In April of 2002, a Thoroughbred filly by Frisk Me Now and out of Teetawk, bred by Jim Plemmons, was born in Kentucky and given the Jockey Club registered name Cupid’s Tart. Cupid’s Tart never raced, however, and when she was 3 years old, the breeding farm where she’d been living gave her to Irish equestrian Alec Kennedy as a sport horse prospect.
In life, sometimes things come full circle. That has been the case for Yoscha Bosche (Joyeux Danseur x Grau Frau), a now 19-year-old 15.3-hand off-the-track Thoroughbred gelding who left the track in the fall of 2004 after eight disappointing starts, never finishing higher than sixth place.
Prior to starting a family, Adrienne Iorio of Apple Knoll Farm in Millis, Massachusetts used to make periodic trips to Scotland and England to shop for horses for clients. On one of those trips, she happened upon It’s Otto, an Irish Thoroughbred of unknown breeding, in a yard in Great Britain. “I walked into the yard where he lived, they pulled him out, and I loved him immediately,” Iorio recalled.
Show of Heart was born on March 19, 1990 at Tim and Nina Gardner’s Welcome Here Farm at its original location in Maryland, a Thoroughbred gelding by It’s Freezing and out of Lovely Duckling. Bred to race, “Smokey” began his career on the track as a 2-year-old, breaking his maiden at Laurel Park after eight starts. Between his 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old year, Smokey had a total of 46 starts on the track, earning just over $44,000.
Irish Olympian Kevin Babington imported Mastercraft, an Irish Sport Horse gelding born in 1999 with the name Take It E Z, to the United States to be a show jumper. “He was a bit too much of a handful,” recalled Wendy Lewis, who purchased “EZ” from Babington to be an event horse in 2009.
Bellamy, an Oldenburg/Thoroughbred gelding of unknown breeding, came to Tamra Smith’s farm in Southern California with his mane half-way down his neck and filled with burrs. Bellamy had been sitting in a field for a little over a year after unseating several riders in a row and Smith, known for being good with tricky horses, agreed to take him on.
The story is a familiar one. Girl loves horses, rides and competes throughout her childhood, but then takes a break for college or maybe to start a family. However, the love for horses never truly burns out and the girl (now a woman) returns to horses and eventing when she can. For Jenny Tucker (now Brinkley), it was one very special horse that brought her 110 percent back into eventing and has been a hero to not just her, but many in the last 19 years.
Mr. Medicott, sired by the famed show jumping stallion Cruising, was bred by Dr. Donal Geany and born in Ireland in 1999 with the name Crag Cave Slieveluachra. Produced as a young horse by Francis Connors, the traditional Irish Sport Horse was acquired by Hermann Horst from Nigel Taylor in England at the age of six for German rider Frank Ostholt and set on the path that would lead him to compete at the highest level of the sport with three different riders.
In 2007, upper level eventer Jennie Brannigan was working for Mike and Emma Winter when she called good friend and fellow Californian rider and trainer Dayna Lynd-Pugh and said there was a horse in the Winters’ barn that Dayna might be interested in.