Clubhouse Q&A: Toy horse famous on HuffPro

Jennifer Montfort

With clipboard in hand, Jennifer Montfort can often be spotted at the Suffolk Downs backside, working for CANTER New England. Throughout the year, she combs the stalling area, assisting trainers who want their racehorses listed for sale on CANTER’s website, and, in October, you’ll find her managing the increasingly popular Suffolk Showcase, an event that often helps put 50 or more ex-racehorses into the sales pipeline.

Montfort takes it all quite seriously.

So, when her sense of humor put her in the spotlight of the Huffington Post, in a popular horseracing column by Liz O’Connell, wanted to know what was going on.

In this week’s Clubhouse Q&A, Montfort explains how she, and a model horse, got famous.

Q: Jennifer, how did news about your model horse, Mr. Mini Hansen, wind up on the Huffington Post?

Well, on Sunday I had tweeted a few fun pictures out of Mini Hansen at a clinic in NH just for the heck of it; a couple of people and I thought it was a bit of silly fun (and maybe the sun was getting to me a bit!). The next thing I knew a whole group of my twitter friends had taken the pictures and ran with them! By Monday Mini Hansen had his own Tumblr and then before I knew it Liz O’Connell, who regularly writes for the Huffington Post on racing, had a story up on Tuesday.  It’s been quite the whirlwind! I think I underestimated the appeal of Mini Hansen!

Q: When and how did you get him?

Mini Hansen pays rapt attention

Mini Hansen was one of many given out by real Hansen’s owner, Kendall Hansen, at the Kentucky Derby. My friend Jessica Chapel had tweeted a picture and I immediately wanted one just for the ridiculous factor alone. So much surrounding this horse has been insane–from the blue-tailed “Hansenettes” to the drama over dying his tail–it just amused me to no end that he was walking around handing these out. She kindly brought one back to me, and Mini Hansen entered my “stable” this past week.

Q: I noticed he’s been making the rounds, visiting the sites, and even a schooling show. What does he think of all this?

Well, I wouldn’t presume to know what Mini Hansen thinks–I’ve stuck to just narrating his adventures rather than speaking “for” him (because, well, he’s a tiny foam toy). But, if we’re going to go there, I think Mini Hansen is happy he gets a chance to step away from the craziness that surrounds the real Hansen and go on a few adventures–hopefully mainly horse related! We’re accepting sponsorships for a trip to Royal Ascot if anyone is interested.

Q: Was Hansen your favorite in the Derby? And seriously, as a board member for CANTER New England, what is your take on this year’s Triple Crown season?

No, not really. I was, and still am, a Union Rags girl. I really didn’t have strong feelings either way on Hansen the horse; it did seem as though he was overshadowed by the shenanigans, which of course wasn’t his fault! As for this Triple Crown season–it’s been amazing. Such a strong, talented group of horses! What more could you want from these two great races with Bodemeister (who certainly made me eat my words!) and I’ll Have Another? It’s been the first time in a long time where I’m going into the Belmont wanting a Triple Crown win but also rooting for other horses like Union Rags to win to shake off some very bad trips.  How lucky we are to be fans of such a great sport.

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