gelding, whom they purchased in October upon the advice of riding coach Holly Butler. “Some days they clicked, some days they argued … but for a green horse, Joey has been the perfect green horse for a kid to learn to ride on.”
Barn name: Joey
Sire: Concorde’s Tune
Dam: Buck n Cavalry
Foal date: March 8, 1999
Earnings: $243,623 in 55 startsSo perfect in fact that the pair won three over-fences classes and reserve champion in the baby green hunters at the Thoroughbred Celebration Horse Show in March. The 15-year-old OTTB is such a gentleman with her son, even now that he’s filled out on all the “groceries” he’s packing away. “There’s no running or bucking or acting spooky,” she says.
Austin and Joey train at Laurel Springs Farms in Virginia, dabbling in a little bit of everything, Skeens says.
The jumping is coming pretty easily, as they both love it, but the dressage has been a challenge, she says, noting that her son is learning patience and to connect with the horse on a different level as they refine their movements.
Watching Joey’s new journey ringside, Skeens admires the horse she purchased for $600 for his sensibility and kindness after such a long road. And with the promises she makes to her competitive son, who can’t wait to get back to the show ring and Eventing field, she makes a second promise to the animal who has become a member of her family:
“When they’re done showing, and my son goes off to school, I’ll be more than happy to let him live out the rest of his years with us,” she says. “He deserves it.”
Please see the earlier story about Joey and his new home: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2014/11/07/a-white-horse-and-boy-gallop-on-a-new-chapter/
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