For the longest time, the full-bodied chestnut gelding with superstar looks couldn’t catch a break.
Even on his first day of retirement from racing, the lovely animal was nearly killed in an automobile accident en route to CANTER Mid Atlantic, says executive director Allie Conrad.
“We got him in 2006 or 2007 and on the way, his trailer got T-boned by an elderly gentleman,” she says. “The trailer and truck were totaled, and Bid was brought out through a side door for people. He was fine, a little banged up, and upset.”
So with that as a start in his quest to find a permanent place in the world, Bid was already taking the long way home.
After eight months off to recover from soreness stemming from the accident and racing, Bid was started under saddle and looked to many like he was destined for high-level Eventing. Those hopes were dashed however, when a veterinary exam revealed a pre-arthritic condition in his ankle, says Conrad.
This Bids For You
Barn name: Biddles
Sire: Winning Bid
Dam: Games for Me
Foal date: April 18, 2004“The vet said he would be fine for a low-level career,” she says, noting that with this diagnosis began an odyssey that saw Bid repeatedly re-homed and returned. “He was my boomerang horse. We tried five different homes for him, and he came back five times.”
Reasons cited for his returned stemmed from occasional problems with the arthritic ankle, she says.
Then in 2012, almost by fluke, the perfect owner arrived.
Elle Dembrosky was 13 years old when a friend’s mother invited her to ride her horse on a trail. “He was wild!” Elle recalls. “He was sweating and it was 60 degrees and windy. We went out on a long trail and the leader kept looking back and asking if I was still on.”
She didn’t fall off, but fell in love. And she jumped in with both feet.
Three months into her new partnership, she won her first show at the Tamarack Horse Trials with him. “It was a really small show. The last jump was up a hill and into water. Everyone had a refusal there, but I didn’t. Even though I had a 40 in the dressage and everybody else was in the 20s, we won because we were the only ones who went through the water.”
Though challenges persist with Bid’s distracted personality and his difficulty getting straight for the jumps, the rewards have been tremendous, Elle says. “In April at the Long Leaf Horse Trials … we were presented with the Conrad Homfeld Challenge Trophy” for having the lowest score in dressage, she says, noting, “Our dressage score was 38, which is not bad. It’s really good for me. We also went double-clear in the cross-country and show jumping.”
And the best part of all, Conrad says, is that further veterinary testing has shown that Bid’s arthritic condition is actually correcting itself! “A vet donated a bone-modeling scan and found his arthritis condition has reversed itself!” she says. “He’s finally home. He finally has his person.”