T’bred with missing eye trains for barrels

Generation Speed, who lost an eye to an infection, was a hardscrabble racehorse who is now prepping for the Dreaming of Three Training Challenge—barrel racing!

Generation Speed, who lost an eye to an infection, was a hardscrabble racehorse who is now prepping for the Dreaming of Three Training Challenge—barrel racing!

A hardscrabble bay who earned the nickname “One Eye” after powering on in a racing career after losing an eye, has entered training for a second calling as a barrel racer.

Generation Speed suffered the loss of his left eye as a 5-year-old when a dirt-born infection caused his eye to rupture. But with unparalleled spirit and the heart of a champ, he continued to race aggressively and win against tough competition.

Now, the big bay is attacking the barrels as he once attacked the racecourse—full speed ahead— as he readies for the Ultimate X Showdown on Sept. 5.

Trainer Jimbo Albritton, who took up the challenge of training the one-eyed Thoroughbred for the event, admits he had to think twice before saying yes.

Generation Speed
Sire: Wind Whipper
Dam: Onthewingsofadove
Foal date: Feb. 15, 2006
Earnings: $52,781
“I was a little concerned about his eye when I first agreed to use him,” says Kissimmee, Fla. horseman. The longtime barrel racer finally agreed after Generation Speed’s owner Beth Worton regaled him with tales of courage on the track.

Worton told Albritton how the gelding not only kept racing after losing his eye, but was so fierce he bit at other horses and pinned his ears to back them down. Said to give all that he had to the sport, he also proved to be quick thinking, and protective of his riders.

In a race at Tampa Bay Downs one winter, he fell so hard that spectators feared he had died of a heart attack. When they drew closer, they could hear the soft voice of his pinned jockey imploring the fallen horse to “stay still boy, stay still.”

Generation Speed trains with Jimbo Albritton for the Dreaming of Three Trainer Challenge Sept. 5.

Generation Speed trains with Jimbo Albritton for the Dreaming of Three Trainer Challenge Sept. 5.

This story ended well for everyone. The jockey sustained less serious injuries than he would have had the horse thrashed. And, “One Eye,” who was credited with saving the jockey’s life, came away with a bruise that required a month off from racing.

After a conversation with Worton about the remarkable animal, Albritton agreed to take a test ride.

Though Albritton “shopped around” for other prospective trainees, in the end, it was Generation Speed’s inquisitiveness and surprising ability to learn quickly that convinced him.

“What really surprised me was that although he’s missing his left eye, he’s more responsive on his left side than his right,” he says.

Building on the animal’s natural aptitude, Albritton plans to improve his maneuverability in the hind end and work to get him used to one barrel at a time. In a few months he expects the racehorse will throw everything he’s got into his new career.

“I have no doubt ‘One Eye’ will put his whole heart into learning a second career around the barrels,” he says, noting that the horse may look a little strange, but inside that head is a good brain. “He just doesn’t panic.”

12 responses to “T’bred with missing eye trains for barrels”

  1. Judith Ochs

    Great story. As I was reading it – I thought about all the recent comments about TB’s being bred to race at the track. Seems to me they are not bred for one specific job only – but for the qualities and abilities that TB’s are known to have i.e. speed, endurance, intelligence, work ethic, desire to please etc. This guy has unbelievable qualities – that will make him a great horse capable of doing many things in his life. What a great horse – and it seems he has been lucky to have humans who appreciate him for who and what he is. Bravo to all!

  2. cassie

    Jimbo he is a beautiful horse, his story and your faith in him is very encouraging.I’m sure you both will do well in the competition.

  3. cheri vaughan

    Very nice story!!

  4. Erica Albritton

    His barn name is Gene

  5. Skip Ean

    Very happy for this horse. Would love to see him called by his real name or even just Speed. Hope Jimbo has started a retirement fund for the horse that will ensure Speed’s comfortable and well-earned future! Spirit is what this horse is and does–might be another good name for him.

  6. Jimbo Albritton

    Powerfull!! Generation Speed has givin me more in just the few weeks I’ve had him than I could give him in a lifetime! No matter what life throws at us, its the drive, the passion, the amount if heart we put into it. That is what determines our outcome! Ol one eye has displayed his inner self! His true colors shine through! He has showed me that at times we have obsticles. Overcome them! There is so much out there to experience! And it can’t be done by giving up! I hope Generation Speed’s story touches each life as it has done mine! He is a great example of never giving up!

  7. Janet plosd

    Super story. I had a one eyed mare did everything barrels poles goat tying on. She was so strong with everything. Great kids horse eh when she got older.

  8. Michelle

    So nice to hear a story about a horse who no one gave up on!

  9. Jackie Harris

    Thank you so much for such a wonderful story on one of our trainers!

  10. Patty Hamilton

    Generation Speed is truly a great horse. Thank you for making his life meaningful.

  11. Dawn Marshall

    A horse knows its true nature and capability. Thank God for good people who trust in the horse and love them to carry out the horses passion. They should enjoy what they do and it looks like One eye does!

  12. Leslie M. Bliman-Kuretzky

    What a great story

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