Not every kid can live up to his father’s success.
And this was especially true for the offspring of superstar racehorse Point Given, a powerhouse on the track who left huge hoof prints for his two sons to follow.
Point Given earned close to $4 million on the track, racking in multiple stakes wins, and taking first place in the 2001 Belmont Stakes and Preakness.
By contrast, Bonus Point had lifetime earnings just shy of $9,000, while Point Blank never earned a penny.
But to Victoria Bennett, who adopted the two Point Given sons, their affability under saddle, and puppy dog personalities were worth their weight in gold.
“Bonus Point came first. I got him exactly two days before Christmas, two years ago, as a present from my Mom,” Bennett says. “I found him on the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption website, and called my Mom and begged.
“He was with (horse trainer) Lisa Molloy at the time, but when I called her, she claimed that he had been sold.”
Race name: Bonus Point
Barn name: B.P.
Sire: Point Given
Foal date: March 5, 2005
Race name: Point Blank
Sire: Point Given
Dam: Doubly Fun
Foal date: Feb. 3, 2008What she didn’t realize was that her mother had secretly purchased the chestnut beauty as a surprise Christmas gift for her.
Three days later, the jig was up, and along came Bonus Point, “rolling into my driveway.”
From the get-go, Bonus Point was a pleaser. He never refused a jump, from those initial training sessions, when he lifted his feet and cleared whatever was asked. “He acted like he’d been jumping his whole life!”
In August he placed sixth in a 20-horse flat class, and two months ago a trainer made a point of congratulating the Bennett-Bonus Point team on their progress.
“He’s such a versatile horse! He’s so quiet he can do both Hunters and Jumpers, and at the barn, we can put little kids on him and lead him around,” she says.
Bennett was so enamored with Point Given’s offspring that when she happened upon another one of his sons, Point Blank, the mere sight of the large, 17.2-hand gelding hit her dead on, just like her first horse.
“We found Point Blank in an Ohio barn where we went to check out a different horse, one we saw listed on the CANTER USA page. We drove five-and-a-half hours, one way, from our home in Tennessee to the barn,” she says.
The prospect they came looking for was a little more up than mother and daughter felt comfortable with, and their attention soon wandered to the stately four-year-old standing oh-so-quietly nearby.
“As soon as we went up to him, he reached out to us as if he was saying, ‘Hi. Please love me.’ ”
Mother and daughter welcomed the giant chestnut gelding and second son of Point Given they would own into their home, where he was soon introduced to his older brother, long since separated. The two brothers got along great.
And the newest addition is so quiet that Bennett hopped on him bareback on only his second day home and has even posed for pictures, standing on his back.
The brothers, both bright chestnuts, have brought a touch of greatness to the family barn.
And while they never made it in the Thoroughbred racing game like their grand old sire, the delight and peace they’ve given instead, has bonded the mother and daughter to the lineage of a star.
The plan is for Victoria’s mom Heidi Rockhold to ride Point Blank to regain confidence lost from an earlier riding injury, while she will train Bonus Point for Hunters and Jumpers.
“These horses are amazing,” Bennett says. “I have such a bond with them already; I trust them with my life.”