Stephen Bradley Clinic

Just a note to anyone in the MD area –

Stephen Bradley is giving a clinic this weekend at Waters Edge Farm in Sykesville, MD.

We will be manning a table with snacks and hot drinks, along with information about CANTER and listing sheets to distribute.  Additionally proceeds from the $15 Audit fee will be going to CANTER, so it’s a fabulous opportunity to get some education from one of the best event riders around, as well as helping us care for and rehome horses.

I’ve become a bit of a nerd about Stephen Bradley since Allie told me that his horse, Brandenburg’s Joshua, came from Charles Town, which is essentially our home track.  It wasn’t his registered name, but by looking up his breeding, I was able to find out more about him, and realized I knew the people who had bred him from all my meanderings on the backside.  I also found out they have a half sister of his, still racing (she just turned 4 – and she is PRETTY!).

Stphen Bradley and Joshua at Rolex '08

 (credit to our director Allie Conrad for the lovely photo)

I would give a lot to see pictures of Joshua from when he was still at the track.  I’m very curious about what he might have looked like – his muscling, overall demeanor, etc.  I wonder whether it was immediately apparent that he would be very talented, or if he looked like any of the other horses we post – cute, but maybe weedy, or maybe “unremarkable.”  One of the things I’m constantly trying to get better at is improving my eye for track horses – I’ve seen the transformations happen, seen the “afters” of a lot of the horses in our adoption program, but Joshua’s success just makes me very curious. 

I tend to think that there are more “diamonds” at the track than people realize.  Many are appreciated and purchased, but may not reach the level they’d be capable of with the right person in the stirrups (well, any loving owner can be the “right person” but you know what I mean).  Every time there is a thread on a bulletin board analyzing the track listing photos, looking for a good horse, I’m always struck by some of the critical comments, and the things people can’t overlook that seem very trivial.  I’m not talking about conformational flaws (it’s always good to be objective), but the “well he has a chain over his nose, so he’s probably hard to handle” or “there’s poultice on his legs, that probably means there’s a problem.” and those sorts of things.  I see a horse who came off the backside of our little racetrack, from people I know, and wonder how many people might have overlooked him for some reason like that…

Sorry.  My mind is meandering again, it happens when it’s this cold out.

In any case, come to the clinic.  Learn.  Eat cookies.  Visit with us!

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