June 13, 2023

From Racing to Re-homing: Client Stories of Triumph

ICYMI...Derby week has come and gone. We were just as excited then as we are now, to showcase some amazing off-the-track thoroughbreds we have the honor of caring for! If you haven't read about these wonderful horses already, we thought you might like to check out their inspiring stories of success and triumph.

Meet Artemis Brown, “Brown”

Rescued from a kill pen in Louisiana as a late 2 year old after a starting gate accident in his first race.  Brown was given a year off to grow up and fill out. He was 16.1HH upon rescue and matured out at 17.HH.  His current owner rides and shows the "A's" with Stephanie Cummings at Pecan Lane Farms, Bishop, GA. She says it has been a delightful adventure!

Meet Artemis Brown, "Brown"

Meet "Percy"

Percy ran a total of 8 races, winning her second ever race, and earned a total of $38,573 during her race career. Percy was rescued last year from a kill pen in Texas by her current owners, who have since done an amazing job bringing her back to health and retraining her for a new career in jumping! Percy's owners say, "P is a love bug, super floaty and wicked smart. She’s coming along beautifully, with her favorite girl & their trainer Katie Moniz Floyd at Somerset Stables Hunter/Jumper program". We look forward to continue watching them grow and succeed!

Meet Percy

Meet "Lily"

She's a gorgeous 2006 dark bay mare with quite a story.  Lily raced twice as a two-year old, and was sold off, only to be starved to near-death, twice.  She was rescued just in time, both times, and rehabbed.  Her current owners met her about five years ago, and with lots of love and patience, she is now their daughter's therapy horse.  She has a bad hip, but walks and trots just fine.  Cantering is painful, and jumping is out of the question.  She found her forever home and a new purpose.  OTTB's can do it all. This horse was abandoned, angry, and had no human to love her.  It took a little longer to bond with her current owners, but they did, and she will live the rest of her life them.  Lily is an incredibly intelligent animal, and has learned to trust again. 

Meet "Rhodie"

Meet Rhodie, (Western Ridge) a 16h, 2015 OTTB gelding. He“failed” to be the racehorse Winchester Place Thoroughbreds hoped he would be, but his talent is perfectly suited to Eventing - with his eyes on the upper levels.

"Why do I love this tough, little horse…? Because he wants to succeed every bit as much as I do. There is so much heart, so much intelligence (sometimes too much), and so much athleticism. Here’s hoping he gets a shot at the blue and red numbers one of these days," shares Rhodie's owner, Anthropologist and trainer Aubrey Graham, of Kivu Sport Horses.

Rhodie is currently running Training level. The photos of Aubrey riding Rhodie are from this year. The "scruffy" photo is from when she got him off the retirement farm in December 2020, and his race photo is from 2018.

Meet Rhodie

Meet "Meet Brynn Pennington", Master OTTB 

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance estimates that over 10,000 Thoroughbreds are retired from racing each year, and without suitable homes for these horses, many are sent to slaughter. That's why the challenge of retraining and finding homes for these horses is more important than ever.Thoroughbreds are smart and energetic. They can have a successful transition into a second career with skilled trainers and caring individuals.  

Enter Brynn Pennington, the head trainer at Pine Lane Farm in Conyers, GA with a Passion for Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds! Her love for these horses started with her own personal horse, American Soldier (aka Bourbon), who shares the same sire as American Pharoah, the triple crown winner.  Throughout their post-track retraining journey, Brynn and Bourbon have faced their fair share of challenges and obstacles. However, Brynn's unwavering dedication and passion for her horse never faltered. Despite setbacks and difficulties, she remained patient, loving, and committed toBourbon's well-being and success. 

Brynn's approach to horse care and retraining has inspired many of her students to follow in her footsteps and give OTTBs the chance at a fulfilling life outside of racing. Her endless patience, forgiveness, and passion for these horses is what sets her apart. She's the first to notice if a horse takes one slight step wrong or coughs more than once, and she's vigilant in her care and responsibility for every horse in her barn. Brynn’s commitment and love have set a precedent for her students to continue on the same path of compassionate care for these amazing animals.

What started with one OTTB, has now blossomed to 27 (you read that right, TWENTY SEVEN) OTTBs under the extraordinary care of Brynn and her students. 

At Countryside Veterinary Services, we want to thank Brynn for everything she does to ensure that each and every horse she cares for is happy, healthy, and well-loved. Brynn, you're a rockstar, and we're grateful for your incredible dedication to OTTBs!

Brynn Pennington

In the heartwarming journey of life after the racetrack, there are countless off-the-track Thoroughbreds who were once discarded, but have now found new homes filled with love and purpose. These incredible horses, often overlooked due to their retirement, have defied the odds and forged new paths in the equestrian world. From finding solace as therapy horses to excelling in show jumping and dressage, these five remarkable off-the-track Thoroughbreds have proven that their racing careers were just the beginning of their extraordinary stories. Their transformation serves as a testament to the resilience and untapped potential of these magnificent animals, reminding us that second chances can lead to greatness.