The racetrack was not the place for this sweet Thoroughbred gelding, fighting to come in second-to-last in his best race. Flying over open hills and jumps, that’s what this athlete was clearly born to do.

 

“When I started with Tractor, he was so great, so collected, which is not typical for an off-the-track Thoroughbred,” said owner Monica Fiss, who bought him from the breeder two years ago. “He took to jumping like a natural.”

Read more

Tractor was bred and raised to race at Sylmar Farm owned by Ronnie and Betsy Houghton. He was bred by Shannon Houghton, out of their mare "Yanni's Girl" and by the stallion "Partner's Hero". Born in '09, Tractor was named by the grandson who adoringly called him "Tata". January 2013 I received a call from Shannon who said they were about to start racing Tractor, but she was pretty certain he did not want to become a race horse and would make a very nice event horse. As a 3 year old, Tractor would stand stock still in the paddock before the race with his head held low. The Houghtons’ 2 year old grandson would proceed to pet his forehead repeatedly. Needless to say, Tractor did not make it as a race horse finishing 6th or second to last in all 3 races. I took him and began his retraining in early 2013.

Tractor was very cooperative and easy going in his retraining and I could tell he was going to be a very nice horse. He took very naturally to jumping and seemed to enjoy it.

Read more.

Anne Frederick photo

monica_rocky2015

The Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) teamed up with Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Jockey Club, and Maryland Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association to present the Maryland’s Most Wanted Thoroughbred Contest. Four Maryland-bred ex-racehorses competed for a $750 purse on Saturday, January 17 at 2pm in the Cow Palace main arena at the Maryland Horse World Expo in Timonium.  The mission was to inspire the next generation of horse buyers to choose a horse off the track.

Monica and "Rocky" ( Malibu Rock, a 2007 gelding by No Armistice out of Our Bellarosa by Malibu Moon. Bred and raced by Rita and Anton Riedbauer of Joppa, Maryland, Earnings $15,980 in 12 starts) were chosen as one of four contestants. “We asked our sponsors to consider both the ability of the horse and rider to impress an audience as well as the compelling nature of the stories that brought the horses from racing to their current careers,” said RRP President Steuart Pittman.

Monica and Rocky inspired the crowd at the Expo, demonstrating their skills in flatwork and jumping over the course of the entire weekend, participating in Steuart Pittman's seminars in Dressage and Jumping as well as the main Maryland's Most Wanted Thoroughbred contest. The duo finished as runners-up in the contest and went home with a truckload of prizes from the sponsors! 

Video of Monica and Rocky at the Maryland Horse Expo, January 2015