Pensioners on Parade

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

More than a vet


Through a long career, Hogan fills vital role from New Jersey base

Nestled in the heart of Cream Ridge, a small town that, with its green fields and white fencing, bears more of a resemblance to Kentucky than its central New Jersey location, is Fair Winds Farm, a longtime Standardbred nursery.
Down the long, shady lane, past broodmares and their new foals, is the Hogan Equine veterinary practice, in what used to be the farm’s breeding shed. There’s a bicycle outside the office door, on which Dr. Patty Hogan rides to work many days when the weather is nice. She’s fortunate to be able to live so close to her practice, which she designed and decorated, taking the breeding shed and transforming it into a state-of-the-art equine medical facility for surgery and recovery.

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While making her veterinary rounds one morning at Delaware Park in 2011, Dr. Jane Teichner came upon a solitary horse in an otherwise empty barn. After a quick inspection, she made some calls to try to fill in the blanks about the chestnut gelding. She discovered that he was waiting for a van ride to a new life. Trainer Graham Motion had just purchased the gelding to retire him.

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Pensioner on Parade July 2019: Reese

Spend just a few hours with Michelle Rosenkilde at her Monkton, Md., farm, and you’ll leave hoping you’ll end up reincarnated as one of her horses. Michelle and her husband, Jeff, have created a home for every living thing, be they human, canine, feline or equine.
It’s a life that 24-year-old bay gelding Reese has shared with the Rosenkildes for the past 17 years. And given his laundry list of isms and peculiarities, he’s beyond lucky to have made such a soft landing.

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Private Attack

Billy Santoro can’t say enough about his best friend. Listening to the steady stream of superlatives, you end up wishing this guy could be your wingman too. Seriously, he’s the goods.
“He’s the most wonderful friend a person ever had, and we have such a partnership. He has personality that can’t be beat; he makes you smile. He is all about fun every single day and is such an extraordinary individual. And he’s the best jumper I’ve ever sat on.”

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Eddie Maple and Crandall

“You’re about to spend the next 15 minutes watching me try to catch this horse.”
On cue, the dark bay mare lifted her head from the grass and walked off, a slightly miffed dowager duchess. Calm but determined, she kept what seemed a calculated distance between herself and the man with the halter and shank. He moved, she moved.

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Ah Day

In any Thoroughbred word-association game, King T. Leatherbury will automatically elicit “Ben’s Cat” as the response. Leatherbury bred, owned and trained the nearly black gelding who became not only a Maryland legend, but a national treasure.

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Pa Pa Da

Ivan Dowling has grown accustomed to that reaction when people first set eyes on Pa Pa Da. Dowling, huntsman for the Cheshire Hunt Conservancy (Mr. Stewart’s Cheshire Foxhounds) in Unionville, Pa., felt the same way 12 years ago when he drove to a Maryland farm to pick up the huge bay gelding.

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Free Strike

 It was arguably the package deal of a lifetime. In 2007, breeder/owner Don Wilson agreed sight unseen to purchase a pregnant 6-year-old Smart Strike broodmare, the foal at her side and her yearling filly for $80,000 from Bob Bathen’s Bathen Thoroughbreds. Wilson was confident he knew all he needed to know about his new acquisition: she had The X Factor.

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