Although we always have young racehorses coming and going on our farm, we have a small herd of retirees living at Stepaside on comfortable pensions.
You see, some people race their horses until they can’t run anymore, but that’s just not how we do things. These beautiful animals have worked for us. They ran for us, and now we owe them a good place to retire. Sometimes we find a good home with a friend where they can play. I’ve sent a couple horses to England to a friend who likes to hunt on horseback. Otherwise, they stay here on the farm enjoying the easy life.
We have three siblings, Power Ped, Power Foot, and Ichi Foot—all geldings. Power Ped is our best horse who retired last year at 8 years old. With his great speed, he is a multiple stakes-placed horse. He had 34 starts in his career and 4 wins. Power Ped is always playing and boxing with his brothers.
Power Foot is the boss of all the horses. No one comes near him while he’s eating. Power Foot retired last year at 9 years old. He did a great job with longer races and had 4 wins and 35 starts in his career. I probably shouldn’t admit to having a favorite, but he’s definitely mine. We thought Ichi Foot would be the best when he was young, but he only ran five times and didn’t win. He’s our biggest horse at 17.1 hands and likes to play around with his brothers.
Tavi is six and has never run, but his job is to be the companion pony when we break the babies. He’s really good with the young ones. Rohern Strider is a chestnut and hasn’t run in six years because he got hurt in a race. He’s better now, but he doesn’t like me (the feeling is mutual). He’s kind of mean and has attacked other horses, so we have to be careful about who he stays with.
THE FORMER PERFORMER
Rocky is Melanie’s old dressage horse, and at 22 he’s still holding his own. He hangs out with the pack of ex-race horses and stands his ground come hot mash time. He’s got a touch of arthritis, so we make sure he gets some special care to stay comfortable.
We also have several brood mares. At 16, Mary Neill just had her last baby this month. She’s well-bred, she gets gorgeous babies, and this one below is her most recent.
Madame Blackfoot is another of our brood mares and is the mother of Ichi Foot, Power Ped and Power Foot. In her career, she ran 16 times and had 2 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds. We’re proud that she and her babies were so successful.
Shadow is maybe 10 years old and was given to us when Rolling Shadow’s mother died right after she was born. She took the foal under her wing as her surrogate mother. It was such a good feeling when Rolling Shadow—the baby we didn’t think would survive—won!
We’re proud of our retirees, and we love having them on our farm.