An unassuming racehorse, of whom it was once said lacked the gumption to make a “menacing bid” for victory, is now channeling his inner champion as a sport horse.
Long Hill Chub, who finished out his short and unimpressive career in the low claimers at Suffolk Downs in 2009, has become something of a wonder horse in the years since.
Long Hill Chub
Show name: Chubba
Sire: Storm of Angels
Dam:Chubette, by Fountain of Gold
Foal date: May 29, 2006“I’ve taken several horses off the track in my life, but Chubba is just a cool bean,” says owner and rider Anna Corfey. “I’ve competed him in four disciplines, and he’s done well in all four. I think he shows how versatile and talented the Thoroughbred breed is.”
Since taking him home as a 3-year-old, Corfey and Chubba quickly rose in the Eventing levels, moving from Novice to Training and then Preliminary last May, where he earned a 3rd and ran clean. Five months after that run, Corfey decided to show him at the USEF Heritage Dressage Shows on the South Shore in Massachusetts and he came out with a championship for a first-level test 2 and reserve champ for first level test 3.
And in October 2015, he carried a different rider around the big New England final Jumpers, earning 9th place against a field of expensive Warmbloods, and finishing in the top 50 out of over 200, says Corfey, who notes with pride that in the midst of his multi-disciplinary showing experience she even took him fox hunting. And with no prior exposure to the ruckus of barking hounds and the thunder of stampeding hooves, he took to it as he has everything else; with professionalism and talent.
“We just put him to work as soon as we got him off the track and he’s been a champ ever since,” Corfey says. “In my career, there’ve been all these people who’ve been afraid to ride Thoroughbreds. And I’ve always told them what great brains they have.”
Most especially, her Chubba.
Corfey bought the horse to add to her stable of upper level sport horses. All she knew about him at the time was that he had a great gallop and moved well. After deciding to transition out of professional riding, Corfey sold off her string of horses. Except Chubba. Him, she kept.
And he has absorbed some of the best training possible. She shipped her Suffolk Downs OTTB to Aiken, S.C. to work with four-star Eventer Doug Payne, and soon will ride him in the Jumpers in the HITS series in Ocala, Fla.
Along the way, the failed racehorse is proving he can make that “menacing bid” for victory among the very best sport horses.
“I’m at a barn where he’s one of the only OTTBs. At first the other riders were afraid or intimidated by him,” she says, noting that now they’re all so excited by his prowess. “I was out to dinner the other night with eight ladies from my barn, and they were so excited, talking about how he ‘kicked all the asses of the Warmbloods” in the New England Finals.
As she readies to embark on Ocala HITS and other Florida shows, Chubba’s failure on the New England racetrack are nearly forgotten in the face of his growing prowess as a budding champion.
“Chubba lost his job as a racehorse but gained a new career as a sport horse,” she says. “Thoroughbreds will pour their heart out for you, if they’re just given a chance.”