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Rachel Hess was kicked in the face by Air Cruiser at Christmastime, and sustained major injuries. Now healed, she and the OTTB will prepare to conquer fears and other sport horses at the upcoming Retired Racehorse Project's Thoroughbred Makeover in Kentucky.

Kicked in the face, dues paid, a new day dawns

“The sound was sickening,” says Hess, 25, of South Jersey. As the flying hind hoof of a Thoroughbred struck hard and fast, making contact with her jaw, the sound it made was like the crack of a baseball bat when it crushes the ball. But the intrepid equestrian, who’d come through adversity before, including a brain bleed sustained in a rotational fall on a different horse, vowed as she hit the dirt that she would keep on fighting. And she promised herself as the world got gray and fuzzy that one day she and the giant Thoroughbred Air Cruiser would […]

Pruitt and Toukie cross a fast-moving river like a “tank” in Georgia.

Plunging into fast river; smoking competition

The river was high, the current fast. Maureen Bussier Pruitt looked around at the other endurance riders as they fell off, one by one, almost comically. Legs and arms akimbo, seasoned riders popping out of their saddles in various inelegant positions, and landing inescapably in the drink. That was the scene in Dawsonville, Ga., as small Arabian horses tried in vain to leap the fast-moving current. Pruitt’s Thoroughbred Tour Miyuki had never seen anything quite like this river either. Unsure about the situation, he tried first to enter it sideways, reconsidered, and finally plunged forward like “the tank that he […]

Honorable Judge, Parx Racing's 2 year old Horse of  the Year of 2013, has rehabbed from a twice-blown tendon and will train for October horse show in Kentucky.

After blown tendon, a Parx HOTY aims for Ky.

A Parx Racing Horse of the Year, who twice bowed the same tendon scrambling for the finish line, is on the verge of making a comeback in Kentucky— as a show horse. After extensive rehab, Honorable Judge, Parx Racing’s 2-year-old male Horse of the Year for 2013, has come out the other side of tendon surgery on his left, front leg to emerge as a budding star in a new career. Though his aspirations of racing greatness were cut short on the track—some thought he might even have the makings of a Derby prospect— everything about him, from his beauty […]