Brightly Shining, a chestnut filly rescued from a Maryland auction three years ago, returned to the racetrack July 17 to strut her stuff at the annual Totally Thoroughbred show at Pimlico.
On a cloudless afternoon, the six-year-old mare appeared to glisten copper and white in a model class and under saddle hack class.
Dam: Bright Shining
Foal date: Feb. 14, 2009Ridden by Melissa White, 16, in the equestrian’s debut year at showing, Brightly Shining was among 300 Thoroughbreds who turned out for an afternoon of shows, says Joanne Beausch, the author of a children’s book about the mare. But despite some stiff competition in classes open to a range of riders, from beginners to professionals, the red mare took a 4th place in an under saddle hack class and 6th in a model class, she says.
“It was funny. The place was packed with horses, but there was one little girl who came seeking out Brightly Shining. She’d read about the mare, and wanted to pet her and take her picture,” Beausch says. The red mare’s story is one many had heard, she adds.
Brightly Shining was rescued in 2013 from the Thurmont Auction in Maryland. Seasoned horseman Mike Keech, 75, happened to hear the mare kicking her stall and raising a ruckus, and dared to open her stall door when so many other prospective buyers had stayed away from the frightened animal. After throwing open the door, the mare walked over to Keech, rested her head on his chest, and he promised to save her. (Please see earlier story here: http://offtrackthoroughbreds.com/2015/10/26/auction-horse-shows-at-washington-intl/).
Shortly thereafter, Keech realized he had a very special horse on his hands.
Last year the mare and former rider Brianna Kenerson amassed a long list of victories, including the USEF Zone 3 Horse of the Year Campion in both the Adult Amateur Younger and the Thoroughbred Hunter Divisions for 2015 and the Jockey Club’s Green OTTB of the Year 2015 Award. Kenerson, who stopped riding Brightly Shining to enter college, amassed so many points that she showed the horse at the fabled Washington International.
This year, the mare has carried his show beginner to the winner’s circle a number of times already, proving she is a horse safe for all riders, Beausch says.
And the mare is safe now, for all time. Keech, in an earlier article, promised she has a home with him.