Race name: All Net Joe
Barn name: Josie
Sire: Cure The Blues
Dam: Freeway Tricksters
When Connecticut accountant Lynn Wentworth isn’t trying to get the numbers to add up, she’s working on her other favorite equation—combining a Thoroughbred mare with an Appaloosa stallion to produce one adorable sum: a foal.
The small breeder of Appaloosa performance horses works by day at a career she prepared for by attending Nichol’s College in Massachusetts, but after hours, she taps into her “horse crazy” girlhood to pursue a passion so deep she feels it helped her survive cancer at one point.
“This is my other life, the work I do outside of the office,” she says, explaining that the joys of coming home to a barn with baby horses is a panacea to everyday worries. And five years ago, was a major positive force as she withstood breast-cancer treatments.
“I had so many surgeries and when I could, I’d be out in the barn talking to the horses, or talking to the babies,” Wentworth says. “They took my mind off everything I was going through. They kept me sane.”
Now cancer clear, she still thrives on matching up mares to her Appaloosa stallion All Zip and Sparkle to produce foals with the best genetic mix—an Appaloosa’s coloring and personality and a Thoroughbred’s athleticism and hunter conformation.
Wentworth recently found two ex-racehorse Thoroughbred mares on CANTER New England’s website, and in them she thought she saw the conformation and personality traits that would be a perfect match for her stallion. So after a personal meet and greet with All Net Joe (Josie) and Spiro’s Gold (Goldie), she knew they both had the qualities worth passing on.
In April they moved into her Connecticut barn.
“When I went looking, I wanted to find mares with short backs because my stallion has a longer back. In breeding, I like the Thoroughbreds because they add athleticism, along with the hunter traits.”
She’s planning to breed both mares this year and will do her best to ensure a new, healthy life emerges. Of approximately 10 foals she and her equestrian husband Bill have bred, she has been fortunate with good health. But maybe the arrival timing could be a little better.
Most babies arrive in the middle of the night—“I swear the mares just wait” until everybody’s in bed before going into labor, she says, laughing.
But by installing a baby monitor and listening for the rustle of the mare, and the little sounds announcing it’s time, Wentworth has been present at most of the births. A few, she admits, happened so fast in the wee hours that she missed the whole thing. “I’d go out to the stall in the morning and foal would be there!”
Ordinarily, she checks a mare’s progress to ensure all is going normally, however. “We’ve been really lucky that we haven’t had any major problems,” she says.
It’s the least she can do for the animals who have brought her so much joy, and who provided her a source of calm when she needed it most.
“When I had breast cancer, I had umpteen surgeries, radiation and the whole nine yards. The barn and the horses were such a positive outlet,” she says. “When you’re playing with the horses or with the babies, you don’t think as much about your other problems.”