All of the horses set to run in tomorrow's Belmont are 3 year olds, the human equivalent of a teenager.
And, like I'll Have Another, they'll all be leaving their racing careers, injury or not.
Ex-racers can live long and productive lives, it's not uncommon for them to reach 25 years old. So, what happens to them? Many go on as show horses, or trail riding companions. Now, a Central New York horse operation is offering some a chance at super-stardom, in another equine field.
John Madden, who trains Olympiic show jumper Beezie Madden, has started 'the breeder's bridge for high performance.' Earlier this year he put out a request for audition tapes, and 144 came in. Of them, he's chosen two to get three months' training at his Madison County facility, right along with the Olympic horses that will be fine tuned before their London trip. And one of the two is an ex-racer.
"It's an ex-race horse that went to a rescue and got rescued, says Madden." and some people in Maryland have done a nice job developing him. He's five years old and he's showed us enough talent to be one of the ones. So we think it's really exciting that an ex race horse is gonna get a chance at being a jumper.
The horse, Constant Star, will make the trip up from Maryland next month. It's 5 years old, young enough to be an Olympic prospect in four or eight years.
The odds are long, as for any athlete, but at least it's a shot.
And, don't worry about I'll Have Another. Even without the Belmont, he's a super-star, and his next career will be in the breeding shed.
Check these websites for more adoption information.
also sunday, Re-Run event in FUlton