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 Pensioners on Parade

Stories about your favorite retired racehorses. For archived stories, click here.

Heros Reward

Bob Haynes stood at the rail of the Laurel Park paddock in April 2006, studying the horse he was about to claim. Running for a $20,000 tag, the horse checked off all the boxes for Haynes. The 4-year-old Maryland-bred Partner’s Hero gelding was strong, well built, a good mover. Spotting Bird Mobberley, daughter of breeder/owner/trainer Gretchen, Haynes saw something else he wanted – the sunglasses perched on Bird’s head.

Bo’s a Ten and Magic Weisner

Carl “Bunny” Meister Jr. and his wife, Linda, received an offer they couldn’t refuse. The buyers of their 133-acre Tarad Hill Farm in West Chester, Pa., planned to build a new home on the property, and the Meisters were welcome to stay in the farmhouse Bunny has occupied since the 1960s. But the change in ownership dictated that the Meisters rehome their horses, several of whom have lived at Tarad Hill for years.

Demonstrative

Richard Valentine understands love at first sight. He knows it’s real. He’s got the Eclipse Award trophy to prove it.

Doctor's Secret

In her role as photographer and photo editor for Thoroughbred Daily News, Sarah Andrew has known countless Thoroughbreds, both on and off the racetrack. Many of her subjects are household names photographed in some of the biggest stakes races in North America. But it’s a 24-year-old New Jersey-bred winner of one race who has her heart.

Eagle Poise

Sean Clancy traveled to Keeneland for the 2010 November sale on a mission. Mill Ridge listed Juddmonte Farms’ Eagle Poise in its horses-of-racing-age consignment. Mark Grier provided motivation. Already the owner of a few flat horses and a regular at the Far Hills Races in his hometown, Grier asked Clancy to find a good, solid prospect for jump racing.

Moonsox

Speak with Chris Boniface or her son Fritz for more than a few minutes, and the subject inevitably gravitates to Moonsox. The experiences differ slightly, but the deeply rooted affection for the 14-year-old chestnut gelding dovetails. Chris repeatedly calls him “quirky” and “very special.” Fritz unashamedly admits, “Moonsox is the love of my life.”

Battle Op

Olympic gold medalist Bruce Davidson was happy to see Regina Welsh. Welsh ventured to Davidson’s Unionville, Pa., farm in search of show jumping prospects for a group of buyers from Mexico. Among the sales horses presented was a tall, rangy gray ridden by a working student of Davidson’s.

Harry the Hat

"He’s wonderful; he’s the best horse ever. He’s the world’s largest lap dog. And I guess that’s all I need to say.” 

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